Last year was hard, the first half especially. 2017 felt like an uprooting year for me and more times than I would like to think, my world was thrown upside down.
My marriage was pushed to the edge, my husband's father was in a serve accident, there were complete family breakdowns, relationships severed and heartbreakingly my best friend lost her first son, Foxx. It was a really hard few months for a lot of us.
My first instinct in struggle is to armour up. To protect my self from pain I usually put up a 50ft shield, block people out and you can be sure I'm ready to fight to protect myself and the people I love. Not fight in a physical sense, but fight in sense of spiritual defence and protection.
That fight in me shows up when I'm in pain and it's okay because that's what gives me the strength to stand up for what’s right but being defensive and guarded all the time is not good and it stopped me from experiencing gratitude as much as I could have been.
What I know for sure is what you focus on, becomes your reality. So being ready to fight all the time meant, gratitude and joy weren't showing up for me but guess what was? A fight was. A drama, a struggle and a lonely feeling were always waiting for me.
Through all my personal struggles last year, I learnt to let go. I realised that I still had an immense amount of things to be grateful for. On the days when I felt most down, I would use that feeling as my ‘trigger’ to remind me to go and write down three things I was grateful for.
I found that the hardest days when I felt most alone were the days I would practice gratitude best. I might not have felt grateful when I started writing on my gratitude journal but before long my mind wouldn’t stop listing things I was truly appreciative of. Now, I can truly say this is how I live my life. Always looking for the gifts in my day and really rejoicing when I see those things. And if it wasn’t for those hard days I probably wouldn’t appreciate my life as much as I do and I wouldn't have such strong values for the practice of gratitude.
Now my family is in a wholesome place, we've healed together and become so much closer than we ever thought but the gratitude practice never stops. We still take time almost every day to tell each other something we are grateful for and I'm proud to say that grateful living has become a part of my little families core values.
Here’s my tips for How to be grateful on Hard Days:
When you feel down, let that be your reminder to practice gratitude. Write or think of three things.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Start telling the people you love you are grateful for them
Go outside and watch the sunset. That sight is something to be grateful for.
Focus on the good things in your life and more of that will show up.
Say ‘thank you’ when you open your eyes in the morning.
Say ‘thank you’ when going to sleep at night. Even if you don’t mean it, just trust that you will see something to be thankful for the next day.
If you’re going through a mental battle and your day seems void of any gratitude, that’s okay too. Try and trust that there is always something to be grateful for, even if you can’t see it. Trust that it’s there and it will show up for you. Keep practising. Even on the hardest days. After a while it will become second nature and your list will grow. Be gentle with yourself and keep your eyes open to ordinary moments of magic.
Some of the 2017 Memories I'm grateful for.