#30daysofthankful

I Am Happy And Grateful

Thanks to a group coaching program that I joined this year, I have developed a daily gratitude practice that has me listing ten things I am happy and grateful for. Out of those ten things, three have to specifically be about me.

Although I’m pretty sure I have mentioned some things more than once already, really, I feel like there is still a lot more to be thankful for. I have been doing this now for over a hundred days and it sure is getting more and more challenging to come up with three things I particularly love about myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me! And I think I have great qualities. I guess we’re just not wired to sing ourselves praises, no? And we should. But if it’s uncomfortable to call it self-praise, let’s put it this way: I just have to love me.

We’re not being called to be boastful, only to be grateful for oneself.

What does it mean to be grateful for oneself?

It means appreciating something about you, acknowledging something about you that makes you happy (or has made you happy).

And we do it along with being generally grateful for everything else. For what’s around us, our circumstances, etcetera, etcetera.

A daily gratitude practice worked wonders for me.

I no longer feel anxious about tomorrow. And I feel a lot more positive about life in general. Now, I never was a negative type, but I also didn’t think I can be even more optimistic. And, in a way, I am.

It reminds me to not take anything for granted. To be thankful for the big things, and the small things. For the good, and the bad. It has helped me feel less envious or resentful, and to not look at others and regard them less fortunate, but understand the difference in our circumstances and yet feel genuine empathy and a yearning to reach out and find out how I can help.

This gratitude practice is teaching me to not waste time, energy, and opportunity. It has taught me to see how much abundance is out there, and how we are already living in abundance, no matter the balance in our bank accounts.

On the outside, I know it seems like it is taking me so long to get my butt moving and do something already. After all, I am 6 months into my mini-retirement (and I’m pretty sure my husband feels that way) but to me, it doesn’t feel like a waste of time or opportunity.

It was a gathering of energy and love. A (long) moment of rest and enjoyment of freedom. Of making space in my life for more. And now that I know how it feels to have so much time to do just the things I want to do (and I haven’t even done everything), I now know the importance of protecting that freedom and not be tied down to living life in somebody else’s terms.

But this post isn’t about my mini-retirement. It’s about having an attitude of gratitude.

A quick Google search for “effects of gratitude” will lead you to a lot of research on this topic. Feel free to check those out if you need to be convinced that you should develop the practice. But all I want to tell you is this,

Just start with one thing.

Find time in your day to sit down and express gratitude for one thing in or about your life.

Write it down with a pen and a notebook. Or type it on a notepad on your phone:

“I am happy and grateful _____________________________________________.”

Do it again the next day. Do it for the whole week.

Do it for another week. And another. Even if you miss a day, that’s okay. No need to double up the next day (though you’re free to do so).

When you feel like you have nothing more to say thank you for, go back and review your list. And then try again. Give thanks for just one thing.

After some time has passed, reflect on what has changed for you, or in you. Ask yourself if you want to keep going. If the answer is no, ask why not?

Try it.

As for me, and for today, here is my list of ten things:

  1. I am happy and grateful for Martine De Luna and her Be Captivating program, for many reasons, one of which is helping me cultivate this gratitude practice.
  2. I am happy and grateful for the SATS Community that I grew up in. Today is Fiesta at SATS (feast of St. Andrew the Apostle).
  3. I am happy and grateful that I have complete control of my life right now. That is both scary and exciting.
  4. I am happy and grateful that I have choices to make. That can be a disadvantage sometimes, but it is definitely a good thing for me, right now.
  5. I am happy and grateful for my Auntie Leesah, who died this day, 15 years ago. She always had my back. She was very supportive of my side hustles back then. Especially of my baking.
  6. I am happy and grateful for the TV series His Dark Materials. I love having to look forward to a new episode every week. I haven’t read all three books in the series yet but I’ve pulled them from my shelves, ready to be cracked open. Still deciding if I’ll be re-reading The Golden Compass.
  7. I am happy and grateful for people who leave product reviews on E-Commerce platforms, and also for those who blog and vlog about them. Real and honest product reviews are helpful when you’re deciding to buy something.
  8. I am happy and grateful for being able to find the right words to say at certain times and situations.
  9. I am happy and grateful for trusting people.
  10. I am happy and grateful that I have set healthy boundaries in terms of what I expect from others and my perceived role in their lives (or what I think others may expect of me). I just really don’t assume that I or my opinions are that important to anyone else.

