Gratitude Living Present Monday Mantras

Seek the Gems

Seek the Gems: Find Joy and Gratitude Each Day

This June has been a month jam-packed with memorable moments and non-routine weeks.  It’s been a month full of gifts that made it very easy to be grateful and experience joy.

  • Fun outings with friends
  • “City hiking” through various SF neighborhoods, snapping pictures along the way
  • A trip to Vancouver with Sean, soaking up the nature wonders and geeking out on all the street art (a city of nature and art…my heart was full!)
  • Cookie dough, pretzel, chocolate chip ice cream from Smitten (a local ice cream shop) with a girl friend and Sean post-dinner during one of our 90-something, hot summer days
  • A number of picnics in the Dolores Park to enjoy the beautiful sunny, summer weather (I guess the weather gods decided no “June gloom” for SF this summer!)
  • A special visit from a Seattle-raised turned world-traveler “soul sister” friend (i.e., Melody Miles…my bubble-blowing parter in crime who is also pictured herein)

The above are merely some of the many joy-filled experiences I’ve been blessed with this June.  

My Seattle-born, writer pal (Melody Miles) and I jumped on a gem we spotted in Dolores Park: blowing bubbles and laughing with strangers. We felt like little kiddos again.

June has indeed been filled with many happy memories.

However, there were still days when things were less than stellar. 

As with any month or season in life, there were days this June wherein contentment, joy, and peace did not flow naturally.

Some days, I had to search for the gifts God intended me to receive with purpose and intent. 

Take Cues from the Blues to Seek Gratitude

On days when my feelings or circumstances feel less than ideal, I like to take it as a cue to lean into gratitude in order to remind my weary heart that God will use any and all difficult circumstances for good. 

Choosing to focus on what we are thankful for and specifically calling out the many blessings that already exist in our lives has such a way of lifting our spirits. 

A daily gratitude practice I have found very helpful in keeping me grounded in joy and transforming sour moments into sweet victories is a practice I like to call: seeking out the gems.

The gem-seeking practice is two-fold:

  1. Choosing to search for the positive, despite the negative
  2. Intentionally searching for gifts each day

This week’s mantra is designed to help you “seek out the gems” in your days and apply these two strategies.

So then, how about we dive right in?

This Week’s Mantra

“Seeking out gems” is a useful tool to help you develop a mindset that is geared toward positivity. 

To help you remember to search for the positive in the negative and be intentional about searching for gifts each day, keep this mantra front and center each day:

I will seek the gems.

Below is a quick video to briefly explain this mantra and what it means to “seek the gems.” I also include some specific examples of how I put this into action recently.

Check out the video by clicking on the image below.

Once you’ve had a listen, read on to dig a bit deeper into the two gem-seeking strategies.

2 Gem Seeking Strategies Explained

Strategy #1: Searching for the Positive, Despite the Negative

Seeking out the gems means choosing to search for the positive.

It entails “flipping the script” on negative mindsets or choosing to see the positive in difficult situations. 

It means choosing to see the good and leaning into peace no matter what life throws at us.

Gratitude Uses Hard Days for Growth (Not Grief)

When life gets difficult, it’s natural to want to wish away suffering, attempt to avoid/escape our pain, or complain about our problems.  

No one wants to go through painful circumstances.  And when we’re confronted with hard times, it can feel tempting to allow ourselves to wallow in our grief. 

Your heart may want to cry out “whoa is me” or “why, God, why?” 

But, FIGHT BACK, Friend!  

  • Challenge that negative, problem-focused, wallowing mindset! 
  • Choose to find the positive, despite the negative.
  • Choose to find the lesson, rather than focusing on the problem.

View your struggles as an opportunity for growth and empower yourself with gratitude and a positive mindset.

Otherwise, your suffering may go wasted.

With a negative mindset, instead of growth you may only find grief.

View Adversity As An Opportunity For Growth

So, Friend…don’t waste your suffering.

  • Rather than doubting God or focusing on your problems, choose to view adversity through a grateful lens…allow yourself to see it as an opportunity for growth.
  • Remind yourself: God will use any bad things that come your way for ultimate good.
  • Hold onto the promise that God arranges our suffering for our own good because He delights in us. He wants the best for us.  God is able to use our times of adversity to shape us into the individuals He created us to be. 

Entrust your burdens and problems to God: trust Him to turn your pain into power.

While never yearned for, pain can be a beautiful gift. Difficult moments or seasons can cause us to turn to God. If we allow Him, God can use our pain to grow us, change us, and mold us into the individuals He intended.

God desires for us to see ourselves the way He sees us: beautiful, cherished children with unsurpassable worth, purposed uniqueness, and so much potential.

He can use our problems to lead us to our True Selves: the beautiful individuals He created us to be.

Strategy #2: Searching for Gifts Each Day

In addition to choosing to see the positive despite the negative, a wise gem-seeker intentionally sets out to find the hidden gems of life each day.

There are gems scattered by God along our daily paths. Joy-filled gifts He wants us to receive. 

These beautiful gifts await us each day: special moments, meaningful messages, beautiful wonders, impactful interactions…the gifts take on many forms. 

However, sometimes we walk right past or overlook His joy-filled presents because we don’t train our eyes or hearts to take notice and/or intentionally search them out.

How to Be Intentional & Search For Today’s Gifts

This week, I encourage you to set an intention each day to discover one or more of the gifts God has planned for you. 

For example:

  • As you’re leaving the house for the day, say a quick prayer to ask God to help you remain “awake” to whatever He wants to show you.
  • Ask you’re commuting to work or running errands, ask Him to help you hear the messages He wants to tell you that day…the people He wants you to meet…the lessons He wants you to learn.

Step into your day knowing there are things God wants you to see and hear: and keep yourself committed to seeking those things out. 

One thing I love to do to help me “search for gems” is to grab my camera and go for a walk around my neighborhood. It’s become an almost daily ritual for me to go on these “gem seeking” walks. 

I scan the sidewalks and search the sides of buildings for fun art or messages.  I take in my surrounding and observe situations.  I spend time in nature…and sometimes nature finds me in the middle of the city life (lately – hummingbirds have been everywhere!).

I search with expectation, knowing there’s something that God will use to speak to my heart.  

And each day I find that gem (or those gems): my heart is filled with joy and I feel so connected to God. 

I want that for you, too!

Your Turn to Be a Gem Seeker!

So Friend…are you ready to start SEEKING OUT THOSE GEMS?!

I encourage you to have fun with it

Each of us is different – so we will each have our own unique way of implementing this practice.

  • Play around with things that sound fun to you to search out the gifts of the day.  Get creative with how you want to begin searching for gifts each day. 
  • Establish daily habits that help remind you to stay “awake” to the beautiful things God wants to reveal to you.

Some Last Words

Well, Friend, I hope this “gem seeking” practice helps you step out into each day with expectation, knowing full well that God has beautiful gifts awaiting you.

I also hope it helps you experience more joy each day and ultimately guides you toward a more positive mindset over time.

Best of luck to you in seeking out your treasures!!

As you embark on your journey of gratitude-seeking:

May you see the beauty in each day.

May you seek the remarkable in the seemingly unremarkable. 

May you seek the gems.

May you be grateful. Be confident. Be radiant. 

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