I AM THANKFUL | A Collaboration

Today I am excited to share this wonderful collaboration post that I've been working on with Ashley over at Dream. Live. Repeat.! As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we wanted to reflect on everything that we are thankful for!

 Below is Ashley's word on being thankful, something we all should be!
Make sure you check out my post here on Ashley's lovely blog where you can also find loads of love and motivation, which is something we can never have too much of!

Wishing you all a blessed upcoming holiday season with MUCH LOVE,
-Stephanie Eva

Hello Stephanie Eva blog readers!
I'm honored to be here today- Thanks again Stephanie! My name is Ashley and I have a little blog called Dream. Live. Repeat. I have been working on this blog for almost a year. Actually, I launched on New Year’s Day, so my one-year anniversary is coming quickly! Previous to starting it, I put a lot of thought into what content I would feature, how often I would post, and things of that nature. For the first four months I posted everyday! Needless to say, there are MANY worthwhile posts for you to check out, so please stop by! The majority of what I post has to do with motivating you to dream up the “impossible”, then living out those dreams and repeating by dreaming up new dreams! Get it- Dream. Live. Repeat.! I share my own personal stories and insights as well as tons of motivational quotes and people. I give book reviews, exercise tips, healthy recipes, beauty ideas and more. There is truly some of everything there, as nearly anything can inspire you to realize and pursue your dreams!

With the holiday season being in full effect here in the U.S., Stephanie and I thought that a holiday theme would be fitting. As Thanksgiving is just a week away, we decided on the theme of “being thankful”. To me, being thankful is all about taking a good hard look at your own life, the good and bad, and being genuinely grateful for all of it. Of course there are times this seems impossible, as the bad can be really bad and incredibly challenging to overcome and you might even be in a place like that now. Try this: think of a challenging time you have had in your life in the past and how it has changed who you are today. Did it make you stronger? Did it make you more experienced and knowledgeable about the world, and less naïve? Did your challenging time lead you to something or someone infinitely better?

Being thankful means to be honestly grateful for everything that has happened in your life. I think it also means to give back to others. As cliché as it may be, there will ALWAYS be someone worse off than you. Maybe they have less money, or an unfaithful partner, or a job that makes them miserable. Maybe they have a poor attitude on life or an awful home life, or maybe they seem to have it all but are negative, angry and depressed on the inside.

These quotes sum up all I have said thus far and how I feel in the matter of giving thanks.

I was going to make a nice long list about things I am thankful for and why, but I decided against it since this post is already getting awfully long- I guess I have a lot to say on the topic! :) Instead, I’ll give you a brief insight into myself and a short list of things I am thankful for;

I am from a Midwest rural town. I have eight siblings- all biological. I am the oldest. My parents are still married. I have a hard time making the smallest of decisions, but I have always known I would be a teacher. After earning my elementary education degree, I made the crazy decision to move about as far away from home as I could get to teach kids in South Korea. I loved my first year so much, I signed up for another year. I made lasting friendships and had a lot of fun but I also had some extraordinarily challenging times there. Since Korea, I have moved back home and have been subbing in classes of all ages preK-Adult Ed.  I have also been traveling when I can, just around the US so far. I have my sights on Europe next. Though I did not get into the detail of my woes, and it took me a long time to overcome some of them, I am proud to say that I am finally past them- they no longer control me as they once did and for that, I am grateful. I have learned so much through both the good and the bad in my life, and I am happy for all that has happened. After all, if things did not happen as they did, how would I be in the place I am today and how would I be prepared for what will happen in the future?

Another part of being thankful has to do with giving back. When you give back, it is important that your heart is in the right place. You should be doing this selflessly, expecting nothing in return. Some examples include random acts of kindness such as shoveling snow in a public place or in a neighbors driveway (just make sure it isn’t illegal), anonymously paying for the meal of another at a restaurant or through a drive-thru, holding the door open, when in a public restroom putting down the toilet paper and paper towel so it’s easily accessible and the next user doesn’t have to search for the end of the roll (you can still do this with automatic ones), or smiling at a stranger. You could also volunteer your time at an orphanage, homeless shelter, inner city school or senior center. You can offer to take someone to the doctor or grocery store when you know they are having car trouble or they normally take the bus. You can donate new or used clothes and toys. You can do your own “giving tree” activity or participate in one at a local church or school. You help clean up an area after a natural disaster or other event (riot, New Year’s party). You can cook or purchase a hot meal or beverage for a homeless person you see on the street, maybe ask how they like their coffee, return with the warm drink and have a conversation with them. The possibilities are vast and limitless so choose a few to do this holiday season.

Today I challenge you to do three things: 1) think of all that has happened in your life and make the conscious effort to be truly grateful for it, 2) Give back either through random acts of kindness or volunteering your time, perhaps in a way I mentioned above. Even though the main reason you will be doing this act is for the other person, I guarantee you will feel good doing it. The person you are helping might show gratitude towards you or open up to you when no one else can get through to them, or maybe you helped that child learn to tie their shoes. 3) Please share what you are thankful for or what selfless giving you have done in the comments below or here. This act alone can inspire others to participate and spread love and kindness.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for stopping by my blog. Be sure to share what you are thankful for and what kind things you have done or will do for others this holiday season and year-round!

Feeling grateful,

Labels: , ,