Gratitude can change your attitude!
If this is the only sentence I write this month, it should suffice. It is the best advice I can give, and it’s not even mine.
Nearly 15 years ago, I was introduced to gratitude as a daily concept, almost by accident. You see, I wasn’t feeling grateful for my 35-year-old body (my 48-year-old body really wants to punch me for that!!!) and was speaking to someone that had great strong arms. I asked her, “What do you do?” I almost fell off my chair when she said Pilates and yoga (again this was almost 15 years ago!). Wait, “So, I am wasting time lifting weights?” I muttered to myself (albeit, at the time, I was lifting more donuts than weights), but still she was doing yoga, getting fit and obtaining nirvana—whoa!!
So, I tried it—yoga—and you know what? At first it wasn’t truly for me, but I kept at it and ended up finding a local hot Pilates studio. The owner, Beth King, would close the class asking us to think of three things we are grateful for. I laid in my sweat thinking sort of cheekily, “I’m grateful I finally found a class I like.” But then I smiled, and I thought: “I am grateful for my family, and I am grateful for my health. And you know what? Since it seems this teacher is going to have us lay here a little longer, I am going to list a few more things.”
This is something we are told to do all the time, right? Be grateful? Yet, I promise it was truly a novel concept for me back then—before Facebook happiness memes and happiness self-help books became mainstream, and well before Chip and Joanna Gaines showed us beautiful “give thanks” farmhouse décor that we all HAD to have displayed in our homes!!
I left that class blown away! You may be thinking, “Gratitude? Jeez, I know that, Kelly!” You may know that, but do you literally practice that, like you practice yoga or Pilates? Gratitude is almost cliché because it’s EVERYWHERE—to the point that we may be becoming immune to it. The truth is just because I am wearing yoga pants, doesn’t mean I practiced that day. Similarly, just because we know gratitude is important, doesn’t mean we practice living a life of gratitude. Therefore, I am reminding you (and me) not to forget to practice living your life with gratitude.
My little publisher letter in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday is a simple one this month. I am going to ask you, like Beth asked me all those many years ago before gratitude was a bumper sticker, to close your eyes and think of three things you are grateful for. (I’ll wait.) Notice how the sides of your mouth can’t help but turn upward toward the sky.
Now, take that smile with you and share that grateful energy with all the folks you encounter. Yup, even the assholes. Because as grateful as we are, there will always be assholes☺. Let gratitude be your kryptonite. If someone is rude, disrespectful or opinionated, before you hop into their fire, remind yourself of two things. Number one: Hopping into their energy will only alter yours. Number two? Remind yourself of the list of things you are grateful for, smirk (they hate that) and walk away. Or simply share this letter with them. They will be grateful, I’m sure!!
Kelly Martinsen, Publisher