Cultivating a Spirit of Gratitude: 10 Things I’m Thankful For

Cultivating a spirit of gratitude. 10 things i'm thankful for
“Give thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
November is the month of gratitude and during this time of giving thanks, I wanted to take a moment to cultivate a spirit of gratitude and acknowledge a few things that I’m thankful for. Often times, I’ll endlessly complain about the troubles and adversities of life and weighed down by these negative aspects. When I start taking stock and appreciate all the little things that are going well and working in my favor, it helps to ease the worries and anxiety. With Thanksgiving a day away, it felt appropriate to take the time to express my gratitude and give thanks for everything that’s happened so far in 2019. This year has had its share of ups and downs but in all things, I give thanks. Here are 10 reasons why I’m feeling thankful during this holiday season.
1. First and foremost, I’m thankful for my life and being able to wake up each day with a roof over my head, food on my table and a stable secure job. These are some of the little things I often overlook that is so vital to how I live. There are people who didn’t make it this far in the year or are facing extreme hardship in their lives. Recognizing that I’ve been fortunate in having a fairly easy life humbles me in so many ways. 
2. A supportive spouse/partner and celebrating a year of marriage. My husband is always there to be an ear to listen to and a shoulder to cry on. He calls me out when I need a reality check and provides guidance in moments of doubt. He’s been a source of strength throughout this year and I thank God I have him in my life.
3. Making new friendships and connections. It always brings me joy when I meet genuinely good people who I can share my interests with. I’ve gotten out of my shell a bit and meet new people while reconnecting with some old friends. I’m thankful for the people who’ve remained in my life and been there through thick and thin and for the friendships that’s continued to thrive over the years.
4. Finding the courage to start a business. It’s been slow the past couple of months with my new business and there are many hurdles left to overcome but nonetheless, I’ve managed to persevere and taken a leap of faith by putting myself and For Tha Masses out there. I’m figuring things as I go and pushing through the growing pains of building a business. Quite frankly, I’m proud of my progress! I believe in my ideas and this mission so I’m confident that over time this will get easier.  
5. Good mental and physical health. I experienced my share of lows throughout the year and I’m thankful I managed to push through those difficult times. I took the necessary steps to look after myself and took the time to figure things out on my own terms. As a result, I feel more optimistic about the direction I’m heading and clearly see that life is better than the false narratives I sometimes tell myself. Expressing gratitude alongside self-compassion has greatly helped with this.
Cultivating a spirit of gratitude. 10 things i'm thankful for
6. Building my spiritual walk. At the beginning of the year, I decided I wanted to read my bible every morning and incorporate that habit into my morning routine. I’m thankful I stuck to it because reading the scripture daily has brought me closer to God and strengthened my faith. It’s helped me gain a better understanding of life and given me resilience not to worry so much. At the end of the day, God’s got me covered and he never disappoints.  
7. Finding a new church. A couple of months back, I was voicing my frustration about the church I was attending to my manager. She recommended I visit a church she used to attend because she felt it was a place that would resonate with me. Heeding to her recommendation, I decided to check it out that weekend. To my surprise, she was absolutely correct! I’ve been regularly attending church again and I couldn’t be happier. It’s so refreshing to attend a church that helps me form a deeper relationship with Christ and offers guidance with dealing with everyday challenges. This is the first church I’ve been to that I deeply feel I belong to and I’m looking forward to growing with them. 
8. Getting out of credit card debt. A few weeks ago, I officially paid off the last of my credit card debt and it feels so good to be free from that burden. I’m thankful I had the means to prioritize paying off my debt. With that expense eliminated, I now have more income to be put towards paying off student loans and investing in the business. This was a huge weight off my shoulders and I’m thankful that I held it together long enough to see this through.
9. Learning how to put trust in myself. Being vulnerable enough to trust in your decisions takes a great deal of patience, courage, faith, and determination. Over the past few years, my ability to trust myself wasn’t my strong suit. I scrutinized every decision I made and was rarely consistent in seeing things through. This year, I decided to go for it and let the chips fall where they may. I started executing my ideas and slowly saw progress. I turned failure into learning opportunities and came back to the challenge with a new perspective and a great return. I figured out how to turn doubt into action and stop letting fear rule my life. Learning how to let go and trust is a process and I’m still getting the hang of things. This is a lesson I will continue to face throughout life but I’m thankful I managed to learn how to let go and simply trust. Failing is not the end.
10. I’m thankful for what comes next. Wherever life leads me in the year to come, I accept it with open arms and a grateful heart. I will continue to show up, trust the process, and accept that failure is a part of slow progress. I’m welcome all that life has in store for me and will continue to be grateful in all circumstances.

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