The holidays are a time for eating, resting, eating some more, and wearing your pajamas all day (or maybe that’s just me). But the holidays are also a great time for reflection on everything you have to be grateful for.
Gratitude is often associated with the ‘giving’ season of Christmas, a tied and true tradition of gift giving on, or around the holidays. But the concept of practicing gratitude as a whole – despite circumstances or shortcomings that may also simultaneously come into your life – is a practice psychologists say can have a vast impact on our mental health. Psychology today states that true gratitude is a deeply felt emotion, ‘expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants or thinks they need,‘ for example. By practicing gratitude in the form of writing thank you letters or (literally) counting your blessings, you can increase your energy, optimism, and empathy.
This year at Her Agenda, we asked our fabulous, amazing tribe of writers to count their blessings and tell us what they are most grateful. Here is what they had to say…
Rhonesha Byng, Her Agenda Founder
I am always grateful for a supportive community. I have many communities I am part of and even with that I am so lucky to also be at the helm of one with the Her Agenda Insiders. I am happy to have our readership and a great group of contributors who help us each day to move closer to closing the gap between our ambitions and our achievements. Everything in this world happens through people and relationships. When we invest in those, and invest in ourselves by doing the work, the benefits are greater than we can imagine.
I am grateful for the amazing people that walked into my life and the toxic people that walked out. I am grateful for the friends that have cheered me on when I have been up and have given me reassurance when I have been down.
I am grateful for my family – especially my brother – who brought my nephew 3000 miles to meet me for the first time. I am grateful for all the traveling I got to do and the new experiences I had.
I am grateful for the dance teachers and students who taught me to be fearless. I am grateful for the women who continue to speak their truth even when they are terrified and society is against them because they encourage me to speak mine.
I am grateful for the supportive community of women at Her Agenda for allowing me to share meaningful stories to an audience.
2018 has left me speechless. At the start of this year I was at the very beginning of changing careers in search of something more meaningful and enjoyable for me. I wanted to get more clear on my purpose, find a full- time job, write for other publications, grow as a graphic designer, and try to make something of myself.
Though this year was extremely hard, it did not break me. It has taught me how to breathe in spite of overwhelming anxieties, loss, and the feeling we all know to well of “I’m not doing enough… I’m not good enough.”
I’ve been fearless when going after the things I want and feel more aligned with my truth. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to connect more with my family, mend broken friendships, and walk away from lovers that didn’t quite feel right. 2018 was not perfect, my life still feels all over. But I can tell that I am in a phase of becoming and that I am blooming. Patience is all it’s going to take from here on out.
I am grateful for my village. There is something magical about the chorus of children under the age of 9 announcing your presence in a room. It makes my heart flutter when I catch my nieces mimicking me. I am eternally grateful for my sister and girlfriends who have become sisters as well as their little ones who call me Titi.
I’m grateful for my babies, hot long showers, FaceTime to see my family regularly overseas, and an employer that is innovative while putting employees first.
I am grateful for the tired voice from within that kept emerging and kept saying “keep trying” even though I wanted to give up and follow a different path.
2018 was full of ups and downs but it showed me how gratitude makes a difference in any situation. I’m grateful for my family, I’m grateful for my friends and I’m grateful for breath in my body.
I’m also grateful that I’m able to write for Her Agenda, I’m grateful to the readers of Her Agenda and I’m grateful that I am now officially a certified Erotic Blueprint™️ Coach!
As I wrap up the year, I look forward to continuing walking in my purpose in 2019.
Ndidi L. Obasi
This year, I had the opportunity through work (and some leisure) to travel to 38 cities in 21 states and across 2 continents. Because of this experience, I was able to meet so many different people in every sense of the word, and expose myself to a myriad of cultures, cuisine, and ways of thinking.
(These travels) helped me better chart the path I want to take in life and opened my mind and heart in ways I never thought possible. Even better, I flew 27 times… even though I have a fear of flights! (Flying) allowed me to see what great things I can accomplish if I push past my fears in pursuit of great things. I’m hoping to keep this spirit going into the new year!
Victoria L. Shoots
This year, I’m particularly thankful for a loving and supporting family and tribe. Because life (and especially 2018) really has had a funny way of throwing curveballs, it’s so reassuring to know I have people in my corner cheering me on. Even when I feel like giving up, they’re always there to push me back on track.
Looking back at 2018, I am extremely grateful for the relationship I have with my parents and sister. In the last year, I’ve been juggling work and graduate school, and when life brought its challenges, the love, understanding, and support from my family helped me to push through. I feel blessed and love them very much.
I’m grateful for the opportunities to generate revenue using my God-given talents of writing, speaking and coaching. I am grateful for the people in my life who have supported me, provided encouragement and believed in me even before I fully became aware of my vision. I am especially thankful for the opportunity to spend yet another holiday season with my friends and family as it’s a privilege that I do not take for granted.