It’s Thanksgiving week in America, which means that EVERYONE is telling us how grateful we should be.
Moment of truth: I’m just not feeling it.
It’s not that I don’t feel very thankful for my life, my experiences, my people, and my privilege – it’s just that I don’t like being told how I should feel and I don’t like feeling like a failure when I can’t access that warm, gooey place of gratitude all the time.
My main issue with gratitude is that it’s often framed in a way where you need to focus on what you’re grateful for exclusively… and ignore everything that isn’t going so hot right now.
And let’s be honest – there are some years,days, moments, when life just sucks.
“Screw that,” he said. “Stop doing that immediately. It’s [the] last thing you need. You need to make an Ingratitude List. You should be PISSED. Your life’s honestly kind of sh*tty right now. I’m not saying there’s no bright spots, but you need to stop trying to pretend you’re not in pain. You need to make a “This Sucks Ass” list.”
- Create a Mindfulness Ritual: This is one of my favorites. I have signs and symbols that I use throughout the day to remind me to be present in the moment. For example, when a certain time comes on the clock (I use angel numbers – 111, 222, 333, etc.), I use it as a reminder to take a big, deep breath, notice what’s happening around me, and say a word of thanks. Some others I’ve heard are creating a ritual when you walk into your front door or when a phone rings. The sign or symbol is whatever feels right to you – set an intention that you’ll be looking for it and follow through when you see it.
- Use Your Computer Password: Make your passwords phrases that are meaningful. Maybe it’s a reminder about the way you want to act or something that triggers a moment of reflection for you.
- Write it Down: Whether is a grateful or ingrateful list (or maybe a mix of both!), the act of writing down things can provide a great opportunity to reflect. It’s also nice to be able to look back over the months and see what’s changed.
- High, Low, Buffalo: My friend Lauren shared this great game with me that’s easy to play around the dinner table with kids or at work with your team. Every person has a chance to share a high point, a low point, and anything else they want to (a “buffalo”).