Starting the New Year with Gratitude. Grateful for a new day, another sunrise, another new year, new joys, and new challenges. Grateful for all of it.
2023 was a year full of lessons, heartache, loss, and grief. And if you know me and you don’t know that part of my 2023, I’m here to tell you that the way I got through last year was with gratitude.
It’s a practice taught to me years ago by my yoga teacher and friend, Diana, and while it’s evolved over the years, it’s one thing I know that makes my life better.
When something “bad” happens, it’s my gratitude practice that helps me through. I look for the “good” in my life and say “thank you” to everyone and everything that makes my life better. It doesn’t take the “bad” away, but it sure does put it in perspective.
And when I’m ready, I look for the good in the “bad”.
I’ll give you an example that just happened on our road trip to Colorado to ski over the winter break:
While driving through Utah, we were in the middle of nowhere and we hit some debris on the road and it blew a giant hole in one of our tires. Eek!
It was an area where we had no cell service, cars drive 85+mph, and we were miles from anything.
And in a past life, I might have chalked it up to my “bad luck” and wondered why these kinds of things “always happen to me”.
But after years of gratitude practice, after we pulled over and saw the flat tire, my first thought was: “Well, this is a bummer but at least it’s a beautiful day and not cold or raining or snowing.” And then as we changed the tire, I thanked my husband (out loud) for having a full-size spare and for checking to make sure it had air before we left. And then as we were changing the tire, I actually felt gratitude for the flat tire because I don’t think I had ever changed a flat – it was nice to assist my husband and learn how to do it. Now, I’ll be prepared if that ever happens to me when I’m on my own.
We can be grateful for it all, even the things we didn’t plan for or didn’t think would ever happen.
One of my favorite quotes is this one from Wayne Dyer: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Gratitude changed that situation in the moment and because it has changed so many moments, it has changed my life.
Which reminds me of another of my favorite quotes from Annie Dillard: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Wishing you a beautiful 2024 – may you can feel gratitude for it all and may you find the good (or maybe just the lesson) in every situation.