Saturday, October 8, 2016

Become Thankful in 40 Days

9 years ago I sat in my car realizing that the world around me was more negative than I ever expected. I was going through a difficult time and had a revelation that I did not have to join in the negativity of the crowd. I decided to start a movement that started within me first. I began posting my gratitude on social media. One day turned into two and so on until I was at the end of 40 days. 

If this sounds like a place that you're coming from, keep reading. . . 

A question I continue to ask of my family and my students is this: Are you using the power of social media to help or hinder those around you? 

In those early years of #40days, I didn't blog about my experience and I wish I had. The transformation within me is what helped me get through some of my worst days and years. 

My first blog (40 is all you need) talks about changing the world with an attitude that isn't driven by the issues and struggles in your life. 

My second blog (Grab Gratitude) tells exactly how 40 Days of Thankfulness was birthed and how one single declaration a day can help change your attitude altogether. 

You can visit my past blogs to read about Maria's gratitude story , how 40 Days WILL Change You, and my perspective on gratitude in the middle of our childhood cancer days with #superJace. 

I started this blog based on my belief that gratitude is one of the most powerful keys to living life to the fullest. 

You cannot and will not grow until you take time to stop and breathe out a moment of gratitude. 

40 Days of Thankfulness is simply about cleansing your mind and detoxing yourself from the negative, toxic thoughts, comparison to others,  bitterness, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, focus on lack or dwelling on mistakes. 

I cannot promise you it will be easy. 

It will not. 

Every single year within the 40 days, something I have struggled with has been revealed. Every single year, I've had to stretch myself to overcome a situation or a thought that has had power over me. 

When you commit yourself to take 40 days to declare even the smallest gratitude you will begin teaching yourself to live a new level and will change your heart and your life in the process. 

So, how does #40days work? 

You choose where to document your thankful. You can write it in a journal (as shown below). 

You can post it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (don't forget to include hashtag #40daysIf you're a SnapChat user, you can also snap it to your story so that your friends see it. 

The idea is to declare one gratitude per day. Some days you may have what we call a "bonus gratitude" or an extra good day where you want to acknowledge your blessing. 

Eventually your friends will start asking what you're up to, that's when you'll share this page with them and have them join you, too! 
{They do not have to have facebook to see this public page.}

In years past to get the kids involved, we've bought a large poster frame, thrown on some chalkboard spray paint and let them use chalkboard markers to declare their own gratitude. They LOVE makers and seeing the board after 40 days with thankfulness in their own handwriting is fun for all of us and a good conversation started for visitors.  


You could also write your daily thankful on some pretty scrapbook paper strips and add it to a jar to go back through and read later. 

There is no right or wrong way to do this. However, writing it down is imperative to your success. 

You will want to stop.

Like anything that grows you, you will want to resist it. You will come up with every excuse in the book. 

"I had a long day. I was too tired. I didn't have time. This day had nothing good in it. I can't think of anything. I didn't feel well enough. The kids kept me too busy. I was out late."

Look, I know. I KNOW. 

But you have to push through those days and moments. 

Join the Facebook Page we've created for you! Accept and "Go" the current year's 40 Days of Thankfulness event. You will have support there and many gratitude friends to cheer you on. 

The event page will list for you the days we've set aside to start and end, but if you want to start immediately, DO IT! :) 

The ending date is intentionally set so that you will end your 40 days the week of Thanksgiving. 

Now,  prepare your mind for these next 40 days!