I had a tough lesson in gratitude this holiday season, as I faced another new year as a full-grown, college-educated adult with a 9-5 and the responsibilities and stress that come with it. Lately, I’ve been freaking out about getting older; about not making as much as I envisioned while I was in school; about not having enough time to work out, or hike, or surf anymore because I work five solid days a week.
In the middle of my rant, my aunt cut me off and called me out for lacking gratitude for what I do have. A job, an education, family, friends, a beautiful place to live – all straight-up blessings, and I was complaining about the strings attached to them.
I’ve learned a lot about gratitude in the past, and made strides to put it into practice. So I was surprised by how lost I had become after a few stressful months and life changes – how easy it is to get caught up in the little things and forget the blessings bestowed upon us.
When we express gratitude, we attract even bigger blessings. Which is probably why a lot of little things hadn’t been working out lately; I’d been putting all that negative energy into the universe and drawing more back in.
Since that conversation with my aunt, I’ve been making a daily effort to be grateful; when I wake up, before I go to sleep, when someone cuts me off in traffic, when I feel angry or sad or frustrated with life. It’s crazy how a small mindset shift can completely change a day, or event, or memory. It’s all about or perceptions; they shape who we are and what we receive from this world.