"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
I used to think I was a pretty grateful person. I said 'thank you' easily, and tried not to take for granted all the ways in which my life is full and blessed -- from the clean water and roof over my head, to the opportunities and people in my life.
But there is a difference between knowing you are fortunate, and feeling appreciation for all the things that make it so. The difference is gratitude.
That might sound well and good, but let me tell you just how true it is. My personal tale of gratitude started when I decided, on a whim, to write about one thing I was grateful for every day for 30 days. Without sounding too dramatic... those 30 days made all the difference.
By the end of those 30 days something small but important had shifted inside of me. I noticed myself stopping at random moments throughout the day to smile at how good life is. I spent less time worrying, and got better sleep because of it. Even though nothing else had changed, I felt happier.
Now, on November 1st, we are entering National Gratitude Month. (I'll be honest, I didn't even realize this was a thing until recently.) It makes sense, what with Thanksgiving coming up, that we all have the things we are thankful for on our minds and in our hearts.
In honor of the month, I want to offer you a challenge -- the very same one I took on more than three years ago:
Every day for the month of November, write about one thing you are grateful for.
It can be short and sweet, or you can write a whole essay about it. You can keep it private in a journal or word document, or share it each day on facebook or twitter (you can even tag the people you are grateful for). There are very few rules here, really, so do it however you like.
If that isn't your cup of tea, or you want something more interactive, try this: every day, tell someone you appreciate why you appreciate them. You can say it in person, in a letter, in a text... but be explicit. Make sure the person knows you are grateful for what they bring to your life.
I'll be sharing my daily gratitude on Facebook throughout the month of November, and I encourage you to follow along. Let's spread a little love this month, shall we?
I want to know...
What are you grateful for today?
Do you plan on celebrating National Gratitude Month (are you in?!)
Have you been told you're appreciated recently? By who?
Share in the comments below.