Do you spend more time thinking about what you do have or what you don’t have? Is that proverbial glass half-full or half-empty? If it is half-empty, why don’t you fill it? Fill it conceptually (if not, actually…). Once we treat GRATITUDE as a choice, we become accountable. We do things that fill us…and, more importantly, we stop doing the things that leave us empty. There is absolute perfection in our imperfection and light in our darkness. We are gifted with a vision that sees through darkness and brings us back to light.
Where the gratitude hits the road, we find true comfort. Gratitude is the connection to abundance, a practice in acknowledging all we have. It is the avenue through which we receive more. Ironically, when we turn down our consumer-driven “needs”, “wants”, and “wish lists”, we open ourselves to more…more energy, more gifts, and a deeper connection through our heart center. We become an open channel rather than a blocked artery. It is precisely when we find ourselves fixated on lack that we must turn it around. Relief and comfort are right around the corner when we open ourselves to gratitude.
And, with practice, we get good at gratitude…really good. So, let’s practice:
1. Find GRATITUDE as early in the day as possible.
While you’re lying in bed or preparing your breakfast, contemplate what you have gratitude for today. Ideally, before you start scrolling through your inbox, text messages, or social media. How you start your day…influences the direction of your day. Pause and reflect…with gratitude for your world and the body you have to experience it.
2. Eat with GRATITUDE.
Think of all the people behind the meal you are currently eating…this is one of my favorite practices. Bonus: involve your dining companion(s).
When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” ~Chinese Proverb
3. Travel with GRATITUDE.
Air travel, in particular at this time of year, tends to expose us to delays, colds, and full-out grumpiness…turn it around with legitimate appreciation for everyone involved getting you from place x to place y.
4. Workout with GRATITUDE.
Best practice. My gratitude journal started in competition prep. It was an essential then because my body was being depleted and asked to do things it normally doesn’t have to do (like fasted cardio…). But, even when food is plentiful and an alternative energy source isn’t needed, gratitude helps us get more from the workout as we shift our mentality from “have to” to “get to” work out.
5. Pay with GRATITUDE.
The water bill. The electric bill. Every single bill. Especially the ones you don’t anticipate. Speeding ticket? ER visit? Yes, bless those, too. Even the exorbitant “this doc saw me for five minutes and charged me what?!” bills.
6. Exhale GRATITUDE.
In those moments that test your willPower, find gratitude in a great exhale.
7. Get lost in GRATITUDE.
Backbend. There are so many ways gratitude can permeate your life. Get creative and yes, get lost in it!
8. Declare your GRATITUDE.
Leave a little love note, place an “I appreciate you” post-it on your co-worker’s desk, give heartfelt thanks for the products, services or kind gestures you are receiving in your daily life…just find some space and declare it.
9. Meditate with GRATITUDE.
When you’re having a hard time settling into meditation, go to gratitude. Allow gratitude to ground you and soothe away the competing thoughts and to-do list.
10. Write down 10 “I feel so blessed for…” GRATITUDE statements. Every day, don’t stop until you hit 10. And feel free to keep going if you’re on an inspirational roll. Try to be unique each day. This is not a superstitious act so you don’t have to include everything or all the big stuff. Go on a tangent with whatever is happening in your life…in the world…or just on your breakfast plate. Cold outside? Love a fire in the fireplace or warm fuzzy socks? Thanksgiving this week? Grateful for a day off? Grateful for pants with an elastic waistband? Yes, me, too!
Do want to explore GRATITUDE further? Click here for quotes, mantras, and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise.