Gratitude was the theme for November last year as well, and for good reasons. While gratitude should be a constant feeling/habit/thought process, it tends to be on people's minds more often this time of year, depending on where you live. I personally don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional sense, but I do enjoy focusing on spending time with loved ones at the end of the calendar year.
Last year, I had a dinner party around Samhain, a 2nd annual Friendsgiving, and a festive, small get together in December. This year, due to my move, I have been cramming in as much time with my friends and family as possible into the month of October, and this first week of November. Last year, my gratitude was focused on my home, my friends/community, and my social life. This year, my focus has been on the people in my life who I have been slowly discovering as my true family.
I had several occasions arise throughout this year that showed me the people in my life who are there for me for me when it matters (and not just when it matters to them.) I am grateful to have deepened and rebuilt existing relationships with those who are important to me, and to have had the strength to release relationships that felt draining and one sided, or inauthentic. I feel like I have finally discerned who I consider my family, whether we are related or not- and that's only the tip of the iceberg!
I am also grateful for my daughter being independent and strong. She graduated from high school a mere 5 months ago, and is motivated and determined to reach her goals. She’s making smart choices, and staying on the right track. It took me until 30 to get to where she is lol! So, I am grateful that I succeeded in guiding another being into adulthood.
AND I am grateful for my new freedoms! I am grateful that I manifested my dream of moving to New Orleans. I am grateful for my courage to leave my comfort zone and face the unknown.
Going beyond simply stating the things we are grateful for, I encourage us all to dig deeper into our gratitude this month. In the tapping video, and the first week’s affirmation video , I mention authentic gratitude, and being grateful for the things we perceive as unwanted or negative. Sometimes I can easily find the silver lining in situations I don’t feel comfortable with, but there are times when I allow my ego to resist gratitude. Resisting gratitude shows up as anger, resentment, envy, entitlement, victim mentality, and all kinds of other ego run emotions and behaviors.
For me personally, I find the easiest way to tap into gratitude when dealing with resistance, is to ask myself what the emotion is trying to tell me. For example: Why am I feeling angry? What has this triggered? What is this really about? (usually something from childhood). Is this emotion appropriate for this situation? Am I projecting? Where can I take responsibility? I just keep digging and dissecting, and discovering. I can always be grateful that the situation has sparked self-reflection.
Which leads into us needing to be willing to express gratitude. Expressing gratitude because you think you have to is inauthentic. Minimizing our struggles is a huge disfavor to ourselves. Feeling that you need to remain positive and grateful when you’re actually feeling the opposite is not going to get you anywhere but with more grief. Acknowledge all of the struggle and strife, then take things one moment at a time. Don’t force your way into gratitude, just take an aerial view of things and slowly begin to shift your perspective.
Gratitude is a feeling, not a statement. If you say the words with no true feeling/emotion behind them, the words are meaningless. Start with the easy things, like people and animals you love, then hold the feelings of love and thankfulness in your heart, as you work your way up to finding gratitude for perceived obstacles or struggles.
Thank YOU for being on this journey with me!