Over the last few years I have made it my personal goal to take time to reflect and be grateful for the things in my life that have gone both good and bad for me. Reflection is what helps us to learn, and learning is what helps us to grow. I still have problems with being overly critical with myself at times, this is an ongoing battle as many of us are too hard on ourselves, but it’s a process and one that I’ve found to be quite helpful on this journey to finding my balance.
Nicole Lyons is a force of nature disguised as a writer, a social activist, a voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet with a delicate touch. She lives a good life in beautiful British Columbia with her brilliant daughters and gorgeous husband. In her free time Nicole volunteers as a speaker and event coordinator with a Canadian non-profit that focuses on suicide awareness and prevention.
Editor: Nadeem Noor
Sometimes we tend to dwell on all of the bad things that happen to us and get stuck in that rut of negativity, but I’ve learned that without those bad things it’s harder to appreciate all of the good sometimes. It becomes very easy in our busy lives to take all of the good that we do have for granted until something shifts and we are thrown for a loop. Now, I don’t wish horrible things on anyone, that’s not what I’m saying at all, but if we get into the habit of reflecting on what is going on with us, and taking tiny moments to be grateful for the little things that we do sometimes take for granted our outlook can turn from really negative to really positive very quickly.
I’m not always successful when it comes to counting my blessings, sometimes I hit a bad spot and it takes a monumental amount of effort and help to pull me out of that place, but once I’m out I’m quick to reflect and be thankful that I am out. I make sure that I don’t get down on myself too hard for hitting the bad spot yet again because it is what it is. I acknowledge, accept and then let it go. Beating myself up for being down will only keep me in that negative space and that is the last place I want to be in. And do you know what I’ve found when it comes to reflecting and being grateful? The more I do it, the more it rubs off on those around me.
There are a few people in my life who I love very much but they are by nature very pessimistic people, and me being the empath that I am, sometimes I get a little triggered by their negativity so I make sure to practice gratitude and reflection with them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I have noticed that they are more receptive and much more aware of their own blessings now.
If we stop for a minute and look at what we do have instead of what we don’t, you could find a bit of happiness there that you weren’t aware of before. I believe that there is always something to be thankful for, like that breath you just took for instance. Life isn’t always happy and perfect, we know this, and sometimes it’s far from that. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle that we know nothing about, but if you can find one small thing in your day to be thankful for then you’re on the right track to expressing gratitude, which if you start practicing now you will notice a big change.