Welcome to the November 2012 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Gratitude and Traditions
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about gratitude and traditions by sharing what they are grateful for, how they share gratitude with their children, or about traditions they have with their families. The Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival will be taking a break in December, but we hope you will join us for the great line up of themes we have for 2013!
Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.
I am extraordinary grateful for everything single blessing in my life. Every day, Tiny and I sit together before bed and say a prayer of thankfulness. I personally feel that it is vital to take a moment every day to say thank you and acknowledge just how blessed you are as an individual and as a family. It is something I want Tiny to grow up incorporating as part of our daily rhythm.
Today I would like to share 10 things that I am grateful for. I actually want to be able to look at this on those days where gratitude is being a tad elusive. And while there are a million”ish” things that I am grateful for, I feel like these are the most important to me, today.
- First and foremost I am thankful to be alive. Life is not always glitter and unicorns but it is such a wonderful journey that I am blessed to be on.
- I am thankful for my parents. Not only would I not be here if it wasn’t for them but their support, understanding, wisdom, guidance, and love is something that I only hope that I am giving to Tiny. They are the two most amazing people I know. Really. I won the lottery when these two beautiful souls gave me life. (Or maybe they won the lottery when I picked them as parents!)
- I am thankful for Tiny. Beyond thankful. There are not words that can accurately portray how thankful I am that Tiny choose me as her mother. I cannot and will not imagine life without her. She provides such joy and is my ever present teacher. She has made me a better person and will continue to keep me growing.
- I am thankful for my husband. Without RastaDaddy there would be no Tiny and that is unimaginable. I love him, respect him, and am proud to say that he works HARD to support Tiny and I. No one will ever accuse this man of being lazy. He is our backbone and for that, I am thankful.
- I am thankful for my circle of friends both in-real-life and virtual. Women need women, mamas need mamas, old friends grow old together, and new friends enrich each other’s lives at the time that they need it. Some friends have come and gone, others fade in and out, and others are tried and true. I am grateful for them all. My support system is beautiful.
- I am thankful to have a place to live. Not everyone does. Home is what you make it, not where you make it. I am just thankful I have a place to make my home.
- I am thankful for the health challenges I do have because the ones I do not have could be far worse.
- I am thankful for music. Of course reggae has my heart and soul but I love all music. It keeps me sane. It grounds me. It inspires me. It uplifts me. It connects me to others. It brings awareness, insight and joy. It brings peace.
- I am thankful for diversity, in all things. Religion, cultures, traditions, food, celebrations, and the list goes on. Life is so rich and rewarding when you embrace and celebrate that which makes us all different both in our own neighborhoods and globally.
- I am thankful for the creator, the overseer, he/she who started this thing called life with or without a bang. Believe what you want. Discredit what you want. I cannot fathom that this universe of ours as well as those beyond it started without some sort of divine presence.
And as a bonus, I am thankful for Mother Earth, Mother Nature, the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, the sand, the desert, the forest, the jungle, plants, animals, rocks, minerals, marine life, and everything else found in the natural world. Nature in all of its manifestations is an integral part of who I am. And for that, I am profoundly grateful.
What are you thankful for? Do you sit with your children and express gratitude as a family?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 30 with all the carnival links.)
- Counting My Blessings — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama expresses the importance of reflecting daily on all of her blessings, a ritual she shares with her daughter. Jennifer also shares a few things that she is most grateful for. .
- Thanksgiving — It really is true that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Vicky at Single Mother Ahoy had no choice but to be thankful for all the things that had a good go at finishing her off this year!
- My little gratitude list — Stone Age Parent provides a summary list of all that she is grateful for in her life, including her son, her family, her home, her friends and her country.
- Baking Bread and Nurturing Wonder— Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work shares her way of keeping family traditions alive and nurturing a sense of wonder and thankfulness for food through preparing homemade bread during the Holidays.
- Going Inside for the Winter Holidays — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children reflects that going inside, both physically and figuratively, allows her family to enjoy the winter season in peace and reflection with plenty of time for appreciation of the most important people in her life.
- Traditions — Sustainable Mum discusses the difficulty of establishing traditions that were important in her own childhood for her own children.
- Giving thanks for parenthood — Can we truly give thanks for both the darkness and the light on our parenting journey? Shonnie from Heart-Led Parenting shares her perspective on how gratitude for all that life offers is possible and essential.
- A Tree for the Birds— Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras shares her family’s new tradition of skipping a traditional Christmas tree in favor of one in the yard.
- Cultivating Gratitude In Children — Lindy at Poppy Soap Co. shares her unique plan for helping her son understand just how blessed they are as a family.
- Are You Truly Grateful — Laura at Authentic Parenting ponders about the ramifications of gratitude as a characteristic.