A few weeks ago I decided that I needed to carve out some time and space for myself each day. With a husband and a 1 year old my options for “me time” are extremely limited. So, that has meant making time to go to hot yoga (even when it means I don’t get to put Jack to bed), being intentional about what I eat (even when that means I end up cooking 3 separate meals, every meal), and my favorite aspect…starting each day off with a practice of immense gratitude (even when that means waking up at 4:30am).
Jack wakes up anywhere between 4:45 and 5:45am every day, so in order to get even 10 minutes of time to myself in the morning, a 4:30 wake up call is what it takes. The first few mornings were hard…the temptation to roll over and turn off my alarm was so real! But I told myself I was going to get up no matter what, and so I counted back in my head…5,4,3,2,1…and then launched my butt out of bed. (If anyone has ever heard Mel Robbins talk about the 5 second rule, you know what I am talking about here!)
As I knew it would be, that time has become SO precious to me. I walk out into my kitchen and start the coffee while it is still dark out. I let my dogs out and grab a blanket and my notebook. And then I sit down and literally just write out every.single.thing I am grateful for and let that incredible sense of gratitude completely come over me. This may sound silly to you at first, but I can’t tell you what an incredible blessing this new practice has been for me. It completely changes the course and tone of my day.
I don’t know about you, but I spend so much of my life and energy focused on things I don’t have yet…things I want to do, accomplish, or buy. Tyler and I are constantly talking about goals for the future and where we want to buy our next home and what our careers will look like in the next few years. This is all great and very natural, but I noticed that for me it kept me constantly living in the past (thinking about what I should have done differently last week/month/year in order to have had what I wanted by now) or perpetually living in the future (always wrapped up in thinking about what we need to do in order to achieve/accomplish/get/buy that fill in the blank). This left me missing out on enjoying all of the incredible abundance and joy in my life this very second.
Intentionally shifting my mindset to the present…to all of the blessings and accomplishments and joy and love I have in my life right this very moment…has been such a radical and powerful change for me.
I started off thinking I would try to write down 5 things I was grateful for each day. Turns out I have so much more than that to be thankful for (We ALL do!) So I honestly just write down everything I can think of…just whatever comes to mind that morning. This ranges from being grateful for literally waking up and being alive and present for another day with my family, to my delicious warm cup of coffee (with my whole30 nutpods creamer, of course), to being so in love with my sweet husband, to having a happy, healthy, perfect little baby to care for, to living in a safe neighborhood and in a beautiful home, to having running water or food to feed my family. I have found that when you really slow down and look at all of the insane abundance around you, there is no logical response other than to just be completely overwhelmed by a flood of gratitude.
I recently heard someone say something to the effect of “somewhere someone else is praying for precisely what you have right now.” That stuck with me. The grass is always going to be greener. We are human and that means we are essentially programmed to strive for more…which is a great thing! But if we don’t also slow down and take time to truly practice gratitude for and notice all of the blessings we have right this very second, we will miss it all.
So, in this season of life I am working on practicing gratitude. For me, this practice alone has become a holy, sacred, life-giving way to start my day.
Being able to spend this Thanksgiving up in Flagstaff with my family just magnifies the deep sense of gratitude I have for my life right now. As I write this the sun is shining, it’s absolutely gorgeous outside, delicious food is being prepared, I can hear my little Jack running around with his cousins and just squealing with joy, and on top of it all I have the most incredible partner to do life with.
Life is so good & I am so grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving friends!