With American Thanksgiving less than a week away (how did this happen!!), I wanted to share more ideas with you on practicing gratitude, year-round. (On Wednesday I talked about doing a gratitude alphabet. )
For instance, this month, Laura Simms, a career coach whose work I greatly admire, has been hosting a photo challenge on Instagram called “the daily bon.” (You can learn all about it here.) I shared the above photo for the prompt “handwriting.”
Gratitude is a self-compassionate practice, according to therapist Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, who I recently interviewed for a piece on authentic ways to practice gratitude.
“Acknowledging and expressing genuine gratitude for what you appreciate in your life is a deeply kind act,” she said.
I agree. When we express gratitude for anything, it deepens our connection with it, and it deepens our connection with ourselves.
In addition to sharing links to others’ posts on self-care (along with a few of my own) in these “Self-Care Sunday” posts, I also sometimes share a small tip or idea for taking kinder care of ourselves.
The holidays can be a stressful time. There are extra responsibilities, on top of our regular responsibilities. There are strong emotions swirling inside our bodies, possibly a combination of deep joy and deep grief.
We may have unrealistic expectations about everything going perfectly. And start getting disappointed when they don’t.
“Our bodies know they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless.”
~ John O’Donohue
The above quote is part of Anna’s #CurvyLoveNotes, which she shares on Instagram. It inspired the below words:
I believe each of us is creative. From birth.
Julia Cameron believes that each of us is a writer. Also from birth.
“I believe we all come into life as writers,” she writes in her book The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life.
We are born, she writes, with the gift of language. This gift comes to us within months, as we start naming people, objects, our surroundings.
In addition to sharing links to others’ posts on self-care (along with a few of my own) in these “Self-Care Sunday” posts, I’m also occasionally sharing a small tip or idea for taking kinder care of ourselves.
A few weeks ago I shared a journal prompt for getting to know ourselves better. Because self-care starts with self-reflection. Today’s tip is a similar prompt, inspired by Mara’s beautiful post, “I am.”
I can’t tell you how much I love this post from Jennifer Louden (whose work is incredible, and you guys know I link to her pieces regularly). In it she talks about the importance of being stubborn.
Jen has penned six non-fiction books, plenty of essays and a magazine column for three years, among other projects. Today, she consistently writes powerful posts on her blog (and elsewhere), and continues to write excellent books.
All of this writing, however, isn’t easy for Jen. Yet she doesn’t stop — despite her own inner critic or the negative comments of others. She writes:
This month marks five years since I started writing Weightless. (This was my first post published on November 2nd 2009.) Five years! Wow. It’s cliche, but true: Time flies.
Like I do every year, I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned along the way from writing this blog and living this life.
1. Our bodies aren’t currency.
In this new series I share links to all kinds of posts, which explore taking kinder care of ourselves — from appreciating our bodies to getting to know ourselves better to expressing our creativity (which goes hand in hand with self-discovery) to feeling our feelings to saying no to saying yes to savoring supportive, healthy relationships.
Because self-care helps us build a more positive body image. Because self-care helps us build fulfilling, satisfying lives. Because self-care simply feels good!
I hope you find these links inspiring and empowering.
10 questions for giving up martyrdom.
Such a wonderful perspective on others criticizing our work!
This isn’t the first time this happened. Years ago, weeks ago, you issued the same pleas in the form of an aching back. First it started with a pinch, a whisper. This week it was an all-out roar.
The act of bending down was dicey. Walking fully upright didn’t feel very good. Rolling over in bed took effort (and produced pain). Walking too quickly triggered spasms (and a shout of “ouch!” inside my brain).
You know that I love a challenging workout. I love how empowered I feel after doing many push-ups. It is a reminder that I am strong. Every push-up shatters the stories my brain has spun for years of not being an athlete, of being awkward, of being weak.