Practice Gratitude

For a while now, I have joined two organic groups. We meet virtually every week and sometimes every two weeks. One group is with two other professional women (Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither and Dr. Shana LeGrant). We all work in some part of education and we all have side businesses (aka “side hustles”). From our virtual conversations, we give each other ideas on ways to move forward, professionally, and we encourage each other when things don’t always go our way.

The other group is a women’s bible study that formed out of women acquaintances. We have now become fast friends/sisters. None of us are theologians, but we have a desire to understand the bible more and talk about it, the characters, and its relation to our lives- free of judgement. Last week, which was also a hard week for me, these two groups focused on one topic: GRATITUDE.

Close up of gratitude word with pen on notebook

In both groups, at least one woman discussed starting a gratitude journal or practice, its purpose, and how much the rest of us should try it. We talked about gratitude writing prompts, meditating on things that we are grateful for, and how that practice changes our mindsets for the day.  Of course, as humans, we usually don’t start doing something important until a crisis hits. Well, by last Thursday, I was feeling my worst, and that’s when I decided to do something different- I quickly wrote the things that I was grateful for. At first, it was slow writing. Then, I had a list of 5, 10, then 15 things. When I finished writing, I had 38 things (people, experiences, etc.) that I was grateful for.

This reminds me a lot about leadership and our roles in life. Often, it’s important to take moments to recognize what we’re thankful for in order to 1) truly reflect on the wonderful and miraculous parts of our lives, but also 2) to humble us and put things into perspective. As I read over the 38 items, the things that once seemed disastrous didn’t seem that way anymore. They simply seemed like another obstacle for me to work through.

If you’ve never tried it, start with a gratitude prompt to get those mental juices flowing.

Keep leading and be safe,

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sydney, how nice that the topic of gratitude revealed itself in multiple spaces just when you needed it the most. Gratitude journaling has become an essential part of my daily practice. I start my day with just a couple of sentences, and this grounds me for the day ahead.

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