Nothing has gone as planned today. You know the day.
I set my alarm early to get some kid-free work done and then they woke up before my alarm. (How do they know?!) I didn’t eat the nutritious breakfast I was planning because I was feeding a crabby baby and I felt munchy. (#oops) I didn’t stretch, exercise, or gather my thoughts this morning because #littlepeople. Now they’re pulling me in 100 whiny directions because – surprise – they woke up too early.
I don’t feel thankful today. I feel a little frustrated. I had a plan, and the plan isn’t working. I’m guessing you’ve been here before.
I’m going to take a breath… want to join me? Thanks. That was nice. I have a Gratitude Reset Recipe below. You can join me for that too. You’ll need some tea, sugar and instant coffee. Let’s take back today.
This week I did some mindset coaching for an online class I’m taking. The coach was showing us that every feeling comes from a corresponding thought. Essentially, feelings are constructs of thoughts. And this is why I’m not thankful. If I simply practiced different thoughts, I would experience different feelings. But, my goodness, wouldn’t it be nice if “done” was as easy as “said’”!??
Every morning, we wake up with a choice. Whether it’s half full or empty, the fact is, there’s something in the glass.
The thoughts we have about that “something” are extremely important. It is our choice to see what’s in the glass.
What’s in your glass? Have you stopped to look? What does it look like?
Mine looks like a tractor “brrrrrrooooming” 1-year-old with a bed-head-mop top that frames sparkling eyes and dimples still wearing pajamas as he toddles around the sunshine at my ankle (YES – he’s not supposed to be awake.)
Mine looks like a sleepy-faced 4-year-old bursting with giggles as she climbed on my lap on this unplanned morning and explained how her sister was “snorkeling” LOUDLY in her sleep. (And no, I’m not going to correct her.)
Mine looks like endless amounts of the cleanest, filtered drinking water.
Mine looks like the most delicious breakfast smoothie you’ve ever tasted from milk that could be no fresher lest I drink it from the cow.
Mine looks like a porch swing and the cooing morning dove that my 4-year-old imitates and then breathlessly waits for the reply before exploding into wonder when it answers back.
But I’m not thankful if I don’t pause to look in my glass.
Did you know that gratitude actually changes the makeup of your brain? Psychology today cites seven proven benefits of gratitude, including better relationships, improved physical and mental health, enhanced empathy, reduced aggression, improved sleep, improved mental strength and better self esteem.
Where do I sign up? That sounds like something I want. Can we just sign up every mom everywhere? I want that. I want a thankful brain.
It’s pretty hard to be thankful at 100 miles per hour though. You can never see a blade of grass from a bird’s eye view. We have to get low.
We have to get low and slow because: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” –Atomic Habits by James Clear
Last year I read Clear’s book and it’s still ringing in my ears. I bucked his “systems” approach for much of the 320 pages.
Surely my goals weren’t as fickle as he exposed them to be. Surely I was stronger than that.
But I’m slowly learning that systems aren’t constraints. Systems are like the track for a train. They don’t inhibit it – they actually mobilize it. My system for doing one load of laundry every day mobilizes my success of never ever ever ever being overwhelmed by laundry. It’s terrific.
Funny thing is, James Clear isn’t the first author of systems. The same ideas about gratitude were written 2,000 years ago. Look at these systems: “…but in every situation…”; “do it all… overflowing with thankfulness”; “Devote yourselves; Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.”
Sound familiar? These quotes are from the best selling book of all time. They are tested by time – and proven by the latest brain science. However – as my pastor explained last week, un-applied truths are worthless.
If the desire for change is not accompanied by action, it remains just that: a desire.
I don’t want to get stuck in desire. I want to take action. I want to be thankful.
So how do we get thankful?
Here’s what we did for a gratitude reset. Pause Everything. If you haven’t made Dalgona Whipped Coffee, today is your day.
*Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude; and Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 2:6-7; Colossians 3:15-17; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Meet your farmer – Liz Gerdes. She and her husband run a farm-to-table raw milk dairy and farm Airbnb in Caledonia. If you’re looking for raw milk fresh from the farm, visit gerdesfreshfarm.com or follow her on Facebook @gerdesfreshfarm or Instagram @gerdesliz
Dalgona Whipped Coffee Recipe
1. Take equal parts of instant coffee, sugar, and boiling water. Put it in a stand mixer and let it whip on high until it’s stiff. (Make sure you watch it because it is the coolest thing I’ve seen all week!!!)
2. Then decide if you’re feelin’ like warm coffee or iced. If warm: Heat a cup of milk. If cold: Throw some ice in your milk!
*Farm wife milk fact: Did you know whole milk is 96.5% fat free? Yep. It’s not as evil as some think and man-oh-man is it creamier in your coffee! For this thankfulness exercise, if you like creamy things, you might as well go for the whole.
3. Top your milk with a generous amount of your whipped coffee dream; stir in as needed.
For your kids? You can make hot chocolate.
As you drink your [insert beverage choice], purposefully use and discuss the five senses with your kids.
Look at the hot chocolate.
Feel the warm cup.
Does it make a sound? What do you hear?
Be thankful for the hot chocolate.
Be thankful for your senses.
Be thankful for your kids.
See who can take the slowest, biggest breath.
We brought this same concept outside. It’s actually really fun, and it’s good for you and your kids.