We are halfway through June already, so I wanted to share my updates from the entire month of May, a little delayed this month…
The month of May was a month full of gratitude, as I created a Gratitude Challenge for WellBeing With Erika & Bridget, one of the Facebook groups I run with psychologist (and my co-author and collaborator) Dr. Erika Penney of Foresight Psychology. I also posted the challenge each day on instagram.
The challenge was to actively and consciously practice gratitude for every day in the month of May. It began with naming one thing to feel grateful for on Day 1, two things on Day 2, three things on Day 3, all the way up to 31 things on May 31st.
I would like to share some of the things I wrote about as part of my gratitude practice. I haven’t written out every journal entry below (as there were a lot of them; 31 in total!) but I have kept track of quite a lot of what I wrote as a nice summary for the month of May.
Here it is…
- Horses In The Fields Outside Our Windows.
- Bright Red Double Decker Buses & Bright Yellow Fields Of Gold – Both Of Which Remind Us We Are Now Living In England.
- Spring Flowers, Green Grass, & Sunshine.
- Blue Skies, The Rainbows That Come After The Rain, Walks In The Cool Air, & Yoga – Which Leaves Me Feeling Energized & Renewed.
- Podcasts, Books, Documentaries, Knowledge, & Learning. We Have A Lot To Be Grateful For When It Comes To Technology & Education.
- Cloud-Watching, Hot Tea, Friendship, Herbs From The Garden, Walks In The Fields, & The Massive Furry Bumble Bees That Fascinate My Three Year Old.
- My Husband, My Kids, My Best Friend, Our “Sunny” Sunroom, Chilli Peppers, Traveling Around The World, Classical Music On The Car Radio.
- The Internet – Which Allows Me To Stay In Touch With People From Around The World, Old-Fashioned Snail Mail Which I Love, Postcards, Sending & Receiving Packages, Photos, Happy Memories, Lavender Bubble Bath, & My Beautiful Moisturizer (Golden Pear & Brown Sugar).
- The Look Of Pure Joy On My Two Sons’ Faces As They Take A Bubble Bath Together, Clean Drinking Water, Receiving Presents In The Post For The Kids, Writing Thank You Cards To Our Friends And Family Which I Always Love To Do, The Huge Range Of Flowers Here In The English Springtime, Eating Out At Cafes And Restaurants, Take-out Food When We Are Too Tired To Cook, The Feeling Of Yoga Stretches First Thing In The Morning & After A Long Day, Getting Wiser With Age.
- Contact Lenses, Electricity, Hot Water, Supportive Friends, Modern Medicine, Shampoo, My Son’s Preschool Teacher, Watching Baby Learn New Skills Each Day, Exploring More Of England, Pizza!!
- Seat Heaters In The Car On These Cold & Windy Days, Giant Raspberries, The Chickens & Rabbits At Preschool, The Lizard & Tadpoles At Preschool, The Sound Of The Rain, Emailing Friends Around The World, The Group Of Friends In My Online Mums’ Group, Refreshing Lemonade, My List Of Current & Future Goals, My Wonderful Collaborator Erika, Reading Autobiographies & Memoirs.
And some highlights from the rest of the month:
My Cook Books, Collecting Treasures From The Garden, Good Music, Our Front & Back Gardens, Good Conversations, Travel, New Adventures, Home-Cooked Meals, Raspberries!, Hot Tea, Iced Tea, Just How Much Gratitude Is the Bringer Of Joy, Road Trips Through The USA, Just Being Alive!, Walks In The British Countryside, Preventative Healthcare, The Valuable Lessons I Have Learned, Lemon Water To Start The Day Off Right, Fresh Tomatoes, Finding Balance, Finding Meaning, Accepting All Emotions: Good & Bad, Sitting With Difficult Emotions, Resilience, Strength, Triumph Over Adversity, Courage, Yoga, Flowers, Meaning, Values, Purpose, Flexibility, Goals & Dreams, New Ideas, Moments Of Silence, Growth, Knowledge, Wisdom, Writing, Reading, Family Time, Weekends, Sleep, Good News From Friends, Warm Weather, Freedom Of Expression, Contentment, Self-Awareness.
Below is Day 22, which I mostly dedicated to all the authors and thought leaders that have meant so much to me over recent times:
A Beautiful Library Book From Preschool, Quality Time With My One Year Old, Hugs With My Three Year Old, The Many Role Models, Wise Authors, Thought Leaders, & Psychology Researchers Who Have Inspired Me Throughout My Life; Mark Epstein, Sarah Napthali, Sharon Salzburg, Richard Davidson, Koshin Paley Ellison, Robert Chodo Campbell, Jay Michaelson, Sam Harris, Brad Warner, Judson Brewer, A Special Shout-Out For The Book & Podcast 10% Happier By Dan Harris, Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence), The Minimalists: Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, Jon Kabat-Zinn (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), Keith Stanovich (How To Think Straight About Psychology), Harriet Lerner, Another Huge Shout-Out For Brene Brown (Daring Greatly), Klosko & Young (Reinventing Your Life).
I continued with this exercise right up to Day 31, and on the final day, I dedicated my gratitude challenge to 31 different people through a loving-kindness meditation (and so thankful to Erika for posting this meditation to our page). You can think of anyone and everyone when doing this meditation; friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, strangers, neighbours, pets/animals, all beings/all living creatures, difficult people, people who are no longer living – whoever you would like to spend time thinking about (and wishing them well).
If you have never done your own gratitude practice, I hope the examples above can show you that it can begin very simply, and you can be thankful for small things (or big things), people, events, or whatever it is you could possibly think of, from the birds singing to taking a warm bath.
Try adding a gratitude practice to your daily life and see how it makes you feel!
You may find you are soon looking for many different things every day that bring so much happiness and peace to your life.
See you again soon,