If I had to dig real deep and try and find some gratitude for the rollercoaster that has been 2020, it’s that we had more time to reflect. The space to look at our lives and work out what we truly need to be happy. Health, support networks, being able to work, and where we live, all seemed to carry an enormous weight in our ability to endure.
It’s been a time to acknowledge and give thanks for these things as our stillness illuminated what is truly important. One tool I was glad I had to help me was gratitude. Since The Grateful Hearts Club launched in 2019, I’ve been practising, sharing, and talking about gratitude pretty much non-stop. It is so present in my life that it’s trained my brain to view each situation and find some positives (admittedly this skill has and continues to be tested to its limits). This habit already got me through some really dark chapters, but this was another test and I was reminded of its power all over again.
Through sadness and struggle I discovered that gratitude has given me a unique way of finding even the smallest joy (crumbs of joy is how I refer to them). It might be a sunrise, birdsong, or a smile from a stranger but each time I notice joy I take a few minutes to give thanks for it. You see, when you start to notice these small joys, you start to see them more. In our old lives they may be things you overlook, small moments that get swept up in the busyness of a day. But, when you take the time to notice them (and better still, engage in them), you have an awakened sense of what makes you feel happy.
In our current upside-down world, you can’t afford to discount these small joys, because a few can really add up! I love that when you realise what brings you joy, you’re better able to add more of these things to your life. This in turn encourages a sense of optimism that there can be joy, and that the choice is with us to use gratitude to see it.
Not a solution to the suffering and uncertainty, but a positive way of thinking that could help encourage a little happiness on an otherwise grey day. I’m working really hard not to lose sight of these crumbs, and do what I can to stay grateful for them. So, on a day where the question ‘What are you grateful for?’ seems like a stretch, ask yourself ‘What has brought you joy?’ and give some thanks around that.
If you’d like to learn more about gratitude, Charla hosts regular on-line gratitude workshops and shares tips to help find joy. Check out www.thegratefulheartsclub.com or follow @thegratefulheartsclub for more details.
Photos by @libertyphotographyuk