(originally posted on 15 April 2018)
Have you ever been in a situation where someone or something just SPEAKS to you?
Around February of last year I was sitting in church one Sunday morning and it hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks. It’s crazy how that happens- one minute you’re just sitting in the pew waiting for service to begin and the next you’re like holy shit how have I been blind to this “thing” my entire life?!?!?
GRATITUDE stayed stamped in my mind for the entire next hour. I’ll admit it was hard to focus on the service the preacher was preaching but I just couldn’t escape the overwhelming feeling that has washed over me.
I immediately knew it would be my next tattoo. And from that moment on it was all I could think about.
That was a turning point for me. I was at a lower point in my life, going through a really rough break up, searching and searching for answers. I know gratitude is not an uncommon word or phrase but it felt like before this moment on this random Sunday morning, I had never knew the meaning. And I had definitely never felt it. Never experienced it to such magnitude.
Now it’s permanently tattooed on my left bicep. It’s on home decor all over my house. It’s a word I use on a every day and something I put in to practice DAILY.
Most of my life is ran and based off of gratitude. I can’t use it in every situation and it helps bring the silver lining to light.
One example I experienced recently happy this past week. My pup, Bella, started whining right before 4am. Now before I go any further, here’s some back story; over the past two weeks I’ve been thinking about changing my morning alarm from 5am to 4am. Which is terrifying because waking up at 5am is already rough, why would I want to get up an hour earlier?! Be the Sunshine. That’s why. I do my best work in the morning and it would give me dedicated time to focus on writing, the @Bethesunshinee Instagram, connecting with people, and progressing. It felt like something I needed to start doing, but I couldn’t bring myself to do. I set my alarm for 4am multiple times but each time I’d snooze for the next house. Well, when Bella decided she needed out right before 4am, that was my opportunity to put my new plan into action. So I did. And I’ve been able to get up at 4am every work day since.
Instead of being irritated at Bella, I was grateful she gave me the extra push I needed.
Gratitude really is a way of life. Once I became obsessed with gratitude it became easier and easier to put it into practice each day. It became easier to see it in every situation. It’s a mentality. A choice. Once you have to actively decided to make.
If you find it difficult to practice gratitude or you want to become more accountable with recognizing gratitude I have the perfect app for you!
FIVE MINUTE JOURNAL.
It’s an awesome app based off the actual (physical) five-minute journal. Every day there is a new quote or inspiring message that pops up when you first open the app, and then it’ll guide you through 3 steps. Three things you are grateful for, three things you will do to make today great, and daily affirmations. Then, at the end of the day it’ll guide you through 2 steps. Three amazing things that happened and “how could I have made today better?”. You can also add a daily image for each date if you want! You can customize the app so it”ll send you a notification in the morning and at night at whatever time works best for you. I highly recommend this app to EVERYONE! It takes 5 minutes or less and is the perfect reminder to appreciate all the good in life, even the smallest of things.
I also have a Gratitude Jar. This is something I actually started in 2014. I use the same jar for the entire year, and anytime something awesome happens or I simply want to remember it, I write it on a small index card with the date and put it in my jar. At the end of the year I go back and reminisce on all the incredible things that happened. It’s always a blessing bc often times I forget over half of the things I initially wrote down.
And now, I really have a daily reminder with me at all times. My tattoo, which is offically one year old! If you see the picture and wonder why is may look a little… weird. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! When I first showed people they all kinda gave me a fuzzy look. Once I explained, “Oh, it’s my dad’s hand writing!” The fuzzy looks turned into smiles and “It looks great!”
One thing my dad used to always tell to me is “every day is a good day” and so when I decided I was going to get it tattooed I couldn’t think of a better font than my old man’s. (He was against the idea but like always, I did what I wanted to anyway. And I’m so glad I did).
Practicing gratitude has completely changed my life and I am so grateful (no pun intended) that I had this “ah-ha” moment.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”
“Gratitude can transform common days unto thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
I hope you all go out an express your gratitude every day. Look for gratitude in the littlest things life has to often, I’ve found that’s where the biggest joy lies.
I challenge YOU to find the gratitude in every the toughest of situations, watch how it transforms you life. And I promise you, it will.
Comment down below three things YOU are GRATEFUL for this week!