I think on some level we all realize that we should be grateful for what we have, but how many of us actually take the time to do just that?
I saw this quote the other day and it struck me to my core.
“Someone else is praying for the things you take for granted”
It stopped me in my tracks. It made me think about the unknown person who wrote it. Were they suddenly waking up to all the things they had been taking for granted? Or were they the one praying for something? Desperate for their prayers to be answered.
I felt inspired and I did some googling about gratitude practices. I did some research on the science behind gratitude and then I sat down and did the work.
How exactly does one go about being grateful for what you have?
I was inspired to create a gratitude portfolio. Listing the top five things that I felt grateful for with a short description about why these particular things made my list.
I found it to be an incredibly powerful practice and I hope this post leaves you ready to give it a try! I’ll share my list with you below along with some of my favorite strategies as to how you might begin to cultivate gratitude in these areas.
My Gratitude List
#1 My Health
I am thankful every single day for my health, because let’s be honest- without this nothing else would be possible. As healthcare providers we see everyday how quickly our health and our independence can be taken away. I experienced this devastation firsthand when my otherwise healthy 56 year old Mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer out of nowhere. I am reminded everyday how blessed I am to be healthy and whole.
On days when everything else feels wrong, I try really hard to bring myself back.
Being grateful for what you have.
To me that means soaking in and appreciating my ability to walk and to talk. My ability to provide for my family, to care for my daughter and to love my husband. Sometimes it’s easy to take it for granted and I get complacent. We all do.
Today, I encourage you to ask yourself if you’re doing everything in your power to stay healthy? What’s one small change you could make today towards better health? Shoot me a message and let me cheer you on!
#2 The Opportunity To Learn
I love nothing more than learning and exploring new things. When I stopped working as a travel PT, settling into the routine of a full time job and being a full time Mom was really hard for me. I often felt stuck. Like I was missing out on something. Continuing to grow as a person and as a provider is one of the things that keeps me going.
Having the technology to be able to connect with others from around the world and to consume an endless abundance of information is such a gift. I never feel bored and it helps to steady my tendency towards unrest.
What have you learned lately? I just finished (and highly recommend) this free course, Resilience Skills in a Time of Uncertainty, offered by the University of Pennsylvania.
I am in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds me. Even on bad days, I am able to go outside (or even look out the window) and experience something amazing. It’s easy to take for granted, but it is always there.
I have focused on cultivating my ability to really see and experience the natural world around me, even if it’s on my drive to work or during a short walk at lunchtime. A mindful scavenger hunt in nature with my daughter has become a go to strategy for soothing my soul after a long week.
I am very lucky to live in a place where nature is easily accessible and available. If that’s not the case for you, don’t fret. Science suggests that many of the benefits of being in nature, such as decreasing stress, muscle tension and blood pressure can actually be achieved via virtual forest bathing.
Check out one of my favorite forest bathing videos or join a guided walk here.
For years I struggled with sleep. Night after night of insomnia, sleeping pills and fear. Day after day of feeling bleary eyed and fighting off chronic migraines. Every night when my head hits the pillow I am thankful.
I am comforted by the fact that I have changed my relationship with sleep. That I have a plan and feel confident that I am going to be able to get the rest I need in order to do the things that I really love.
Do you struggle with sleep? Check out this Yoga Nidra for Sleep, an essential part of my nighttime routine, or read my full sleep story here.
#5 My Daughter
I had never planned to be a Mom. It feels weird to say it out loud, but she has been the greatest “unanswered prayer” of my life. I’d be lying if I said it has been all rainbows and butterflies. We had a really hard birth, I was terrified to take her home. And I felt terribly unprepared for the journey that was before me.
I had lost my own Mom. I worked full time and I had goals and dreams of my own.
Little did I know that none of this mattered. Being a Mom has been the greatest gift of my life. It has challenged me to the core and opened my heart in ways that I didn’t know were possible.
She is ultimately who made me The Resilient Rehab Mama.
She is hands down the number one thing that has inspired me to create this site to help others who are committed to being powerful and having an impact as healthcare providers and parents.
Being Grateful for what you have
Being grateful for what you have may sound simple or like common sense, but I have found it to be more of an art. For me, I struggled with feeling like gratitude equaled satisfaction, or even complacent. To me, it almost felt like being done. Yet, there was this part of me that was always striving. Growing and wanting more.
Oprah Winfrey said “be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.”
I’ve learned that this couldn’t be more true. By focusing on and offering gratitude for those things that I do have my world has blossomed, my experiences have felt richer and I have continued to grow.
As always, remember that I’m right here growing along with you. If you’re ready to start being grateful for what you have let me know!