My Eighth Annual Gifts of Gratitude starts Dec.1! Will you be joining me?
During times of turmoil or challenge, it’s easy to let the difficult times take over our lives. Difficult times are hard; good times are easy. By focusing on difficult times we allow them to become all-encompassing.
This time of the year can also evoke joy and love; which is what I am choosing to focus on this year. It’s also a time to nest in my home and get to know myself better; to connect with myself on a deeper level.
For those who celebrate Christmas, December brings with it a sentimentality that is not experienced at any other time of year. We become reminiscent of tradition and times spent with loved ones. We have memories of Christmases when we were young, the excitement and joy of baking, wrapping, family, and gifts. This tradition of gathering with those that are close, be it friends or family, can also bring up emotions of sadness and regret. If you have lost someone special and/or have conflicts with family, Christmas can be a difficult time (for many other reasons as well).
To help stay present and focused on all that is good in my life and in the world, I practice being mindful of my days and moments. I also turn towards more self-care during times like these.
Without self-care, my emotions can become challenging. And for me, the most effective form of self-care is qigong.
When I am taking care of myself, feeling good and sending out high vibes, it affects everyone around me in a wonderful way. It follows then, that more good things come my way. But self-care comes much easier when my vibration is higher. Have you noticed that when things are not going well, it’s easier to let the self-care slide? I have noticed stress creeping in to my life recently, and I don’t think I even realized this until I slowed down enough to observe and reflect how I was feeling and how that influenced my family, home, sleep, and outlook. I was missing a lot of good things while I was focused on work or worry.
What can raise my vibration? Feelings of gratitude can instantly raise the vibe! Focusing on what I am grateful for, and sharing it with someone or writing it down, can get me out of a negative thought process. According to Wikipedia, “Numerous studies suggest that grateful people are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression.” As I prepare for our upcoming Love your Bones workshop, I’m reminded of how fear is a major determinant of not only bone health, but immune system health as well.
According to the Five Element Theory of Chinese Medicine and Spring Forest Qigong teachings, the negative emotion associated with the season of winter is fear and the positive emotion is gratitude. If you are feeling fearful, gratitude is the antidote. Because we are coming into the season of winter, the energy of fear can be strong, but so is the positive emotion of gratitude. What this also means, according to the Five Elements, is that by feeling gratitude we can also help to heal and support our kidneys, bladder, ears, reproductive organs, feet, and bones and bone marrow.
December is the perfect time to focus on gratitude!
Eight years ago I created the Gifts of Gratitude Challenge for the month of December. It became a bigger gift to me than I could have ever imagined! Many of you joined me, and for that I am grateful. Reading what others are grateful for instantly boosted my mood and made me smile each day.
Want to join in the fun? The challenge is to find three things you are grateful for each day throughout December.
Expressing gratitude always makes me feel good. By sharing my gratitude with others, and hearing what they, in turn, are grateful for, we collectively raise all of our vibes even higher. In addition, by publicly declaring to such a “challenge”, we are all supported and accountable. Daily gratitude sharing can serve as a touch point to ground us to the here and now; to keep us focused on all that is good and right with the world; preventing us from getting swept away in stress, fear, sadness, uncertainty, or grief.
Here is how you can participate in the Challenge that runs which from December 1–December 31:
- Find three things you are grateful for each day.
- Post them publicly on Facebook and then share them in our closed Facebook Group. Use the hashtag #giftsofgratitude2023. By posting them publicly, you will encourage others to join in on the fun and also raise their vibration as they read your post! If you are not on Facebook, use a journal and/or share it with a friend.
- If you are on Instagram, take a photo each day representing one (or all three) thing(s) you are grateful for. Use the hashtag #giftsofgratitude2023 and tag me in your post or photo (@suecritesqigong). By adding a hashtag to your post or photo you can search all other posts that are part of the same challenge. You can follow me on Instagram here.
Consider this a gift you are giving the world. Imagine if your news feed was more about gratitude and less about politics and complaints. Don’t underestimate your ability to influence the collective consciousness of our planet. Together our energy is very powerful! I am excited to experience a December with more happiness, joy, and gratitude than ever before! I hope you’ll join me!
I’d love to hear in the comments how gratitude has helped you overcome a challenge or how it’s made a difference.
Love and light,
Sue Crites MSc, NCP
Holistic Healing and Qigong
P.S. Love your Bones is on Friday Dec. 1 and there’s still time to join! Learn how to strengthen your bones through qigong, acupressure, nutrition, visualization, and meditation!