Practicing Gratitude

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Lately I have had the idea of practicing gratitude show up in my life in different forms it is something that truly resonated with me. It has even shown up in several articles I have read (and perhaps you, too) and that it was one of the biggest contributors to being happy. Practicing gratitude is just that, a practice, something that will never truly be perfected but fluid and continually advancing. It isn’t just for the good things that happen in our lives either; it should really be for everything. Yes, everything. Even in times of hurt, sadness, loss or frustration we learn and we grow as individuals and all of the good and bad shape you as a person.

Gratitude isn’t always going to be easy; in fact, sometimes it’s going to be really hard. Let me give you an example. The other day we had a snowstorm move into our area causing the roads to be a mess, delays, nothing huge, but enough to be an inconvenience. My husband has a long commute to work and I work from home. He wanted to drive my SUV because it does better in the snow than his car. Come Monday morning I am stuck with his little car, two little kids, a laundry list of errands, a to-do list a mile long and to top it off, I was left with less than a quarter tank of gas. My first reaction was frustration, but immediately this idea of practicing gratitude came into my head. I wasn’t quite ready to be grateful for the current situation so instead I chose to be grateful for how beautiful Pike’s Peak looked with the fresh snow. I literally had to make a conscience effort to pick something to be grateful for, but it helped nonetheless.

The next day we have a school delay and again I have the little car and million things to still get done. Again, I had to make an effort to find the silver lining in that moment. I chose to take the kids for hot chocolate before school and cherished our silly conversation at Starbucks. Then I took a step back and was grateful I was able to take the kids to Starbucks instead of waking up at 5am to go to work and instantly the frustration from the day before went away. I filled the little car up with gas, made sure it was cleaner that I received it and wrote a thank you note to my daughter’s teacher who helped me the day before with a situation without even having to ask her.

I will leave you with a quote and a challenge that when life challenges you: find a reason to be grateful in the moment because ultimately is shaping who you are and who you will become.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jessica is a proud mother of three – a 3 year old boy/tasmanian devil, a 7 year old daughter, and a thirties something husband (just joking Danny). I’m a homemaker, a life-long student and a business owner. I’m a native to Colorado and love to be out in all of the beautiful scenes that Colorado has to offer – whether by myself, with my family and/or with my camera. Check out my website – www.jessicanewmanphotography.com.

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