Freedom is…a mindset; freedom is… living in gratitude for all things, at all times. Freedom is… being appreciative of the good times as well as the bad.
Be thankful for the bad times because they teach us amazing lessons and help us to know the good times! The more we grow, the less bad times there will be. Gratitude changes everything.
Living in gratitude teaches us that there are no bad times, only lessons.
My family and I are on the way home from a wonderful trip in the Bahamas. So much sand, sun, and sea, who couldn’t be happy right?
Well, there we were, 2,000 people on a cruise ship who were coming down to stay on the islands for a week and cruise back. It didn’t take long to realize there were two groups of people on this ship:
Those who chose to have a good time, and those who didn’t.
What was the difference? We were all on the same cruise, visiting the same beautiful islands, dancing to the same fun music, stuffing our faces with the same amazing food, and plenty of entertainment and things to do everywhere. What was different? No, it wasn’t the alcohol, lol, it was the mindset!
Those who had a great time did because chose to. As for me and my family, we had a blast! We soaked in everything, participated, danced, dressed up, plugged into the environment, became a part of our surroundings and left our boxes at home– instead of expecting the environment to plug into us, to fit into our box.
Those not having a great time brought their boxes with them. They expected the cruise, the island people, the festivities to fit into their box instead. It simply doesn’t fit!
Want to have fun? Burn the box!
That stupid box is doing nothing but limiting us! Its four walls, floor, and ceiling are HOLDING US BACK! Knock down the walls, bust through the floor and ceiling and live free!
How? Live in gratitude! Say THANK YOU to everything, for everything! Thank you, Jesus, God, Lord, Universe, Source, Soul, Mother Earth, whatever you believe, JUST BE GRATEFUL!! And, don’t stop there! Thank yourself for all things! Thank everyone you see for something! Thank you to the the doorman, thank you elevator button pusher, thank you barista, thank you dog or cat for loving us, thank you world for being so amazing and wondrous, thank you traffic for not crashing into me, thank you car for driving me, thank you trees and grass for providing us air. You can’t say thank you too much! Get ridiculous with it! Watch how living in gratitude changes your whole vibe and the vibe of those around you!
Find as many ways to say thank you as possible, to everyone! Including you!
There is nothing more freeing than living in gratitude.
This thought has been on my heart for several days and kept revealing itself to me and I’d like to share it with you. As you start to say thank you, things to say thank you to will open up! As you start to see some things, share them in the comments below; we would love to hear from you! Here are some ways I thought about on my little trip! I’ll keep adding too!
Once our eyes are open, we see what we have been missing all along!
Here are some examples from our trip about how living in gratitude changes things!
We were privileged enough to catch the last night of the Goombay Festival in the Bahamas and hang out with the locals and experience their culture. We ate conch fritters, Bahamian-style barbecue, conch salad and tried their unique local sodas and yummy snacks. We oogled all of their hand-made crafts and jewelry. We danced the night away and watched the parades shimmy by with their fun island music, playing conch shells and steel drums. We enjoyed a festival dinner on the beach watching the heat lightning way off in the distance in the middle of the ocean as the sun went down. It was so fun!
They scooped us up and treated us like family, calling us Bahamians and inviting us to dance with them. Everyone was so friendly the entire trip, over the entire island! They really know how to have fun down there! We had the perfect time.
But as we get back to the hotel pool we hear another family complaining about it all. Gasp! “It was too hot, too many people, music was too loud!” You could see the crowd’s energy changing at the complaining… I felt it draining me as well so I spoke up and said, “We had a fantastic time!” I went on about some of the amazingness and it changed the mood of the whole place! Everyone started smiling again and having a good time.
It’s crazy how negativity changes a moment, so make sure you are ALWAYS spreading joy!
When people complain, it sucks the energy out of the whole room. #DontBeThatGuy!
Be the one that pumps LIFE into a room!
A second example is…
We disembarked the ship at 9 A.M. and the hotel rooms were not to be ready until between 2-4 P.M. They had a place for our luggage so we parked it and walked around the marketplace, found the most amazing greek restaurant, danced and shopped for a while, and as we came back our beautiful room was ready. We went and changed and headed to the beach. As we stopped by the lobby, there was a family there who had been waiting on their room for 4 hours. They were very unhappy, stating angrily, “We told them we are not moving until our room is ready!” I felt bad for their distress so offered them some love and joy and smilingly I suggested “Y’all should just park your bags by the guard and go play! Let’s, give them time to turn over the rooms from the last people and y’all go explore and have some fun!” I told them of all the great things we had already done, recommended the restaurant we ate at and tried to help to brighten their mood, reminded them that we are in the Bahamas for and there’s no such thing as a bad day in the Bahamas, but ultimately it has to be their choice to go have fun!
We saw them later and learned that they didn’t, they sat there fuming in the lobby instead and then by the time their room was ready (which was before the promised time), they were so upset and drained from the negative energy that they stayed in the room the whole afternoon!
By that time we had already gone to the beach, swam in about 3 pools and were back to the hotel and headed to the ferry to explore the next island and find dinner! Think of all the time wasted on fuming and fretting! They wanted the island to be on their time, instead of being on island time! Who had more fun? Was it a choice?
How much time do we waste on fuming and fretting instead of being in gratitude of all things? And choosing joy?
The last example is…
As I was sitting there in gratitude on the most perfect beach in the world, soaking up the moment, thanking God for making such a perfect place for us to visit, I also was thinking how it is a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there as I would simply miss my mountains too much. So then I went and sat in gratitude about where I live. Then it occurred to me that the islands seem like paradise to us– we come here to get away from it all, to break free from our “boxes” that we choose to live in, but to the islanders that island could be a box to them!
It’s all about living in gratitude where you are! We are breaking free to come there, and they’re breaking free to come to us! Not everyone, I’m sure, but some must feel that way. What’s the difference? Living in gratitude wherever you are.
I challenge you to start finding gratitude IN EVERYTHING! As you do the walls of your box that you hide in fall away and your freedom begins! Start merging into, enjoying and finding gratitude in your environment, instead of expecting it to merge to you. <3