BY: Janis Gaudelli – “Champion of Truths, Unicorns & AWE-tism”
The Daily Feels launched our “30-day Gratitude Challenge” on November 1st. It was at that time where I decided to dedicate my blogs this month to just that – the things that I am most grateful for.
About two years ago, I found myself swimming in a pool of resentment. And as we know, harboring resentment is about as beneficial as…well…nothing. I was a living, breathing reservoir of unpleasantness. I needed to release the angry, grudge-holding, victim within, and embrace something more positive and productive.
It was during that stormy time where I paid a visit to my local Barnes and Noble. As I perused the Self-Improvement section, a woman was standing there looking at books. She pulled a book from the shelf, one fell out and hit me on my big toe (PS: I was wearing open-toed sandals…%@$#). It hurt…like, a lot! I bent down to pick it up and glanced at the title:
Then I opened it up… and read this:
The page I opened to (shown above) had the reader committing to a practice – for just 5 days, 5 minutes a day. My curiosity was peaked. So, I flipped to the next page and realized what exactly I would be committing to: a life-changing gratitude practice.
The 5-Minute Journal was not just any journal, it was the catalyst to leave behind my resentful stance on life, and start appreciating all that is good. I deeply believe this book was supposed to fly off the shelf, hit my big toe and hurt like hell. It was the universe’s way of getting my attention, so I lose my grudge-ridden, resentfulness, and adopt an attitude of gratitude for this life of mine.
It was on that day where I began my 5 Day’s of gratitude. Fast forward two years later and 5 journals’ completed, I am now on day 754. Gratitude is now a part of my every day. It’s my morning and nighttime practice. I have never implemented something so easy, that has changed my life so significantly.
One of the greatest gifts that has come from practicing gratitude, is being more observant of the small stuff. The small stuff that often goes unnoticed or unappreciated. The small stuff we take for granted because we live in a culture that celebrates “big” (big accomplishments, big moments, big earnings, etc.). I for one, lived my life waiting for the big moments to happen, thinking they would provide me with the happiness and inner peace I was waiting for. Then, you know what happened? Autism happened. Autism took me by the shoulders and shook that “big is better mentality” right out of me. Autism doesn’t do big. When living with Autism, goals, and accomplishments lie in the little things, the small steps, or as we in the community like to call them, the inch-stones (as opposed to milestones). Autism taught me that the little things hold such great meaning and significance beyond measure. Add to that a side of daily gratitude, and the little things become the most unforgettable, epic life moments.
Moments like when…
- Kellan tries a new food
- Kellan can tolerate a noisy, crowded environment (without holding his ears or wanting to leave)
- the daily schedule changes and Kellan can go with the flow
- Kellan verbally choosing a Halloween costume and wears it proudly, for the first time, in his school’s Halloween parade
- Kellan and I experience a ‘first’, like going trick or treating and enjoying it.
Those are the moments, albeit small to some, that makes the biggest impact. Those little things that replaced the big things I once was motivated by and relied on to make me feel happy and whole. Those are the little things I would have overlooked if that book didn’t fall off the shelf, and hit my big toe.
I went from living large, to living light. Light allows me to pay attention to the little things. Light allows me to be a better human. Light allows me to laugh at things I would have otherwise taken way too seriously. Light allows me to look for the life lesson, instead of the lashing. Light allows me to let go of the grudge and focus on gratitude. Living light is a practice…one I will never abandon, one I consider a game-changer, one I am committed to for life.
PS: If you want to live life on the light-side, you absolutely can. Start today by joining our 30-day gratitude challenge on Facebook or Insta (links below) and/or get your hands on the 5 Minute journal I link to above.
Janis Gaudelli is The Founder of The Daily Feels. She started this passion project to reveal the magic behind storytelling, and how truth-based narratives bring people together in the most heart-warming of ways. Fascinated by soul, depth, intellect, raw truths and rebellion with a cause. Often captivated by the awe of nature: star gazing, moon manifesting, sunset chasing, waves crashing, crickets singing. Fiercely curious about the inner-workings of the human psyche… she professionally studies human behavior for a living. Forever proud and grateful for being a mom to the force that fuels her life: her 7-year-old son, and greatest professor, Kellan.