For the past two Novembers, I’ve played along with Cathy Zielske for 30 Days of Thankful: I made a 6×8 album for 2017 and wrote a series of blog posts for 2018. This year, I intend to make another album. I know, it’s already the end of November, and I haven’t started, and that’s okay. It’s the practice that matters.

Will you join me in being grateful every day?

UP Wins!

For day 28 of 30 Days of Thankful, I am saying BIG THANKS for this hard earned win: the University of the Philippines Men’s Basketball Team makes it to the UAAP Finals!

Stitches & Words | UP Wins

Photo grabbed from Nowhere to Go But UP Foundation Facebook page

This is so monumental, you better believe that Iskos and Iskas of ALL AGES have thrown their support for these 16 awesome student athletes. We have been the brunt of jokes for YEARS. It’s been 21 years since UP made an appearance in the Final Four of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), and 32 years since making it into the finals. That is sooooooo long.

Stitches & Words | UP Wins!

Photo grabbed from ABS-CBN News Facebook post

My friends and I wanted so bad to be physically present at the game at the Araneta Coliseum but we weren’t lucky enough to score tickets. They sold out real quick. Pero even if we each watched from the comfort of our own homes (except one who did get tickets for the game!), our Viber group was blowing up with our reactions and comments. It was a lot of fun! Heart-stopping kinda fun, hahahahaha.

It was an amazing game. The Adamson Falcons definitely gave our boys a real fight. Both teams were so hungry for the win, but the Maroons prevailed ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh by the way, my husband is from the opposing school. He attended Adamson University but says he has absolutely no school spirit so he didn’t really care if they lost. But when I asked him if we should get him a ticket to see Game 1 of the Finals with us, he seemed kinda bitter: “Tinalo nyo kami tapos manonood ako sa inyo?” Indeed, why would he want to watch (and cheer for) the team that beat his team? ๐Ÿ™‚

Hooked, and loving it

I am thankful for crochet.

I have been working on project after project this year and I love it. Some projects took longer because I had to learn a technique or a stitch, some went surprisingly quick.

This craft excites me – finding a pattern, sorting through my yarn stash for the right colors, learning something new.

It calms me and helps clear my mind – helps me focus. Even when I crochet in public, it helps me zone in on the conversation or the discussion at hand.

Looking at the finished project gives me pride. And seeing others admire them just about makes my heart overflow with joy. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I am grateful for having crochet in my life.

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

Sirius calling dibs on my rainbow leaf wrap while it was still a WIP

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

I made a laptop sleeve for myself. I use it everyday.

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

Round bag I made for a friend. I had to redo the base after this photo though.

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

This wrap ended up in my Momโ€™s possession. I hope sheโ€™s using it!

*Click for my other 30 days of Thankful posts.

Girlfriends

20 years ago, we were freshmen Psych majors at the University of the Philippines. As strangers we walked into that 4th floor classroom in AS for our Comm I class, and then walked all the way down to attend the Freshman Assembly as blockmates.

By the end of the day I was optimistic for the next four years of my life.

Soon after, I knew I had made friends for life.

Thankful for friends who get what’s deep down in your heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mama, the Original #GirlBoss

My Mama, Mom, Mommy.

She is the original #girlboss. I grew up with an amazing female role model. She showed me that a woman can be many things – a leader, a boss, a wife, daughter, sister, mother, friend. She is strong and smart, loving and caring.

Amir and Arkin are soooo lucky to spend a lot of time with Grandma.

I am thankful for my Mama!

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