Thankful Thursday 20: Being Mindful

Welcome to the twentieth instalment of my Thankful Thursday series, Being Mindful! This week’s post has a lot to do with last week’s – I’m sensing a theme.

I have arrived – I’m posting this on Thursday! But how is it possible that it’s already week 20?! This week, I’m focusing on gratitude for learning to be mindful.

Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the week of September 21 – September 27, 2018!

Things I am thankful for over the past week:

  • I decided to run this week’s 10k on Friday because I felt great after work. This relates to last week’s post about listening to my body. I usually plan to do my longer runs on the weekend for a lot of reasons. Mainly because:
    1. My half-marathon training programs always put the longest run on Sunday, as that is usually the day of the week that races fall on.
    2. I tend to have more energy on the weekends and not early in the morning before work or after a full day of work and/or school.

This week, for some reason I felt awesome on Friday and decided to do my 10k before the forecasted 75mm of rain that fell over the weekend. It went awesome – I beat my previous PB by 3 minutes! The rain ended up starting when I was at about the 5k mark, but it was gorgeous:

I took this photo in colour and it turned out almost completely grey, I love it.
  • I had a recording session with my client (for school, not a real client) on campus on Saturday. I’ll never get over how gorgeous it is there during the fall. Some examples:
Near Martha Piper Plaza.

  • I got to meet my fur-niece, Luna. HOW CUTE?!??!!?!!!
She is a blue merle miniature Australian shepherd.
  • Rugby on Sunday morning was NOT RAINY and super fun. The Capilano youth women went 3-1 at the U19 level and 3-0-1 at the U16 level!

  • My two classes went really well at UBC, and after Tuesday’s class, I SAW AN OWL! It was amazing.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a snowy owl like Hedwig, but it certainly looks like one due to the light in this photo!
  • Over the past few days (Monday until now) it’s been gloriously sunny and feels a lot more like Vancouver’s typical September weather. After two weeks of rain, it’s fabulous.
  • My school held their annual Terry Fox Run this morning, and I ran it. I was the first teacher to finished, and beat the 1k record on my running watch! I ran for my friend Stephanie, who is currently fighting brain cancer.

And finally, the theme for this week, Being Mindful!

My two profs this semester are both focusing on teaching us mindfulness. The program in general sees it as very important for counsellors in training, and I totally agree.

Mindfulness, drilled down to its most essential, is noticing without judgment, or focusing one’s awareness on the current moment with compassion.

Often practicing mindfulness is a form of meditation. You can try to notice things that are happening in your body, or just notice your thoughts without judging them. At the start of every class, we do a short mindfulness practice, and I’m really loving it. I’m going to try to do it more on my own – as a practice, it’s best to do it every day, even just for a short time.

I’m finding that thanks to this practice, I’m feeling a bit less anxious. I also think that I’m finding it easier to eat mindfully and listen to my body, especially when I’m choosing workouts.

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,


Thankful Thursday 2: Sunny Vancouver Spring

Last week I shared the things I’d been grateful for in the preceding week for the first time, in my original Thankful Thursday post. Welcome to the second week of my new habit, with a new dose of sunny gratitude!

This week’s post continues the segment, but it’s shorter now that the introductions are out of the way.

Here’s my Thankful Thursday for the Sunny week of April 20-26, 2018!

Things I am thankful for this week:

  • I have taken a lot of joy from the podcasts I’ve listened to (this week, mostly Modern Love and Nancy)
  • I crossed the distance threshold in the half-marathon training program and have started to taper – I ran 20km on Sunday and the longest I have to do now until the race is 10km

It Has Finally Been Really Sunny in Vancouver!!!

(This one deserved its own header)

Continuing the list…

  • I went to the chiropractor on Tuesday because my hip has been acting up and I feel MILES better now
  • My doctor called to follow-up about my thyroid results – this is HUGE. My levels are low and I need to increase my medication dosage. This means that my significant issues with depression and tiredness might not have been just SAD – they could have also been caused by my low thyroid! Post upcoming on this for sure.
  • My dad did mine and my husband’s taxes (having a parent who’s an accountant is a godsend – thanks Dad!!!) and I’m getting a huge refund (Thanks, university tuition credits!)
  • Andrew and I booked our flights to New Brunswick for this summer so we can visit friends and family
  • Found out that my dad and step-mom are coming to Vancouver for work and a visit really soon!

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for this sunny week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,


Thankful Thursday 1: An Introduction

One of the people I follow on Instagram, Alexandra (@alexandratheoptimist) has started doing something she calls Thankful Thursday. She’s a really great mental health advocate, and I love these little initiatives that she shares.

What is Thankful Thursday?

Every Thursday, Alexandra shares some things in her Instagram Story that she’s thankful for, and they can be big or little or somewhere in between.

Why do I want to do it?

I’ve tracked things I’m grateful for in my bullet journal for a couple of years now, and I find it really helps me to stay grounded. Often, I get in a downward spiral of anxious thoughts. Thinking about the things that have made me feel good in my week is a great way to remind myself that things are not all bad. In fact, they’re often pretty awesome!

Also, for a couple of years I did a project on Instagram that I called #beccashappylife. It was a trend that started with a project called #100happydays. Sadly, I think the reward ended up being not real (them sending you a gift), but it did end up starting a pretty great gratitude trend.

Finally, I think this project is “on brand,” if you will, with what I’m doing here in this blog space, so I’m going to start having it as a regular, weekly segment!

Here’s my Thankful Thursday!

Things I am thankful for this week:

  • The sun has come out three out of four days so far this week (yes, in my opinion the first day of the week is Monday)
  • I got a serendipitous phone call on Monday
  • Less trouble getting out of bed in the mornings, which is probably the second biggest thing
  • I got some funding for my Master’s degree from work (YESSS!!!! Definitely the biggest thing)
  • Really great tutoring session with a client
  • Chocolate and cookies
  • I went to sleep before 10 once
  • This morning I got this view as a reward for getting up at 5:45am (let’s be honest, it was 5:48 after I spent 3 minutes feeling sorry for myself) to go for my run:

What Next?

I’ve been really ruminating on something my counsellor recently suggested to me about this gratitude tracking. What she said was that it’s great to retroactively track the things that you’ve been grateful for. However, there are important next steps to make it an even more meaningful practice. The first is to start noticing great moments as they’re happening, not just after when you have the chance to take some time to think about it.

Being able to recognize these happy, warm, gratitude-filled moments as they’re happening is a really great way to combat anxiety and depression and to just have better days in general.

The next step my counsellor talked to me about was being able to draw on memories of these great moments when we’re struggling or in a dark or difficult place. They can give you a great buffer between your brains and destructive thoughts, and can increase mood in general when you can call on them at will.

Some of my Favourite Moments to Call on in Times of Darkness and Anxiety

  • Sitting on my couch in a puddle of sunshine
  • The first taste of hot coffee on the weekend
  • The moment I press the timer on my running watch when I’ve completed a training session
  • The feeling of wake-up cuddles with my dog Jazzy. She used to wait at my bedroom door for me to get out of bed
  • The feeling of closing a really great book after I’ve finished it

There you have it!

So, that’s my Thankful Thursday list for the week. I hope it inspires you to make your own, and get on that gratitude train!

Peace and love,