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It’s the middle of the Christmas season in North America. The stresses filling people’s day may include picking the perfect gadget for Dad, or trying to keep this year’s spending budget under $1000. Perhaps the stress is coming from the annual uncomfortable family gatherings which are about to commence. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy westernized way of living, it can be easy to get caught up in the “stress” of things.

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So often I hear the terms “I hate when,” “it’s so annoying when,” or “this sucks because.” This kind of lingo is popular and is usually spoken about in regards to the minor things in life, like being stuck in traffic, waiting 10 seconds too long for an internet page to load, the shower water not being hot enough, the portions being too small at a restaurant, needing the iPhone 5 because the 4s is ‘useless’, etc. So many of us are not even conscious about when we are saying these things.

It’s become so embedded in our culture to complain about the trials and tribulations of our life, always desiring things to be more pleasing or having easier access to certain things, or wanting/needing more. This is a product of socio-cultural conditioning that we are all guilty of from time to time.

In reality, the majority of people’s reality is painted and influenced by the media and advertising companies. These industries establish what we all “need”, and help substantiate a consumerist identity that we have all bought into at one point in time. Hollywood tells us how to be happy by propagating the American Dream, working hard to attain lots of money to buy things so to appear “successful.” Night after night, we tune in and buy into this paradigm.

With this pseudo-reality being projected into the minds of the masses, it can be easy to forget about simple gratitude in life. It can simple to forget about the class segregation and difference in living standards taking place all around the world. I read this info-graphic once that really put things into perspective for me: “If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, then you are more fortunate than 75% of the world”. Take a moment to think about that.

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The following video provides a short but effective message in bringing us back to reality about the world we live in. Awareness and gratitude are powerful tools which will always assist us well on our journey. Let’s work together to spread these two ideas this Christmas season. Much love <3


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