I have been struck several times over the past few weeks about how much I am grateful for.
I finished my thesis last week, which is two weeks earlier than expected. Trust me, I don’t believe it either. It just feels surreal at this point. It will probably hit me when I actually hand the hard copy in. With almost 130 pages, over 170 references, and 31,000 words… This thing is epic.
Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed writing it. I loved the challenge of piecing bits together until it became a complete story. I loved making every part of it palatable and the passion that I felt for it palpable.
However, I definitely saved writing my favourite, and what I believe is the most important, section for last. The part in which I have a chance to show my deep appreciation for those who have believed in me and supported me to get to this point – the acknowledgments.
There is a vast body of research that shows that gratitude is intertwined with wellbeing. I have experienced this frequently. Undoubtedly, the more grateful I intentionally am, the better I feel. And by expressing my gratitude, it has a ripple effect to those around me.
I had some of my beautiful long-time friends stay with me over the weekend. Both unique, intelligent, strong women who unconditionally love and challenge me to be the best person that I can be. Our conversations are simultaneously hilarious and deep. Although our lives have deviated over the past few years, somehow being together again felt incredibly comfortable and right – in a way that you only feel when you are with people who know the core of you and choose to love you anyway. We laughed, ate, shared stories, played with my friend’s baby, visited the beach, ate some more, and talked until all hours of the night. Words cannot express how thankful I am to have these women in my life. As well as the many other amazing people who surround me.
I am so appreciative that I get to live in such a beautiful location that I can share with family and friends. Where it’s faster for me to walk to the beach than to drive, and I can watch full moons rise over the ocean. I am thankful that I have a kitchen to cook in to nourish not only my body, but my relationships and my soul.
I am beyond thankful for the unfailing love, support, and encouragement from my wonderful parents who have taught me the value of living with wholehearted courage, kindness, and love – to focus on what is important and to treat every experience as an opportunity to learn. I am thankful for my aunty who is so deeply caring and excited about all of the important little things that we take for granted, and for my grandmother and her loving, quirky authenticity. I am incredibly thankful that I have a sister who is so real, loyal, courageous, kind, and passionate. Who makes me laugh, loves me at my worst, and continuously inspires all of those around her.
I am also so grateful for your support along my journey. I love reading your comments, connecting with you, and being able to share my adventures.
I could go on about everything I am grateful for – but I have already written one thesis this year, and I think that’s enough.
But I would love to know – what are some of the things that you grateful for? There are numerous gratitude exercises which you can do to increase your levels of gratitude, such as these – but, how do you practice gratitude? Please share in the comments below!
p.s. Here is the recipe for this amazing paleo salted caramel tart that I made for my friends. I told you we ate a lot!