The Power of Simply Being Grateful
My Glass Overflows
I used to be the biggest pessimist on the planet. Seriously. There was no half full or half empty glass. That sucker was empty. That pessimistic attitude went clear back to childhood and I carried it with me into young adulthood and beyond. It was like a cloud of bad luck just followed me around. If someone was going to trip on the sidewalk (in front of the boss’s office window) fall down and rip their dress pants; it was going to be me. If someone was going to get dinner spilled down their back at the restaurant; it was going to be me. I went through life with that attitude and things happened. My friends always told me I had the worst luck, because these things and more happened to me on a regular basis!
The truth is I don’t think it was luck. I think it was my own personal perspective on life that was drawing things to me. Now, I admit that sounds a little woo woo. And I’m not really a woo woo person. I like the tangible. The things you can explain. The stuff that is logical. But I have to tell you that once I began to change my mindset and perspective, things shifted. I really have to say that mostly good things happen to me now and I no longer walk around under that cloud of bad luck.
So, what changed? How did I go from the pessimist with bad stuff always happening, to mostly good stuff happening? It all started with one simple change. Gratitude. I began to see the power of gratitude and the changes that could happen with gratitude.
I grew up in a conservative Christian home and being grateful and thankful were important parts of life. Yet, the concept never really struck me as a life changer. Maybe I picked up the thought that gratitude was for the big things. Maybe I just didn’t learn the lessons. But it wasn’t until many years later that I learned that having daily gratitude makes a huge difference in the quality of life.
My first epiphany came when I was participating in a group program to learn to love your body. I’ve struggled with loving myself and my body from an early age. In fact, I was so negative about this that the only thing I could ever appreciate about my body were my eyes and my hands. I thought both of those were okay and basically the rest of me was crap. This program taught me to begin to appreciate and love my body and show it gratitude for what it does for me. By telling my legs that I was grateful for them and appreciated the fact that they carry me through life with ease, I began to truly love them. By showing gratitude that my feet gave me a firm foundation, their size began to drift away. I can honestly say, that being grateful for what my body does for me on a daily basis, has shifted me away from an attitude of hate. I no longer look in the mirror with derision, but can face my own reflection with gratitude and appreciation.
Another change came for me when I first realized that my attitude toward mornings was setting me up to have bad, unproductive days. I am NOT a morning person and I don’t think I will ever be. Upon waking in the mornings, my first thought was “I hate mornings”. Literally, the first thought in my head. As I realized that this thought pattern was coloring my whole day, I decided I needed to change that. So, as soon as that thought penetrated, I would say: “I am so thankful for mornings. It is a new day and I love it”. I’m still not a morning person, but I no longer hate mornings! Being grateful for each new morning and day has shifted my perspective to a more positive one. I find myself going through my day with that gratitude and positivity lingering. I find more things to be grateful for throughout the day.
Both of these gratitude shifts have brought more positivity to my life. I am no longer the “glass is empty!” girl. I am the girl who has so many good things around me and happening to me that my cup runs over! And the woo woo part is, I don’t seem to have all those weird random “bad” things happening to me.
Gratitude can change your life too. All it takes is the realization that you want to change something and then finding ways to be grateful for it. Then every day focus that gratitude toward it. I promise, you will start to see good things happening!
I’d love to hear from you! Comment below and tell me how gratitude has changed your life!
Sherry Parks is a Wellness Coach who helps career women escape feeling trapped and out of control in their work life, so that they are happy on their own terms and have joy and excitement for their life. Grab her Free PDF, Top Tips for Successful Food Cleansing, here.
To connect with Sherry, join her women-only Facebook group Lives in Balance.