“Last night I tossed and turned all night!” my hairdresser declared while braiding my daughter’s hair a couple of weeks ago. I love going to get our hair braided with my sister (as we refer to each other.) Since I see her every 3 to 4 months, it’s a time for us to catch up on life. We laugh, cry, and chat about all kinds of stuff going on in our lives. It’s somewhat of a quarterly therapy session with someone I trust and love dearly.
So this outburst was not out of the ordinary. “So sorry to hear,” I responded.” “Does that ever happen to you?” she asked? “No, not anymore,” I replied.” “How did you fix it?” she asked.
“Though gratitude,” I said. “That’s it!” she said, perplexed! Yup! Nothing magical. It’s simply the amazing healing power of gratitude and shifting the attention away from yourself and what you may be going through.
Two years ago, I was experiencing sleep issues too. I would get to bed and my mind would go nuts! I had tried everything I had been told might work; counting sheep, counting backward, meditating, not using electronics or eating before bedtime, and more. Nothing worked!
Out of frustration and a distaste for using medicine to fix things, I decided to try my own different approach. Here’s how it goes: every night when I get into bed, I put my eye mask on and do two things. First, I think about all the things I’m grateful for. There are constants, such as my kids, mom, family, good friends, health, and basics, such as shelter and food. Then, I add on any wins I’ve had during the day and week and those that my family and friends have experienced.
Second, I redirect my thoughts to those that haven’t been as lucky as I am. After all, there is always someone out there who is having it rougher than you are. I wish for better outcomes for the homeless, people with health challenges, those caught up in senseless wars, my friends and family who may be going through tough times, and anyone else who might need good vibes sent their way.
Without fail and within 5 to 10 minutes of my exercise, I’m in dreamland never to wake up until my alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. It is the best breakthrough that has instantly improved my mental, emotional, and physical well being. I am no longer tired or emotionally drained in the daytime.
In retrospect, gratitude and redirecting my thoughts to others in need has become my form of meditation.
One of the reasons we love Thanksgiving so much is because it reminds us to be grateful. While we should always be thankful, dedicating one day to stop and reflect upon all the wonderful things that have happened to us throughout the year with loved ones makes it more special.
In this spirit of gratitude and our desire to celebrate the awesome things we’ve experienced this year with you, our gapmuse family,
Here are the 10 things we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving:
1. Celebrating our 5 year Anniversary!
Who would have thought 5 years ago when we started this blog that we would still be here and going strong? It’s not lost on us that we couldn’t have done it without your support and dedication. Thank you for reading, liking and sharing our musings and your thoughts with your comments. ❤️
2. Achieving our 200 blog posts milestone!
We’ve published 205 posts to date! Thank you for inspiring us to share stories that matter to all of us. Every time you read, share, and comment on our musings, it motivates us to publish more stories.
3. Organizing two successful hikes with our gapmuseWomen community!
We’re grateful for the new connections and friendships, colorful and diverse conversations, and spirit of sisterhood fostered by the amazing women in this group.
4. Planning and executing our first-ever personal finance workshop with our gapmuseWomen community.
It was wonderfully empowering to learn about how to build wealth, how to select investment options, how to budget, how to save for retirement, how to save for kid’s college and more, alongside our daughters and a diverse group of women. We also came away with a FREE copy of a fantastic personal finance advice book “The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances, After Fifty,” by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz!
Click here if you’re interested in joining us for future hikes and workshops
5. Continuing to grow gapmuse community beyond our blog
Combined we had over 1,300 gapmusers connect with us on social. In addition, we had a whopping 34,000 people per month viewing our Pinterest boards and pins! Pssst… looking for Thanksgiving dinner recipe ideas? Click on the image below to access our Food & Drink Pinterest Board with 215 recipes to boot! We guarantee you’ll find one you’ll love!
Don’t miss out on the awesome stuff we share across our social networks! Connect with us today: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest
6. Attending the 2019 Women’s March in Oakland
Believe it or not, this was our very first time to attend a march. And what an experience it was! Marching with thousands of women and men in solidarity for the rights of women and girls was one of the most exhilarating experiences of our lives. Even more inspiring was having my daughter march with me. She even made the below sign we displayed through the march that said: “All Women Matter” and a fitting acronym that she coined on her own for W.O.M.E.N.: Wise. Optimistic. Mighty. Equal. Noble. Who can argue with that! 🙂
7. Discovering, LONA, a superb non-profit organization to support
By now, you know that our passion has always been to educate, inspire, and empower women. Everything we do – blog, Facebook community, and social connections – is rooted in our mission to uplift women’s and girls’ lives. You can imagine our excitement when we discovered LONA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to invest in women’s ability to create economic opportunities for themselves and others. As a social media strategy volunteer for the organization, it has given me the opportunity to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams and for that, I’m more than grateful. Click here to support this amazing organization.
8. Growing our gapmuseWomen community to nearly 100 members & celebrating our One Year Anniversary
Started as an extension of our blog and a desire to create a safe community where women can gather, connect, collaborate and thrive, our gapmuseWomen Facebook group has far surpassed our expectations.
It has become a vibrant community where we have conversations spanning the most pressing women’s issues and topics, such as career management, philanthropy, self-care, and lifestyle (food, fashion, health, and beauty), how to stay inspired, and much more. We can’t wait to see what conversations the new year will spawn and to make new and meaningful connections within the group and through our events and workshops. We’re forever grateful to the members of our community. Thank you for your participation, trust, insights, and opinions. Without you, our community would not be possible.
9. Reaching blog readers across the globe!
Our top 20 countries spanned all 7 continents including the U.S. India, Kenya, China, France, Philippines, South Korea, Ireland, United Kingdom, Panama, American Samoa, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Netherlands, Romania, Germany, and Pakistan.
10. Organizing our first ever “Quarterly Period Products Drive”
This is our proudest achievement of the year! In honor of the first 2019 National Period Day, we organized our first “Quarterly Period Products Drive.” Our objective is to collect pads, tampons, and liners for homeless women because we believe every woman, no matter their background or situation, deserves to live with dignity. They should no have to make a decision on whether to forgo food or tampons! With the help and generosity of 13 incredible women from our gapmuseWomen community and friends, we will deliver 36 boxes of tampons and pads every quarter (156 boxes per year) to Distributing Dignity, an amazing non-profit organization, which distributes donated feminine hygiene products to homeless women, including youth.
If 12 women can make such a significant impact, imagine what an organization incentivizing millions of women could achieve!
Our drive process is pretty simple. Every time each of us buys our monthly supply of tampons, pads, or liners, we buy one box of either one of these products. Our ultimate dream is to rally one of the organizations that produce and sell feminine hygiene products to adopt a similar model; for every box of tampons/pads purchased, they would donate a box to women in need. This model has been implemented effectively by Toms through the “One for One” giving program; every time you buy a Toms’ product, the company provides shoes, sight, water, safe birth, and bullying prevention services to people in need.
Want to join us? Tell us in the comments below or send us a note via our contact form here and we will coordinate with you how you can participate.
Thankfulness is an essential part of self-care. It allows us to take a pause to reflect on all the good things happening in our lives. By the simple act of reflection, we came away mentally and emotionally healthier, happier, more positive, and equipped to manage whatever life throughs at us. The most amazing thing about gratitude is that we can all benefit from it because it does not discriminate. All we have to do is pause for a moment and reflect. So go ahead, integrate thankfulness to your life, not only this Thanksgiving but also in your daily routine.
We’ve shared what we’re most grateful for. Your turn, what are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Please share. We’d love to hear it.
Have the most wonderful Thanksgiving gapmusers! We hope you get to enjoy your time with your family and/or friends.