- When we open our eyes to see atypical things as gifts, we find more to treasure as we grow our capacity to feel joy.
- Learn to practice mindful moments of deeper gratitude when we begin to discover and see more things as gifts.
- We can see words as gifts to us. We can give the gift of words by intentionally uplifting others with our words.
- The purpose of this new blog series is to share how I see things as gifts. It can lead to greater joy, positivity, and gratitude. See the challenge for the month below!
The best things in life aren’t things. The best gifts in life aren’t things either.
What is the Value of a Gift?
A gift is something given to you. You receive it with no expectation of any return. Gifts have a way of evoking positive emotions, which can lead to happiness, joy, and potentially have a place in your long-term memories. As a child, I remember the feeling of elation when receiving certain gifts. We didn’t grow up with many gifts except for birthdays and Christmas. My parents as immigrants didn’t have a lot of extra money to buy “just because” gifts.
The simple things brought my brother and me great joy. When I was four, I remember our next door neighbor surprising us with Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum sticks from time to time. One time, for no reason, these neighbors gave me the most beautiful pink bejeweled purse. I have a number of these childhood memories of gifts that became keepsakes that I still have today, including that purse. These gifts made me feel special. I treasured them for decades and still do. Why? They were thoughtfully picked out for me and I felt grateful for that, probably more than the item itself. I don’t use any of these items today but they hold a special place in my heart as a feeling of being loved. What are your favorite childhood gifts that evoke joy?
Open Your Eyes to See Gifts
As an adult, I still like to receive gifts but I feel more joy to give them. While I am grateful for the tangible things I can hold in my hands, I admit I am often more touched by intangible things like kind gestures and thoughtful actions. For example, what I love to give and receive is the gift of thoughtful words in the form of a simple note, text, or message.
I now see that intangible gifts are all around us. We just need to open our eyes to see them as gifts. And once we do, it is there for us to receive as we wish. It’s boundless. We do not have to wait for others to give it to us. These gifts can be shared with others too.
We have our own set of lenses for which we see the world. What happens and how we feel about our world are interpreted based on a number of factors like past experiences, relationships, attached feelings, and our current state of mind and emotions, for example. I see our interpretations as a choice. We choose how and what we see as a result of our mindset and the lens we wear.
Gifts Lead to Gratitude
Why do I choose to see through a lens of gifts? It is through this lens that gratitude can more easily ooze out of my heart.
Let’s think about how most people feel when they receive a gift. For many, after an element of surprise, there is an instant feeling of happiness (hopefully not disappointment!), and then usually appreciation follows.
Especially with intangible gifts I receive, I like to enter into a mindful moment, a deeper sense of gratitude, and dive into feelings that bring joy. I want to see things as blessings, for when I do, I am less likely to take them for granted. I love to allow these feelings of gratitude to reach my heart and breathe it in to enjoy or be “in” joy.
The Gift of Words
As mentioned above, I love to give and receive words. When I read heart-filled personal messages written to me, I see and receive these words as a gift. As a mindful practice, I take a moment to absorb the words that were carefully and meaningfully chosen just for me. I breathe in the kindness, thoughtfulness, and gratitude in their words. Sometimes I close my eyes too so I can really feel the love. I allow it to sit and rest on my heart like how a blanket warms me on a cold winter’s day. (I know cold because I live in Canada!)
In our busy lives, we read so many words in emails and on our various social media accounts. We speak and listen to many more words throughout our day. How many of these conversations uplift others or make you feel uplifted? Every interaction we have is an opportunity to intentionally uplift others through our kindness and gratitude. We have it in us to give our gift of words. YOU can give your gift of empathetic and uplifting words. It costs nothing but a desire and a bit of your heart, time, and effort. We can shift someone’s day just by the way we say hello to them!
So Many Gifts
I didn’t always see gifts all around me. It’s a more recent discovery and one I have absolutely grown to love. The more I see things as gifts, the more I have to treasure and value. It’s a mindset shift that led me to greater positivity and joy. I am excited to take you on a journey with me. In a monthly blog series called Gift Better, we will explore and dive deeper into various priceless gifts all around us, waiting for us to cherish. I encourage you to put on your Gift Better lenses to begin to see possibilities as you join me. Through possibilities, you will begin to see opportunities. It is my hope that you will begin to shift your viewpoint by expanding your mindset.[scroll down to keep reading]
Gift Better Challenge
Oh, the opportunities abound! By viewing many more things as gifts, it has changed me for the better. I have always been a positive person but now I am even happier, more positive, and grateful as a result. I feel joyfully alive every day!
Next month, I will share how I see each day as a gift. Until then, here are some ideas for this month’s challenge. Begin to see your authenticity as a gift and words as gifts (both given and received). Pick one or pick all:
- Pay attention to the words you receive. These words were chosen just for you. Feel the gratitude in your mind, heart, and soul when you receive a gift of words. Breathe it all in as you take a mindful moment to absorb the feelings of kindness and gratitude.
- Be intentional with the words you say to others. Put on a set of lenses that sees your words to others as a gift, an opportunity to intentionally uplift and make their day a brighter one. Make a positive impact on their day.
- Give the gift of your true authentic self to others. Find what brings you joy and share it with others.
The Gift of Self
I pledge to give the gift of myself and my authenticity in this Gift Better series. In all of my beloved roles as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, colleague, coach, and educator, I lead with my heart. It is through my heart and my words, you will learn more about me and my experiences. If we have connected on social media, I’m so glad we are friends. I hope you have learned already that I love to give the gift of words through my deep care and gratitude for our connection. I model what I wish to see in the world. If we have not connected yet, I am looking forward to meeting you. Feel free to DM me on Twitter. Let’s chat!
Change the Way You See the World
My hope is to make an imprint on your heart so that you will begin to see gifts all around you too. It is through this new lens that I hope will lead to more gratitude and ultimately, more joy in your life like I have found in mine.
“All it takes is one idea on how to change the way you see the world to change your world.”
– Robin Sharma
I would absolutely love to connect with you to have a conversation. Please feel free to share what resonated with you most or how you met one of these challenges. I am grateful you chose to give me the gift of your time to read my post. Please click here to let me know your thoughts, thank you!
With a heart full of gratitude, Livia
ABOUT LIVIA CHAN
Livia Chan is an educator passionate about community, teaching, leading, and lifelong learning. She truly believes in the power of connection and thoroughly enjoys building relationships by reaching out with kindness and gratitude. Livia lives by the belief that it is through every interaction that we have the opportunity to appreciate and uplift others to help make their day a brighter one. Her other passions include family, friends, and ringette, which she is heavily involved in as a volunteer coach, Executive member, referee, and player.
For over 20 years, Livia has continued to experience the joy of teaching in the Greater Vancouver area in BC, Canada, and loves her role as a Head Teacher and classroom teacher. She previously served on the District Staff Development Team in Learning Technologies supporting K-12 educators. Currently, Livia is honored to be the Digital Content Editor and Ambassador for the Teach Better Team and loves being a part of this family! Her motto is “Working together to better ourselves, each other, and the world around us.”