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Wanna know something crazy about me?  I absolutely hate the city I live in.  Those are some pretty strong words aren’t they?  I just feel I was born to live near the ocean and perch my self on streets full of flower shops and cafes.  A city with culture.  I want it to be normal to engage in conversations without the site of a cell phone near by, laugh with and enjoy those in front of me.  Calgary is a fast City.  We are always working to get to get to the next spot.  The dream of living in a slower pace surrounding isn’t so far fetched if you ask me, I mean, I’ve heard of a lot wilder things.  

The truth is I’m being a little dramatic. Sure, I cry at the first snowfall every year, cuss when I’m required to wear 3 layers of clothing just to prevent my self from getting frost bite and absolutely dread driving on Deerfoot.   But I understand this is my home and where we need to be for now.  I hunt the things I love and I celebrate them.  I’ll visit a flower shop or a cafe at least once a day (if not both) and mingle there for hours.  Living in suburbia makes this quite the journey but let me tell you–worth every second.  This city I live in is a perfect reminder (for my self mostly) on how once you find gratitude you feel happiness.  

I know how much worse it could be. I understand people across the world are without street roads to even complain about.  They would sacrifice almost anything to experience the cold just to be part of this thriving economy.  Everyday I remind my self that all these things I hate I feel so grateful for.   What if we spent more time appreciating what is right in front of us instead of wishing for more.  I understand I have goals for my self, but for now, this is my home.  It’s normal to recognize the things we do not love but more important to trade our expectation for appreciation. I have been blessed. Blessed to be able to dress my self in this cold, blessed to be able to drive my own car on Deerfoot, and blessed to be part of such a thriving economy.  So on (freezing) days like today when it feels like my world sucks, I practice appreciating my blessings and it’s miraculous how happiness seems to follow.  I once read this quote, “It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty just be grateful you have a glass and there is something in it”.  Point taken.  Being grateful is something that takes practice and I constantly have to remind myself this.  Here are some tips that have worked for me and I often go back to when I need a reminder. 

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

1.  Wake up and start your day with a grateful heart.

2. Limit your complaints.  Relationships should be built on love and fun not complaints and misery.  It’s human to express emotion and concerns but always think before you speak and finish with a positive note. Why waste your whole life ‘venting’

3.  Express your gratitude for others.  I often get told I say thank you A LOT.  But it’s important, always thank those who serve you in one way or another.

4.  Keep a journal and write down one thing a day you are grateful for.  My husband (Timothy) and I try to end our day by addressing two peaks and one pit (totally stolen from the Kardashians–but hey it works).  We recognize what could have been better but follow up with two things we absolutely loved.  Works wonders for the big old heart.

5. Practice Yoga.  Lets be serious no one teaches you to be grateful like a yogi instructor

6. Count your blessings.  No seriously.  Get a piece of paper and write down all the things you are grateful for.

7. Welcome Challenges.  Life isn’t easy.  In fact it can be pretty hard.  When things feel impossible accept the challenge and know that everything going to be alright.  I often catch my self saying Why ME!? The real question is why not me?  

8. Find love for everyone.  This doesn’t mean you have to like them all and the truth is everyone isn’t going to like you.  When people cross your path they do so for a reason.  The girl who is constantly putting you down or making fun of you with her friends, she’s struggling with her own insecurities.  Hope she finds peace within her self and let this add to your strength.  Or the man who cut you off on the drive to work this morning, let him teach you patience.  There is something to love about every situation.

9. Do something kind for someone else once a day.  The more you give the more grateful you feel.

10.  Always understand that there is always going to be someone who has it better than you.  But guess what?  There is also someone who has it a lot worse than you.  The things we are complaining about are things some people would die to have.  Instead of wishing we were elsewhere doing other things be grateful for what is right before our eyes.   You’ll be impressed on how much this truly changes how you feel.

I hope you found this as helpful as I did today.  Life can’t always be easy but that is what makes it wonderful. Eleni xx    


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