Wow, what a crazy ride 2022 has been, in my personal life and throughout the rest of the world. War in Ukraine, inflation and recession fears, politics…it all can leave one angry, scared, and lost. In my personal life, I grappled with intense stress and fear of the unknown, and there were plenty of moments where I teetered on losing hope.
But we shouldn’t lose hope, even when it seems like there is nothing going right. One thing I found so incredibly helpful to my mental and emotional health through a very difficult summer was gratitude journaling and reflection. I focused my thoughts, especially when they turned dark, to the many things in my life that I am grateful for and used those reminders to anchor myself in a much better place.
Every year I choose the month of November, where we gather with family and friends to give thanks for our blessings, to focus on things to be grateful for as well as sharing those blessings with my community of family, friends, and strangers. I have found it a wonderful way to enter into the holidays and to make sure I am focused on the important things in my life and allow the things that don’t serve me, whether its dark thoughts, worries, fears, anxiety…and I let them go.
I invite you to join me on this journey and ease your way into these winter months, as our days become shorter and because of the holiday season, busier, and think about what you are grateful for every day. Perhaps you can share your gratitude with others or perhaps you need to keep it focused on your own life. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just begin.
Day one for me was going great until I-25 traffic caused a slip up but that was the only one. For the rest of the day, I was able to catch myself and choose another word that was just as descriptive.
Today in the Catholic church is All Souls Day, a day when we remember and pray for the repose of the souls of our loved ones that have passed. So today, I am going to recall my beloved father, who passed in October of 2020, and his sister, my Auntie M, who passed in February of 2004. They were both incredibly strong spirits, who laughed with gusto, yelled in anger with equal fervor, but always, always had my back no matter what. I miss them both so much and these past few months really brought their earthly absence to mind. Still, I felt their love and support just as I do as I write this blog post. I just wish I could have had one more day with each of them. But I am grateful for the many years I had with each one of them and so today I pray for the repose of both of their souls.
If you aren’t the journaling type or would like a different set of prompts to help you with your gratitude journey, there is a free app called Delightful that is a wonderful way to log your thoughts (you can use their prompts or just jot down your own.) It will remind you to think about what you are grateful for and I have found it very useful.
I am wishing you a wonderful November and hope that this practice brings you a measure of peace in this crazy world.
If you are in the Myrtle Beach area on the 9th, stop by Wine Therapy at 6pm for a wine tasting inspired by Thanksgiving. Click on the invite below to connect with the store.
Also, please tune into The Mandy Connell Show on iHeart 850 KOA on 18 November when she and I will be chatting about Thanksgiving wines and fun side dishes for your holiday table.
Until next time, choose gratitude over anger, kindness over fear, and light over dark.
Cheers and namaste,