One Thing That Can Change Your Life Today
Feel Like Blooming Again
By Sarah Stokes
I think we may all have one. This article may be a reminder to go check on it.
It’s that plant in our home or office that gets neglected, maybe forgotten on a shelf, or even one that wilts completely before you gasp and remember to water it. There are plants that always seem to bounce back, no matter how careless we are with them.
Mine is a Peace Lily in my living room. This leafy little warrior has been with me for at least ten years. It was pretty well tended to before my kids and businesses came along. Over time the dirt got eroded and lost its nutrients, the roots started showing a bit, and the leaves would droop as they waited for me to notice, but she always comes back when I water her a little.
In her heyday, she’d sprout lovely white flowers.
She hasn’t bloomed in years.
Do you see the metaphor I’m planting here? (Yes, I love puns.)
We are all a bit like that plant. Perhaps we are doing our best to grow despite conditions. A sliver of sun, a sip of water, and we can power through another six months. We do this for a lifetime. It’s no wonder we often feel like we’re wilting.
So what’s the quickest route to re-energizing?
Have you ever been so grateful it just started leaking out of your eyes?
I was inspired to write this for you today because as I quietly stepped into my living room with my morning coffee, I noticed something.
Today, there is a little white flower on this plant. I started to cry out of pure gratitude. This plant has held its own for a decade of my crazy life, and it hasn’t asked for much from me. It felt like I needed to walk up and thank her. So I did. I just said it out loud. “Thank you so much for blooming.”
Gratitude truly is the key to happiness. I have written about many strategies for stress and success through the years, but this is the foundation for everything you want to build, create, or enjoy.
It doesn’t take any skill, except to stop and notice beauty, progress, and kindness.
We live amazingly complex lives. It’s bananas how much we do in one day. Yet, gratitude shines the most through the simplest things. It can be found when the birds are chirping, our heart beating on its own, through the sparkle in a baby’s eyes, or the smell of rain coming.
When you shift your mind to something you are grateful for, everything can change. If you’re in a particularly hard time in your day or life, it may take some effort to look around and find gratitude, but once you do, you’ll be on a roll. When we catch ourselves complaining, it’s so important for our hearts and mental health to flip it back to gratitude.
As my alarm goes off, before I put my feet on the floor to get out of bed in the morning, I rattle off at least three new things I’m grateful for in my life. (I’m grateful for the book, “Thank and Grow Rich” by Pam Grout that inspired me to start this practice.) It can be anything from my pillow to a warm house. This 12-second routine does more to set me up for success than anything else in my day. I’ve been doing it for years, and I can tell you it spares me from burnout most days. At supper, we go around the table and say something we’re grateful for, and in our staff meetings we wrap up with each team member declaring their gratitude. Gratitude roots us in the knowing that we are blessed, and all is well.
It is the soil, sun, and water for our souls.
Give yourself the gift of gratitude. Challenge yourself to get so darn grateful it leaks out of your eyes. In a funk? Crabby? Feeling rejected? Want to reach new heights in your life and career? Pour gratitude on so thick people think you are losing your marbles. Thank the trees you walk by, celebrate a friend with a text of gratitude, hug your family and fill them with all the ways you’re grateful for them! Write it down, say it out loud, or put it on your bathroom mirror in lipstick. Whatever feels juicy, do it. The more gratitude you plant, the more things to be grateful for start to grow.
All that’s left to do will be to bloom, baby, bloom.