On January 9, I decided to start my ritual of 100 days of gratitude. The rules were very simple in my head:
- 100 consecutive days; I was counting on the research that says the human brain needs between 21-30 days of repetition for one action to become an automatic habit;
- write 1 thing I was grateful for that day.
Here are some lessons:
We have a lot to be grateful for; more than what we consciously acknowledge. I wrote 7-10 things every time. I could have written 1 thing per day and closed my journal, but I simply couldn’t. That’s because I had so much more to be grateful for every single day, from small things like exercising to big ones, like my son and my health.
Feeling grateful requires intention and attention. This is a tricky one because if I ask you (or anyone else): what are you grateful for?- you would immediately answer: I am so grateful for my kids, my health, my home, my job, my family, my parents, etc… Your attention would immediately identify all the things that you cherish in your life.
HOWEVER – gratitude is a fleeting state of mind. When things don’t go our way, we blame others and the world; we get angry; we take on the role of victims. We disconnect from gratitude in exchange for a story that protects our wounded Self. We don’t do this by choice; the mind does it automatically as a self-defence mechanism that is deeply ingrained, because it started as a coping mechanism before we can even remember (ages 0-5 usually).
Creating a new habit can take 80 + days. I wish it took only 21 days, but my experience has proven to me that creating new neural pathways is not as easy as it sounds. This is not my first ritual of 30 + days of a new “action”. In this case, on day # 85, I DID NOT REMEMBER to write in my journal. What happened to my brain? What happened to the automatic habit? What happened, period !? I may not know the fully scientific answer, but my educated guess is this: when we are exhausted, overworked, or lacking sleep, our Mind-Body System goes into survival mode automatically (speak of automation). If you’re wondering: I remembered as soon as I woke up the next day; I wrote in my journal in the morning; and I added one extra day to my ritual.
Gratitude Is a Way of Living: it’s not a ritual; it’s not a habit; it’s not a list of things; it’s not “something to remember to do.” The world would be a better place if everyone’s intention were to live in gratitude, WHILE facing the inevitable disappointments and difficulties of everyday life.
When it comes to parenting:
- you are the model your children are copying and emulating;
- express gratitude every day towards your children; it means a lot to them, even if they can’t express it;
- have small, easy -to- follow, annd age- appropriate family gratitude rituals;
- be kind and patient when your children make ‘mistakes’; find the lessons and express gratitude together.
Today is the last day of National Infertility Awareness Week. 1 in 6 people globally is affected by infertility (World Health Organization).
My friend Laura Sgroi is a Natural Fertility Coach helping individuals and couples conceive naturally or with treatment. Follow her on Instagram @fertilitywithlaura to learn more about her story and to get daily tips.
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FROM A MOM IN MY PROGRAM:
From working with Mihaela, I get understanding, hope, and compassion for my kid. I understood that in order to be a better mother I need to heal, constantly and with commitment work on myself, have compassion for myself… I also get the tools to build a stronger relationship and thus create a positive attachment with my 13 year old daughter. Last but not least, I get the opportunity to constantly grow and go through situations in the weekly coaching calls that are a priceless resource. In these 2 years alone, I would have paid at least 9,000 $ for the 60 coaching sessions I had so far. Thank you Mihaela, from the bottom of my heart in the name of our family.
Photo credit Ionuț Iordache