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Wellness Through Gratitude

The more gratitude we have in our lives, the less room we have for fear...

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The more gratitude we have in our lives, the less room we have for fear…

As we head into the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend with American Thanksgiving not far behind, many of us take this time to reflect on the year and the things we are grateful for.  For some this may be a little more challenging given the world and environment with which we are currently living.  We’ve experienced job loss, loss of businesses and illness affecting family members and friends.  Some have had to manage work from home while becoming a teacher to help their children learn from home and others have risked their lives every day as front-line workers to keep us safe.  Our fear-based behaviours have created pressures on relationships and our emotional wellbeing leading to three times more depression based on a recent Boston University Study.    

But it’s not all doom and gloom!  Despite so much uncertainty, there has been a lot of good that has come during this time as well. The world has never been more beautiful, the earth never as healthy, the air so crisp and pure, the beaches never cleaner, the water so bright and clear and many people have used this time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life, strengthen family relationships, connect with nature, reflect and get grounded.   

I would never downplay the seriousness of this pandemic and its effect on world health and the global economy but like anything else in life, pre-Covid and post, we always have a choice about how we choose to react to situations we are faced with and when we can move past the fear, it’s just that much easier to be grateful for all the good we have in our lives.   When we are grateful, we cannot be fearful.  Gratitude is an emotion that comes from the heart, from love.  We have two primal emotions from which all others emanate – fear and love and the two cannot coexist.  When we live from a place of gratitude and love, we are not feeding fear and eventually, like any living organism, when we stop feeding it, it will cease to exist.  So if you haven’t already folded gratitude into your lives, then what are you waiting for – there’s no time like the present! 

To get this gratitude train rolling, l’d love to share three of the things I have been especially grateful for this year 

  1. Family and friends who fill my heart.   

2020 marked my 50th year of life on this fine earth and like everyone else who reached milestones this year, plans of a grandeur celebration were quickly put to rest.  It would have been easy to skip any celebration and chalk it up to another “Covid” loss but not my circle.  They went out of their way to make me feel special and loved every minute in the weeks leading up to the “big day” from random gifts showing up at my door to lawn ornaments, balloons, small outdoor celebrations filled with love, laughter and of course, cake and well wishes from across the world flooded in through social, calls and texts. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  I am so grateful for all my family and friends.  We’ve helped each other through some of the tougher times this year and I am super proud of my children for their strength and resilience.  When I think of all the beautiful people in my life, my heart is always full.  

2. Music that makes me feel with every ounce of my being 

I am a huge music lover.  I love to sing (much to my family’s chagrin) and dance all the time.  In the absence of live music, I’ve taken to tapping into some of the older playlists on my phone.  One day as I was cleaning my house and bopping along to the music, I suddenly tuned into the song that was radiating through my speakers.  It was “December” by Collective Soul, and it stopped me in my tracks. I closed my eyes and started to feel the music, really feel the music. It was like time stood still. There was nowhere I needed to be, there was no worry of the past and no stress of the future, I was simply here, in the now. As the words permeated through my heart and tears gently kissed my cheeks, I surrendered to the moment. I generally practice being present but now, in this moment, I felt like I had graduated from thinking about being present with my head to surrendering myself to the now with my heart and soul. This moment in time, this 4 minute and 45 second song rocked my world that day. I have heard the song a hundred times before, but on this day, I truly heard it with every ounce of my being and for that, I am profoundly grateful. 

3.  The way the beauty in the world raises my vibration 

I’m not sure if it’s because the ecosystem is changing or if I am simply more aware or a combination of both but I have never seen so much natural beauty in my life as I have this past summer. Back to back full double rainbows three times in a matter of 3 weeks (around my birthday no less, thank-you Universe), fire sky sunsets, fall colours so vibrant and bright, hummingbirds, dragonflies and butterflies so plentiful and calming.  I spent hours this summer in my back yard, lying on the deck getting lost in the clouds. The sky like a virtual piece of art, constantly changing and moving, never seeing the same canvass twice.   I allowed myself to be enveloped by the forest. Listening to the sounds in the woods, feeling the bark of the trees, smelling the scent of the moss and watching the sunlight boldly peak over tree tops above.  The vibrational energy running through every ounce of my body while feeling grounded and safe.  Some of the most beautiful experiences ever.  

 There are so many things to be grateful for.  The air we breathe, the blood that pumps through our veins, the clothes we wear, the shelter that keeps us warm and safe.  Gratitude doesn’t always have to be about a set practice through journaling or meditation.  Just uttering the words “I have so much to be grateful for” or even simply saying “thank you” is enough to fill the heart. 

When we practice gratitude, we open ourselves up to forgiveness and understanding of ourselves and of others, which in turn guides us to weave more compassion into our lives. Having compassionate conversations and being compassionate with ourselves and others has never been more crucial.  We are living in times of uncertainty, volatility and fear. We have never been so isolated and alone while at the same time so interconnected.  Connected by the circumstances with which we face, connected through a common cause and common goals of maintaining our livelihood, our physical and mental wellbeing and striving to come out on the other side of this virus thriving and stronger than ever before.   

If you’re interested in learning more about living life through a lens of compassion, be sure to subscribe to my website at tammiekip.com to receive information on how to tap into my “Wellness through Compassion” Virtual Masterclass launching soon! There will be an opportunity to access this 5-part series free, for a limited time only, so subscribe today for your chance to get in front of the line! 

Wishing all of my Canadian friends a wonderful thanksgiving filled with gratitude and love. 

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