Jen Ryan on Gratitude

Jen Ryan is one of my soul sisters. She is also a Speech Language Therapist and working on becoming an Author. Her words always raise my vibes and I love to be able to share them with you. So enjoy…

Gratitude changes everything. It sounds so cheesy but it’s oh so true. Gratitude is a shift in perspective. It turns what I have into enough.

Sometimes I think we get so busy DOING, we forget about just BEING. This past month I have really focussed on SIMPLICITY and doing all those things that bring me joy and fill my cup up.

I think our lives get so busy. We are on this treadmill of life and it’s so crazy. It sometimes feels like a constant sprint. And let me tell you I’m not very good at real life sprinting on a treadmill. Let alone sprinting on this treadmill of life. What the hell are we racing for? It’s like we are racing through life! Racing to get to bed at the end of the day. How did this even become a thing? It sometimes feels like we are wishing away our lives and rushing to get to the end of the day. Wishing and rushing to achieve the next milestone. Are we ever really happy with what we’ve got? I have to remind myself of this constantly. Gratitude helps. Like will I really be any happier if I lose those few extra kgs, have that extra $5000 in my bank account, get married, own a house? How will I be any happier with those things if I’m not happy with what I’ve already got?

Gratitude enables me to be part way up the hill (the metaphorical hill) and enjoying the view. Taking it all in. Rather than being at the bottom of the hill and not being able to enjoy any of the view. I may not be at the top of this hill. But I am definitely part way up and enjoying the simple things that life offers me.

The practice of gratitude has changed my life significantly. This has become a non-negotiable in my daily routine. I take the time to sit down and write down at least ten things I am grateful for every single day. I truly think this simple practice has reminded me of how amazing my life really is. How the simplest of things really are the bestest things. The fact that I have amazing health and wellbeing. The fact that this body of mine enables me to go on all the adventures. The fact this body of mine enables me to go to the gym (and struggle my way through burpees, press-ups and bear crawls. Oh the list goes on haha). The fact I have the greatest humans in my life. The fact I have food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over my head and all the love in the world for my friends and fam.

Even whilst travelling I took the time to show up and practice the art of gratitude every single day. I’m telling you it works. It gets me out of the ‘poor me’ frame of mind. I hate being in that space. I hate being a victim in life. There is too much good stuff and greatness in my life to feel sorry for myself. When people say “I had such a shit day!”. I sometimes wonder did you have a horrendously terrible day? Or did you just have a bad 10mins, a terrible conversation, a rough hour? I mean of course people really do just have some shit days/weeks/years! I’m not doubting that. Perspective helps. Gratitude helps.

I think sometimes my mahi and the children I have worked with have been some of my greatest teachers in my life to date. Working with tamariki with disabilities is a constant reminder to not take my body, mind and life for granted. A reminder that there really are soooooo many people out there in far tougher situations than I have been in to date. Whānau that have been dealt an extremely tough hand of cards. Parents of children whom every day tasks and activities are challenges and feel like constant hikes up Everest with no end in sight. Whānau who have nothing and make it work. Children who are so determined yet their physical bodies stop them from being able to do all the things you and I can do. Things that we take for granted. Being able to use this body of mine to do all the physical things. Even walking to my letterbox. Being able to cook food. Being able to have a conversation with friends and family.

I am grateful to have two happy and healthy wee nieces. These wee people are physically, emotionally and cognitively able to do so many things. Even as under three year olds. I don’t take that for granted.

So what are you grateful for? What are three things you can say you’re grateful for in your life today? They may not be big things. In fact they probably aren’t. But I’m telling you the practice of gratitude changes everything. It puts shit in perspective. Gratitude really does turn what you have into enough!