“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” — Helen Keller
Gratitude is a gift — the gift to see stars instead of a dark sky, the gift to find joy in a hopeless place, the gift to turn crisis into opportunity. Our team has decided to call this festive period “The Season of Gratitude” because we’d like for you to remember this year not for the bad, but for the good we still have in spite of the bad. It is our wish that you enter a brand new year with your eyes and heart on open doors. And gratitude is your key.
To start the ball rolling, we invited three women — Andrea Chong, Brie Benfell and Jade Seah — to tell us what gratitude means to them, and a few things they’re grateful for this year.
Presenter / Media Consultant / Digital Creative / Entrepreneur
A short introduction of yourself.
Jade Seah: I'm Jade Seah, and I wear many hats — Presenter, Media Consultant, Digital Creative, Entrepreneur and… Eternal Optimist.
What is “gratitude” to you?
JS: Gratitude is taking the time and effort to acknowledge the goodness in our lives, and to consciously appreciate every little thing we have been blessed with. It is more than simply feeling thankful: It is a deep appreciation; it produces longer lasting positivity, and it helps us connect to something larger than ourselves as individuals.
What are some things you are thankful for?
JS: There are so many! I am most of all thankful for the good people I have been blessed with — my family and my good friends. Sometimes I’m not sure what I have done to deserve them!
I am also thankful for my health and my life in general. My life is not perfect, and I still struggle with many things, but I acknowledge that I have been very blessed in so many ways.
On a day-to-day basis, I am thankful to be engaged in work that I have passion for, and that I find inspiring. There are days that can be really trying; because no work is without its fair share of challenges, but by far and large, I enjoy the work that I do very much, and I feel thankful to be able to make a living doing (mostly) what I love.
How do you think one can have an attitude of gratitude?
JS: It really does take a conscious effort to remember to be grateful. Getting into the habit of keeping a gratitude journal or "Three Blessings Journal” is one. It's a proven Positive Psychology Intervention to help increase well-being, life satisfaction and overall happiness, and it's really simple: Make time each day to write down three things that happened in the day you are grateful for — be as specific as possible! It could be as trivial as, you were happy to have had your favourite dish for lunch that day.
Too often, when life gets busy, we go through the motion of just getting through it without being mindful, forgetting all the little pockets of joy and goodness that happen in our day. To cultivate an attitude of gratitude is to get into the habit of remembering to appreciate, and to look for the good in every thing that happens. Like our physical muscles, this sort of thought pattern can be trained with conscious practice!
How will you be celebrating the festive season this year?
JS: I will be overseas for work for much of December, which I am a little bummed about as I usually look forward to preparing for Christmas with my mum — shopping for presents, wrapping them, writing Christmas cards and more.
Because I'll be away, my family will do our tree trimming earlier this year so I can be a part of it. We will also have a pre-Christmas feast before I leave. I will be back on Christmas Eve to celebrate with them.
Christmas is big in my family, and we celebrate by going to church together, exchanging presents, visiting relatives, feasting and singing carols. This year will be no different, although we sadly will not be able to gather with the extended family due to the restrictions on numbers.
A message or quote you want to leave for the readers this festive season.
JS: I know the past year has not been easy in these unprecedented times, but there are always things we can be grateful for, and I hope we all make an effort this Christmas to focus on those. Write them down if you can! Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and a very bright and happy 2022 ahead.
Read more from Andrea Chong and Brie Benfell.
We would like to thank Andrea, Brie and Jade for joining us for The Season of Gratitude Campaign to inspire us with meaningful messages on gratitude. #TheSeasonOfGratitude #byndartisan
(Photos courtesy of interviewees.)