Writer: Pearl Denise Agasha

Sometimes it is hard to give thanks especially when you are surrounded by a dark cloud of gloom or uncertainty. Quite frankly, this year feels a lot like that. So many things have hit pause while others have been lost in the process. There’s been loss of jobs and loved ones, lost time, changed livelihood, creating a sort of new normal and so much more. This season feels like a thief that shows up at your door knowing very well they are never welcome. But they somehow find their way in, evade your peace and sanity so much that their presence is always such a big setback.

I know this season has been hard and many of us are still adjusting and that’s okay because some things take a little longer to clear out but time, they say heals all wounds. I am a firm believer that even on the darkest cloudy day, you can find a silver lining to keep you going. When there is about a thousand things going wrong, you will always find something to be grateful for.

If there is anything, I have learnt during this lockdown season its ‘intentionality’. Waking up each day and intentionally choosing to embrace whatever it unfolds and of course consciously deciding to be grateful regardless.

You see the beauty about gratitude is the fact that when you are intentional about looking out for something to be grateful for, it makes you realize the many miracles you have been blessed with. Is it always going to be easy? Heck not! The secret is to always try and look through the disguise, not all blessing come on a cloud.

I know you might be wondering how to live a life that is fuelled by a gratitude attitude and we all know just how hard or complicated life can be. Worry not, I will share with you what has been my guide in a bit.

Disclaimer, there is no manual per se that is written on stone or even a one size fits all kinda thing. You just have to find what works for you and intentionally stick with it. The goal is to give thanks in all circumstances. Now how you choose to do this is up to you. What matters is that you are counting your blessings day by day lest you miss them and the dark cloud overshadows your seemingly invisible silver lining.
I hope these tips help start you off on this journey.

Keep a gratitude jar/journal

In here you write what you are grateful for on sticky notes and drop them in the jar. If you are the kind that loves to write, a journal is definitely more exciting because it is limitless. It doesn’t have to be the so-called big stuff. You can write something as simple as ‘I got through the day’ or ‘I had a meal,’ ‘I had a safe journey to work’ whatever it is, trust me it is worth writing down. Just know that when you write it down, you are creating a gratitude track record. These blessings will keep you going with each day that unfolds. And even at the end of the day or year when you feel like you achieved nothing, well you’ll have somethings to look back to and be reminded of the times when things worked out. Be grateful.

Practice the ‘one thing’ mentality

Some days especially on the crappy ones, it can be extremely hard to find a reason to smile. But you can implement the ‘one thing’ mentality in your habitual life. Always push yourself to focus on just one thing that’s going right at the moment in the season of your life and be grateful for it.  In focusing on it you will be able to channel your attention on everything else that’s going South. And while this might not take it away, at least it will definitely put you in a more positive headspace where you can be able to figure it out without feeling the pressure from the stress. Try it out, each day ask yourself, what is that one thing I am grateful for? Make sure you answer it. It will help you look deeply within and shift your perspective in a better direction.

Spread the Sunshine

Here is now where you name your blessings out loud and count them one by one. I am a firm believer that happiness is a wildfire, the more you share it, the more it spreads. In sharing with someone what you are grateful for, it shows them that things can actually be good while giving them hope to keep going as well. Find someone in your corner or whoever you are led to tell and just share your testimony. This will not only spread the cheer to those around you but it will also give you the opportunity for a free celebration party. You know allowing yourself to be goofy ad-free. Don’t be shy. This could range anywhere from a happy dance to a happy scream and remind yourself deeply of how blessed you are. Go on and spread that sunshine, you just ever know you may be the light to brighten up a dark room. Don’t be shy to share your fire.

That’s it! I hope you are fired up and into gratitude mode. By the way, giving thanks doesn’t mean you have a problem-free life. It just means you are choosing to focus on the blessing because it could have been worse. And hey! There is always something to be grateful for.

Like Maya Angelou said, ‘Every storm runs out of rain’.

This too has come to pass and even though we may not see or know how, I believe we will get through it. Just take one day at a time and remember to give thanks regardless. Stay Safe!

Leah Grace Oketcho, is a highly talented Communication specialist, gifted in leadership with over 3 years of leadership and management experience at different levels. She is a team player and has demonstrated ability in mobilizing and organizing others to achieve desired goals. Oketcho is well vast in the art of creating alternatives for ways to get results. She has over the years grown in the art of corporate communications and also participated in the development of performance management materials for various professional institutions. Leah received training in research, scripting, international relations, and data analysis as well as public relations. She is passionate about solving public health related problems. She has offered training to youth in oral and written communication, people management and mentoring, editing and documentation skills, public speaking.

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