With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it is more important than ever that we reflect on what we are grateful for.
The current state of our nation (rightly so) is truly frightening for many of our students and families who have been historically marginalized and politically disenfranchised. The work I do as an educator each day is laser focused on ensuring all my students and families feel valued, heard, and appreciated on a daily basis and that we are all moving the in same direction toward the same goal – a successful, choice-filled life for all students, regardless of race or zipcode. With the weight of education work or whatever avenue you have chosen to direct your professional efforts toward, it can be too easy to fill our minds with hardships and challenges we face each day.
But, we can choose to intentionally practice gratitude and literally change our mindsets. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so start today! Taking a moment each day (when you wake up, right before you fall asleep, on your subway/car commute – anywhere!) to find three things you are grateful for has powerful effects. Often, we think that expressing gratitude needs to be for big, humanitarian gestures which makes it tough to pick out the small moments, events, or people were are grateful for each day. This is NOT TRUE! You can be grateful for your flavored latte, how the sunset looks tonight, the new A Tribe Called Quest album (btw – amazing, go listen. now.), or WHATEVER it is that brings you joy.
So, to summarize:
- find gratitude in your every day life
- take a moment each day to name out loud or journal THREE things you are grateful for that day
- gratitude can be expressed about ANYTHING that brings you joy and does not bring harm to others
I have a Happiness Planner I picked up at Anthropology a few months back by Brandmentalist that I have been SLACKING on, big-time. But no more! Starting today, I’ll be recording my three gratitude items in it each night before bed. Here are my three for today:
- The sun shining in Portland today
- Being able to go on a 4 mile run through Forest Park
- Having a blog to share images to represent me and my style (how to wear neutral style in Fall shots below!)
We have to hold each other accountable on this. Remember it takes 21 days for a habit to form. We can do it together. Comment below with either how you’re going to capture your gratitude each day OR your three gratitude items from today.