When the leaves start the fall colour pallet of burgundy, burnt umber and flaming crimson; everything pumpkin and cinnamon fills the air and the chill in the early hours of the morning remind us how beautiful the world around us really is.
The ring of the doorbell at Thanksgiving, a reminder of connection with family and friends greeted with cheerful smiles. Memories captured in still photos on the mantle now make way for turkey crafts from school. Snuggling on the couch with the oversized blanket in front of the welcoming fireplace exchanging what we are grateful for.
“Mom,” he asks looking off into the distance, “we learned that we should be thankful every day and that will make us happier.” “I’m thankful for my dolls,” she pipes up never wanting to be left out of the conversation.
“In mindfulness club, they taught us that there will always be people who have less than us,” he continued. I replied asking what about the people who have more than us? “I guess, but nobody can have everything.” “Except Shinelle,” his sister comments, “her dad bought her a unicorn you can ride on.” We let the moment simmer and in a voice of endearment he answered, “she doesn’t have a brother though, let’s go play.”
When we are young we are taught to be grateful for what we have and as we get older, what we have doesn’t always fulfil the promise to make us happy. By adopting a lifestyle of intentional gratitude, we can create a mindset of gratefulness and add building blocks to our happiness. Below are some examples of how we can actively participate in thankfulness:
Do you bless your food before you eat? This can be done regardless of whether you are religious or not. Take a moment and think of what you are about to consume. Does your food come from good sustainable methods? When we thank the earth for providing us with sustenance, it automatically changes the energy when we put it in our bodies. If we eat unhealthy or unethically sourced food, we disconnect from being thankful, we simply eat.
By dissecting the ingredients in our meal, we create mindfulness. It’s fun to do with kids and might actually make them eat more types of food if we focus on what is on our plate. Let’s take veggies, for example, if you’re eating carrots, ask your kids if they grow on trees or if they are planted in the ground? If your children are older, you can ask more complex questions like nutritional value, colour pigmentation or soil conditions and expand the question to how they are grown all over the world. After intentionally exploring the food, say THANK YOU, before eating.
Think back to the last challenge that you had, whether it was to find parking in a busy street or something more intense. How did you deal with that challenge? What resources were at your disposal to help you out? Who helped you out? What creative solutions did you find?
Take a moment and say THANK YOU to your inner creativity.
When was the last time that you learned something new? It could be as small as a new word or as big as a survival life-lesson. How did this add to your toolbox of knowledge?
Take a moment and say THANK YOU for this wisdom.
Water connects all living things. When we connect with our hearts and minds to the basic elements that we need to survive we open up to receive and give love. Whenever you draw a bath, drink water out of a refillable bottle or feel the rain on your skin, intentionally experience water. Take a moment to say THANK YOU for this connection.
Self-care is the ability to speak your truth authentically. When we set boundaries or accept a compliment, when we watch a movie or listen to a song that speaks to our soul, these are all expressions of who we are. Living an empowered life to be who we truly are, accepted by those who love us and making a real difference in the world is saying THANK YOU through actions.
I trust myself, my intuition, my spidey-senses, my gut. I trust my judgement without being judgemental. By making decisions grounded in the trust that we are in sync with our core values, we are actively grateful. We invite the concept of trust in divine timing, living in this moment and thankful because we trust that we are protected. If our intuition sends us red flags or warning signs of situations or circumstances that could place us in danger either, emotionally, physically or spiritually, we can make a decision without second-guessing or the need to justify our actions.
Calmly and grounded we say THANK YOU, I trust myself and my inner guidance system and act accordingly.
Our true purpose on this earth is being aligned to our destiny. Yes, it sounds like a quote on social media and somewhat pie-in-the-sky lofty ideals. Let’s start with the intentional thankfulness lifestyle and work our way outwards from there when it comes to alignment.
Have you ever given up your seat on the bus for a pregnant or elderly person? Your action says THANK YOU for allowing me to help another person. Have you made some sustainable living swaps in your daily life? Your action says THANK YOU to the earth. Have you recently smiled at a stranger in passing? Your action says THANK YOU to kindness in the world.
Every act of care, love, compassion and inspiration is living an aligned life. Our purpose is to make a difference in the world and by staying humble in our actions and thoughts, we truly live an intentionally grateful life.
Keep Journaling, Keep Growing.