The holiday season is here. The stress of getting every detail completed before the big day is at a peak and many of us wonder if it will actually come together. The “to do” list is as long as your arm and Christmas seems more like work than joy, love, peace and happiness.
I hit a peak last night while wrapping Christmas gifts at 10:00 pm as the “to do” list in my head was replaying itself over and over. How was I possibly going to get everything done with a 4 year old bouncing off the walls and a new baby in my arms. My list seemed never ending: preparing the house, cooking Christmas dinner, last minute gift shopping…… I was driving myself into a holiday stress frenzy.
There is no one that should be more grateful than me this Christmas. I have been blessed with a beautiful baby boy that we just adopted weeks ago and I was forgetting to take the time every day just to be grateful. I needed perspective and I found it through this video of one person that is so selfless and giving I wanted to share it with you.
It reminded me what Christmas is really about – giving with your heart, being grateful for all you have and counting each blessing as it comes into your day. Narayana Krishnan the gentleman featured for his remarkable work in the video reminded me of just that – he reminded me to stop trying to make Christmas “Martha Stewart” perfect and reflect on my life for all it’s blessings.
I was inspired by Tina Sue this morning from Think Simple Now by a post entitled 20 Ways to Be Grateful. The article in worth a read and will inspire you to find the things in your life you are grateful for and how to share those thoughts with those around you. The greatest gift you could give this holiday season is not the perfectly wrapped present under the tree. Instead try looking your best friend, your brother, your mother. your neighbour, your children – even your pet right in the eye and telling them how grateful you are for them in your life. Here are some of my favourite quotes on being grateful this holiday season.
- The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. The more grateful you are the more you will get. Oprah
- God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward
- Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern
- If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart
- You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. ~G.K. Chesterton
- If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. ~Gerald Good
- Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. ~Author Unknown
- Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward
We all have times in our life when we go looking for happiness.
We want that magic pill that will suddenly make the world light up in front of our eyes.
Some think its money that will bring happiness: The ability to buy happiness in the form of a new pair of shoes, a new house or maybe a long vacation would be the key. .
Some think it’s the “perfect” romantic love in your life: That feeling of a first kiss, a first date, the flutter of your heart as it falls head over heels “in love.”
Some even think fame is the magic pill to happiness: Being recognized by millions, your name shouted from a red carpet or fans clamoring to get a picture.
We look so far out of ourselves for happiness. We look to others, we look to possessions, we look for that secret remedy to feel happier about who we are on the outside in hopes it will make us happy on the inside.
What if I told you I found the remedy? The secret to happiness!
The one thing in the world that no matter when you do it, how often you do it or who you do it for will make you feel happy. I will tell you this, it’s addictive and it’s a feeling you will want every day once you start. It doesn’t matter what your race, religion or sex.
We can all have happiness every day in our lives.
I recently took stock on the happiness level in my life. How could I possibly be more happy than the day my 2nd adopted son came home just a few weeks ago. Talk about happiness! The happiness my husband gives me every day or the glorious place I live in the world. (Vancouver, BC).
But there is one thing that became my focus every day for 365 days. It is the magic – it is the happiness remedy. I am truly happy from the inside out when I am giving.
It could be volunteering, using my fundraising expertise to help not-for-profit organizations, working with the homeless on the street, even picking up garbage at my local beach.
My magic pill is simple. It’s called the GIVE pill – a natural remedy that doesn’t have to cost you money.
It is being of service to others, knowing you did something in your day to help another living creature, whether it’s a human being, an animal, or our planet. The greatest thing about giving is it makes you feel good on the inside. It doesn’t matter what you look like, how much your income may or may not be, how big your house is or what brand of shoes you are wearing.
Giving will make you feel happy – every day.
So if you are looking for that “thing” that will make you jump out of bed in the morning with a spring in your step – find a way to GIVE. It will bring you the happiness you have been looking for – after 365 days of giving I can guarantee it works.
What is your favourite way to give? Share your happiness pill with us.
Need some inspiration. Check out any of the last 365 days of giving. Let us know which is your favourite.
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. - Eleanor Roosevelt
I am a new Mom for the second time exactly one week ago today (Day 353). I also have my own business part time and I blog every day. I am struggling right now with what I am not getting done. Today I decided to make my daily give to myself. I am giving myself a break.
Day 358: Give 358
This crazy thing I call my life.
The Adoption: Journey 1
My adoption journey started 8 years ago with an abandon dog named Brooklyn. Brooklyn was a year old and won our hearts over instantly. Without knowing it we adopted the “problem child.” At the 6 month mark I had a break down as I was reasonable for the training, walking, feeding and scheduling of this dog. I was shocked at the amount of work it took and how much time out of my busy day. After 1.5 of training and the dog and myself, I was ready to take on adoption #2.
A second dog, this time a rescue puppy. Mackenzie was so cute but once again SO MUCH WORK!. This time after just 6 weeks I had yet another breakdown as my life changed again to accommodate our newest family member. Once again I got trained as well as our second dog Mackenzie.
The Adoption: Journey 3
Then the day came we wanted a child. My husband and I were not able to have children via the natural birth process and adoption was the route we wanted to take. We strongly believe that there are children right here in Canada that needed a home. We were soon blessed with our first child. A baby boy 4 years ago. I was in heaven and also in for the shock of my life. I was working full time running my business (no maternity leave for small business owners) and commuting from Vancouver to Toronto. I never missed a beat. I went into full time Mommyhood running and never stopped. No nanny, no day care. I wanted to raise my children and I did it but I never gave myself a break. With only an occasion breakdown I was ready for number 2.
The Adoption: Journey 4
Number 2 has arrived. Our second son took a little more time, a little more waiting, a lot more stress but he is home and I don’t want to miss even a second of my life with him. After even just a few days of trying to do it all – Mom of 2, wife, in house dog walker, cleaner, chef and daily blogger, tweeter / Facebook fan I am giving myself a break.
Top 5 Ways to Give Yourself a Break.
1) Don’t make you computer the first thing you do in the morning. Read the paper, have a coffee, mediate, or journal. Have breakfast with your kids and tell them you love them. Take the time to be grateful for the day ahead.
2) Exercise: Give your body a break from the desk and go move it. For 30 minutes you can walk, run, do stairs or hit a class. Give yourself a body break.
3) Take quality time with your kids. Running your kids to school, programs, sports or play dates is not quality time. Stop and take the time to talk to them, play with them personally, cuddle with them and let them know how much you love them.
4) Let it go for just one day. Leave the laundry, let the grass grow, miss a garbage day, vacuum tomorrow, order take out for dinner. Don’t try to do the entire “to do” list in one day.
5) Celebrate what you do get done not what you don’t. Be proud of every accomplishment. Stop beating yourself up for all the never ending tasks that didn’t get done for the day.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
I am just days away to completing 365days of giving. I try not to miss a day for anything but I can’t do it all. 365give is my passion for my children but I can’t sacrifice time with them to blog, tweet and FB. I will get my final “gives” done when I can and I will give myself a break if I don’t post every day.
Giving yourself a break is so important. Stopping to smell the roses shouldn’t be just a saying. Life goes by so fast remember remember to let it be just once in a while.
Time Commitment: 5 – 30 minutes a day