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Celebrate with ME!

Every year as january rounds to a close, I would get this deep dark feeling of DREAD. February was almost here. That ment another SHIT birthday where I had to pretend that it was all good. It was inevitable that HORRIBLE things would happen to me, my family, my loved ones. We would be sick, of course there would be a stomach flu that would take us all down, or the sushi that we had for birthday dinner would cause us all food poisoning...... EVERY. FREAKING. YEAR, it was something. There was this running joke that our birthdays (I'm the 17th my sister is the 26th) where CURSED. I truly felt that way,and I would DREAD FEBRUARY 1st, wishing I could just sleep the whole month away every year.

But this year I wanted something different for myself, so I shifted. Afterall, I have been working so hard on a better mindset, finding gratitude and abundance, why not apply it here.

So that's what I want to talk about today; breaking free from negative thought patterns and embracing a mindset shift that can lead to a more positive and fulfilling birthday month.... well life in general. Negative thought patterns can be like a dark cloud that hangs over our minds, influencing our decisions, emotions, and overall well-being. Like I said before, it was also the dark cloud that hung over my birthday month for more years than care to remember.

For me, the first step was recognizing that a lot of this "dark cloud" was a story I told myself and I had to be willing to start changing my mindset around it. It was about acknowledging those negative thoughts and consciously choosing to replace them with positive ones. When the "I hate February" crept in, I started to replace it with "I am grateful that I get another birthday." It's true, I am so grateful that I have been given another ride around the sun, and I could feel like saying this wasn't a lie filled with fake rainbows and unicorn farts. I will share with you some practical tips and techniques to help you reframe your thinking and cultivate a more optimistic outlook on life in a bit.

But first, I want to share with you how using genuine gratitude was a powerful tool to shift away from the negativity I had about this month to having an AMAZING birthday DAY!

Gratitude has the incredible ability to change your perspective and elevate your mood, it's why I have been using my gratitude journal every morning, I am actually seeing this shift come to life. Incorporating a gratitude practice into my daily routine has started to completely reshape my mindset. It's not just about saying "thank you" here and there – it's about cultivating a profound shift in the way you perceive the world around you.

So, let's start with the basics – what is gratitude, why does it matter, and how did it help me have such a great birthday day?

Gratitude is more than just a polite gesture; it's a mindset, a way of seeing the world with appreciation and recognizing the positive aspects of your life in ALL situations. It's not a wash over all things with a fake smile and pretend happiness thing. It's the ability to look for the silver lining on even the darkest of clouds. It's saying that you are happy for the opportunity to still be here to celebrate another birthday, even if your pissed off at how the month is going. When we express gratitude, whether internally or externally, we tap into a wellspring of TRUE positivity that has been shown to have profound effects on our mental well-being.

One of the powerful ways that I have integrated gratitude into my daily life has been keeping a gratitude journal. This simple practice involves taking a few minutes each day to jot down things that I am grateful for. It could be anything – from the warmth of the sun on your face to a kind gesture from a friend. I have a great guided journal that I purchased (I will link to it for you) It keeps me focused and connected to the practice each morning. The act of writing down these moments of gratitude serves as a daily reminder of the positive aspects of your life, even if somedays all I can write is that I am grateful for my cuppa coffee. It shifts the focus away from what might be going wrong to what is going right. Over time, I have find that my mindset naturally gravitates towards the positive, I am looking for things that I can be grateful for; creating a ripple effect into my thoughts and emotions. Another HUGE aspect of practicing gratitude for me has been expressing appreciation for the small things. Instead of complaining that my coffee is now cold because I wasn't able to drink it all before my kid needed help with whatever, I will say that I am grateful that I was able to help, poor another coffee (I DO NOT REHEAT COFFEE, GROSS!!) and get back to what I was doing. Often, it's these little moments that can have a big impact on our overall well-being. Take a moment each day to consciously acknowledge and express gratitude for the small pleasures, whether it's a delicious cup of coffee, a beautiful sunset, or a genuine smile from a stranger. By intentionally recognizing and appreciating these small moments of gratitude, you train your mind to focus on the positive aspects of your life. It's like turning into a frequency of positivity that can drown out the noise of negativity.

I also had to be willing to rewiring my thoughts, and as I promised let's dive into practical tips and techniques that helped me reframe my thinking and cultivate a more optimistic outlook around my birthday, allowing me to be open to receive all the amazing things this day brought. Changing a mindset is a powerful journey, and these strategies can hopefully help you move towards a better outlook as well.

Tip 1: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment without judgment. By incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you can become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. This heightened awareness allows you to catch negative thought patterns as they arise, giving you the opportunity to reframe them in real-time. Consider starting with short daily mindfulness exercises or meditation to build this mental muscle.

Tip 2: Challenge Negative Thoughts

When negative thoughts surface, don't accept them at face value. Challenge them with evidence to the contrary. Ask yourself, "Is this thought based on facts, or is it an assumption?" Often, we find that our negative thoughts are not grounded in reality. By questioning their validity, you can break their power over your mindset and open the door to more positive interpretations.

Tip 3: Positive Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself regularly. Craft affirmations that counteract your specific negative thought patterns. For example, if you often think, "I can't handle this," reframe it into, "I am capable and resilient." Repeat these affirmations daily, especially in challenging situations, to reinforce a more optimistic mindset.

Tip 4: Gratitude Practice

Building on those affirmations, gratitude is a potent tool for mindset transformation. Each day, take a moment to reflect on three things you're grateful for. This practice shifts your focus from what's lacking in your life to what you already have. Over time, you'll find that gratitude becomes a natural lens through which you view the world, fostering a more positive outlook.

Tip 5: Surround Yourself with Positivity

Your environment plays a significant role in shaping your mindset. Surround yourself with positive influences – whether it's uplifting music, inspiring books, or supportive people. Engage in activities that bring you joy and align with your values. Creating a positive environment reinforces your commitment to cultivating an optimistic outlook on life.

Changing your mindset is an ongoing process, and these practical tips and techniques can serve as your toolkit. Experiment with incorporating them into your daily life, and remember, small changes can lead to significant shifts in your overall outlook. Being open to February potentially being a better month for me did not mean that it was all rainbows, not at all. There have been some HUGE dumpster fire moments as my GF would say. There have actually been some very difficult moments so far. But what it did do was allow me to have a super great birthday DAY. I got to FaceTime with nephews and hear the cutest stories about his Tim Horton's orders. I had a GREAT day out with one of my very best friends, she spoiled me with my favorite lunch, and took me to meet another local mom Author who was having a book signing at our local Indigo. This meeting encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and find a way to do the same for my book. I got to relax and enjoy a lovely tea and conversation. The day closed out with my youngest two sons surprising me by collaborating with my husband and oldest (who are 4000km away) to have my favorite dinner - Indian Take out, chocolate blizzard ice cream cake. They video called and we all"ate" together. It was just so perfect, and I really loved every moment of it. It was so beautiful to be present, FULLY present and grateful for the day. It's taken a lot of work to be here, but its so FUCKING BEAUTIFUL!

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