It is that time of year where the words “gratitude”, “thanksgiving”, “grateful”, and “thankful” are all being thrown around as we enter into November and the American Thanksgiving holiday. Personally, gratitude is something that I practice all year long. I don’t need a specific season to identify and express gratitude for the experiences of my life and it makes me a happier and better person to practice gratitude continually.
However, like many memory keepers and storytellers, I also like to take part in a 30 Days of Gratitude challenge during the month of November. About 9 years ago I was having a really tough time in my life, dealing with lots of interpersonal relationships that were negatively impacting my every day and toxic people that I needed to separate from. Someone, somewhere shared the idea of 30 Days of Gratitude during the month of November and it really resonated with me at that time. What took place over that particular November was that I was able to identify lots of good that I had been overlooking, spend more time focusing on that good (which far outweighed the bad), and come to the realization that I could change the circumstances I was in. I severed ties with the toxic people I could and by the end of November, I felt lighter and happier. What I had realized was that the practice of seeking out and naming all the things I had in my life to be grateful for was transformational in my mindset, attitude, and responses to input (positive or negative). So I have continued with this project every year since.
As this November is just getting going, it’s definitely not too late to jump in if a challenge like this sounds interesting to you. I’ve created a list of places to look in your life for things to be grateful for. You can think of these as gratitude prompts that you can use throughout the month if you get stuck or feel like you’re repeating yourself day after day. I know I will be referring to this list throughout the month, and the whole year, as I continue my gratitude practice. For a PDF download of this list, scroll to the bottom of the page.