Now I See Gratitude Everywhere
I had no time for my mental health. Every morning at the crack of dawn, I crawled out of bed to warm milk for my newborn. This was my downtime as we cuddled and I basked in the warmth of his little body against mine. He was the reason I pushed back the cloud that shrouded my life, which left a dense fog lingering in my brain. Every day, I pushed myself into high gear to get ready for work, run through my day, and rush home to be with my family.
I asked everyone, “How do you do it? Are you overwhelmed?” No one seemed to find life as difficult and exhausting as I did. A friend suggested we attend an Abraham Hicks workshop for inspiration. While we waited in line to see Esther, my friend mentioned, “Why don’t you practice gratitude?” I didn’t answer as I stared blankly at nothing in particular. At that moment, I didn’t feel grateful for anything.
But the concept must have been permeating my being because I woke up one morning soon after and gazed into my closet. The doors happened to be open, and I realized in that moment, “Wow. I have a lot of clothing.” Then I looked at the closet floor and acknowledged the abundance of shoes. Then almost like Helen Keller discovering the association of words with the water flowing over her hands, my soul awakened. I made the connection of thinking about gratitude and understanding the gifts of my life. I felt this outpouring of love and appreciation for my family, my warm home, hot showers, hazelnut coffee, and my dog. I was overcome with emotion as I realized how much I love opening my front door and hearing birds chirp and feeling the heat of the sun on my face. I felt like the luckiest person alive.
I grabbed an old journal and filled a couple of pages with my grateful thoughts. This was no longer a whiny journal; that was the old Georgette I left behind. My new journals are filled with all the wonders of my life. I look forward to this ritual every morning and wake up while the house is still dark to have quiet time to savor my thoughts. Sometimes I write the same things over and over. Sometimes I include affirmations. Recently, I added goals. This routine has lifted my sadness and filled me with excitement and hope for all the possibilities that life has. Sometimes I spread my journals across my bed and reread them to acknowledge how far I have come.
Today, it is amazing how much time I can carve out to appreciate, enjoy, reflect, and smile. I am in touch with my intuition, my connection to source, and God. When I forget to take the time to nurture my mental health, my crankiness quickly seeps in and reminds me to create a space that fills my soul and sets a brilliant mood for my day.
Georgette Van Vliet writes self-help books. She is a certified life coach and expert mindset strategist who specializes in helping people overcome life’s daily challenges.