What Gratitude Means to MeHappiness
Hi my dear friends,
We’ve reached “holiday time” in this very unusual year and I want to share this week what gratitude means to me, and how it shows up in my life, especially during turbulent and difficult times.
First, I want to send anyone who is reading this the biggest virtual hug, as we approach the holiday season. Under normal circumstances these times can bring up many uncomfortable feelings, but especially in 2020, when many of us are alone or dealing with loss, the holidays can feel even more challenging and lonely.
Gratitude is a hot topic of conversation around the holiday ofThanksgiving in the US; it is a time to give thanks. Usually at this time I’ll share my insights on the power of gratitude enhancing our lives and preparing us for abundance, but this year I find myself in a different tone.
2020 has not been easy or pleasant or comfortable. In a certain lens, it can feel like quite frankly, there is very little to be grateful for, and I completely understand that. Because I would never want to stand on my own soap box, and push anyone to feign “fake happiness” for the sake of being more “spiritually enlightened”.
Truth be told, I went through phases this year where gratitude didn’t feel possible, so if you’re potentially feeling that way, and rightfully so, know that you’re not alone in these feelings.
What has been helpful for me, especially when things are dark and scary, is to alert my senses to the simple joys in my life, and follow them relentlessly. With so much of our lives being stripped away and rebalanced, it has allowed for space, for us to see what we really care about, what really matters to us, and what actually does make us happy.
This year has taught me to really notice these small blessings in life, to honor the power of simplicity, and to value the things that you have when you have them. Over the past 11 months, I’ve found gratitude in the company of my fourteen-year-old cat, Charlotte, of hearing a bird singing outside my window, of taking a leisure drive with the windows down while listening to 90’s music, of drinking a really strong cup of black coffee, of laughing at a sitcom that I’ve watched numerous times before, and it still brings me to tears.
There is so much joy in the average, daily life occurrences, and in normal times, we take for granted. I’m incredibly grateful for this reminder to relish in these simplicities.
I find gratitude isn’t it’s most powerful in massive moments of great happiness and success, but in the spaces in between. Gratitude has the power to fill the void of uncertainty and bring us a sense of peace in chaos. When I can feel, just an ounce of gratefulness, especially when everything else around me may be upside-down, I can smile, breathe, and find hope for a better tomorrow.
I am, of course, truly grateful for all of you, who join me here each week. Thank you so much.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org