Gratitude...some thoughts

Hey, everyone!  I am so sorry that it has been a few days since I posted.  I have had a few scheduling things come up that have just practically drained me.  I get home and want to write, but lately my mind has gone into fog and I am just wiped.

Today, though, has been super productive.  Had a great leg workout this morning to set the tone, and then that carried over to work.  I got home and got some extra things done, and I am still feeling the here we go!

I wanted to just talk for a few minutes on gratitude.  Gratitude is a buzzword as of late, but I am not entirely certain that everyone lives it.  To me, gratitude is a foundational attitude that can affect the direction of your life.  

What is gratitude?  Well, officially, it is the quality of being thankful, and a readiness to show appreciate for and to return kindness, according to Google's dictionary.  So, here we are, rapidly approaching the Thanksgiving season, and we know to be thankful during that week...but what about the rest of the year?

Gratitude is not a one-day thing, or a one-week thing.  Those that life that way are often very ungrateful.  They are never satisfied.  Instead of being thankful for family and a great time, everyone is in a rush to get to the Black Friday lines, ready to buy gifts for people who are just as ungrateful as they are.  It is a terrible way to live.

Truth is, gratitude is a lifestyle.  Selfishness and ingratitude have a way of closing your spirit.  Selfish people are only interested in how something can benefit them.  They close themselves off to opportunities, and it literally makes everything a struggle.  Selfish people feel like they have to fight and claw for everything.  Now this is not to say that grateful people don't struggle--please understand me.  Struggle is common to all people.  However, when your heart and spirit is open and in a spirit of gratitude, the struggles are kept in perspective.

I say this because I have lived this.  In a period of self-hate, I felt like I was owed everything, and that those things would make me feel better about myself.  I became closed off, and it felt like every step of progress took a move of the earth.  It was terrible!  Every opportunity, I saw the negative side to it.  Nothing was ever good enough, and I was never happy.  It made people not want to be around me.  I had become quite a spectacle.

So, I came to a point where I knew I had to change my attitude.  I caught myself in the negative cycles of thought and belief, and began to consciously make a change for the positive.  Now, am I there 100%?  Not yet.  I am human.  However, I am making daily progress.  Since I started making those changes, I have literally felt myself open back up, as if taking a deep breath in for the first time.  I have made a point to be grateful for every opportunity, for every lesson--all of it--because it is all part of the journey.

So, my point is this:  I have personally lived on both sides--ingratitude and gratitude.  One thing I have learned:  I will take gratitude every time.  Things have a way of opening up when I am grateful, because my spirit is open to opportunities and lessons.  I have opened myself up to kindness, generosity--all because I chose to be grateful.  New exciting things have developed externally, because of the internal work I have put in.

I want to encourage everyone: make a conscious effort to be thankful, to walk in gratitude.  Let yourself open to new things, and be grateful for all that comes your way.  Gratitude is at the heart of what it means to live #wideopen.

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