Gratitude: What I’ve Learned

unknownIt’s the last day of #30DaysofGratitude. 30 days of sharing my own thoughts and musings about what I am grateful for and 30 days of sharing other people’s moments of grace and gratefulness. It’s been an amazing ride this year and I have learned so very much.

I know without a doubt that practicing gratitude turns what I have into enough; every time, every moment of every day. I know for certain gratitude shifts my perspective from fear to love and changes my outlook on life.

Through our 16 guest bloggers this month, I’ve learned that gratitude isn’t always present and it takes a lot to find it some days. I’ve learned that sometimes gratitude is all we need to move from one step to the next. Most importantly, I’ve learned that not everyone experiences gratitude in the same ways, but when we do experience the feeling of gratefulness, we are better off mentally, spiritually and physically.

What comes up most of the time when speaking of gratitude is the missed appreciation for small things in life. The cool breeze, running water, our children returning home safely from school, WiFi, remote controls, green juice and Uber. We take small things for granted and when we start paying attention to the details and appreciating them, our lives fill up with a certain space and awareness.

And it’s in these moments of space, this gap in our conscious thinking, these moments of awareness that we find peace. We rest for a moment in ourselves. We can make great decisions from this space, we can love more deeply from this space and we can feel love more greatly from this space.

I’ve also learned that gratitude is a way to fully participate in our lives. We spend a lot of time watching-We watch t.v., we watch sporting events, movies, plays and our kids events and performances. When we practice gratitude, we are actively engaging in our lives in present time. Right here, right now we are living. And we are living in a state of appreciation and awe.

Which brings me to love and hope and resilience. When times are tough and we feel at our lowest, somehow we can reach for one thing we are grateful for and we find hope. And we remember we are good and we are loved. We push through, we move on. Gratitude begets gratitude. The more we are grateful, the more we have to be grateful for.

I am so grateful and in awe of the 16 guest authors who shared their stories and their words here on the blog. Have a look at all of them right here. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write, to submit, to share your grace and gratitude and to make yourself vulnerable by taking a chance and writing what you feel.

I am beyond grateful to write here on ChicagoNow. I’ve said it before and I won’t stop saying it: I am grateful for the other writers here who inspire and encourage me and just plain old ‘get’ me! Thank you ChicagoNow family.

And I’m grateful to you, sweet reader(s)! Thanks for coming on this gratitude ride with me again in 2016. Let’s keep on gratituding, keep on practicing our thinking about and thanking about. Let’s continue our #30DaysofGratitude all year long.

 

Read the series #30DaysofGratitude 2016 right here.

Read the series #30DaysofGratitude 2015 right over here.

 

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