Submitted by Iluba
Five years ago my husband and I decided to take the biggest leap of our lives. We resigned from our jobs, sold our belongings, and moved continents with 4 children in tow - the youngest 4 weeks old. Leading up to this leap, we were surrounded and led by so many occurrences that confirmed we were headed in the right direction. We experienced thinking about an idea, speaking it, and watching it come to pass in our lives. It was exhilarating. Something powerful was happening. There were so many challenges but equally, so many victories that it felt easy to be grateful. And confident. And positive. Then we moved. Leaped! A new pace of life. New culture. New language. New expectations. And did I mention a new baby?
Crash Landing. About a year into our new life was when I really started feeling lost. I was floating through the days of my own life like an unwanted apparition. I blamed the pace of life, the culture, the language, the expectations of who I was expected to be, strangers, my baby. I was just sad. Goodness, the lens through which you look at life is so vital. I saw very little good. I befriended a lady, a fellow parent at the children's school. I would see her daily posts on WhatsApp...always on gratitude. Every single day without fail she would post either encouragement to look for things to be grateful for, things she was grateful for, or a quote on gratitude. At first, I thought, "Goodness, what a hyper person! I'm sure she'll soon bore of this." But no, she persisted.
After almost 2 years of reading these gratitude posts, I finally decided to look into what all this gratitude stuff was about. It sounded good and much better than moping about so I decided to give it a try - to post one thing I was grateful for every day starting November 2019. I did this all through 2020 and am still doing it now. I don't know how it happened or when it happened but how I process things around me started to change. My lens started to change. My internal voice. My expectations. How I felt about others and most importantly, how I felt about myself. I discovered the Gratitude app mid-last year and it helped me to couple my daily gratitude with a supporting quote.
I started getting feedback from friends. If I didn't post because I fell asleep or I had no WiFi, they would reach out to me to see if I was okay. A couple of friends started posting their gratitude posts daily too. The mental image that I get of all this is how when one match is lit, it spreads the light to the next and the next and the next in a domino fashion. I know I risk sounding like a horrible cliche commercial but intentionally practicing gratitude in my life has enhanced my life. Returned my life to me.
On the absolutely most grey days, I have always been able to find something to be thankful for. On one particularly horrid day, I posted, I am thankful that no parent ever died as a result of children's tantrums! It had been that kind of day. I am forging forward on my journey. This year I have incorporated vision boards into my journey. I can't wait to see where I will be at the end of 2020. Thankful, no doubt.