By Laura LaVoie
When I prepare to write for The NotMom each week, I often Google phrases that might lead me to interesting tidbits and news about women without children. Usually, I get so infuriated by the lack of positive information that I end up writing my own editorials on the subject.
The same topics come up over and over again. There are the usual phrases like “selfish”, or “lying to ourselves.” I can feel my blood pressure rising. Why is it always up to us to justify our choices rather than everyone else simply accepting us for who we are?
Then, something exceptionally deep occurred to me.
The only mind I can change is my own. The only attitude that I have control over is mine So, why am I spending so much time and energy on negative articles and opinions?
I decided to focus on something else. It is November 2016, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I decided to spend some time simply being thankful. I try to live by the idea that “Thankful people aren’t happy. Happy people are Thankful.”
For Thanksgiving 2016, I thought I might share some ideas about how we can all be more thankful every day.
- Keep a journal. NotMom superstar Oprah Winfrey popularized the concept of a gratitude journal back in the 1990’s. It’s still a great idea. Whenever something good happens in your day, write it down. Then go back to it on a day when you’re feeling not so grateful.
- Focus on the positive. Constant complaining actually rewires your brain so that you are more negative overall. That isn’t opinion,it’s science! To break this habit, start focusing on the positive things in your life. Even on a bad day, find one good thing that happened, no matter how tiny.
- Always say the words. Most of us were raised to say “please” and “thank you” out of politeness. While the words can be empty gestures, getting into the habit of saying them can reinforce thankfulness every day. Never forget to say “Thank You” to everyone who impacts you in a positive way.
- Use a mantra or prayer. One of my favorite quotations is, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘Thank You,” that would suffice” by Meister Eckhart. Elkhart was a German theologian in the late 13th century and his words are powerful. I make an effort to remember them as often as I can. Sayings like this one: “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.
- “Pay it forward. Words and internal monologues are OK, but another way to practice gratitude is to have a giving attitude. Thankfulness is contagious. Start a practice of paying it forward, you will see more people expressing gratitude all around you.
How do you show your gratitude during the Thanksgiving season and all year long?