What place can you bring yourself to that can lift you up no matter what circumstances you may be in? No matter how big or how small, how tough or how simple?
For me, that place has always been Gratitude. Gratitude can be the most reliable friend to fall back on. As long as you can remember it, it will never leave your side. If you’re someone who is getting out to experience what life has to offer, not every situation that comes your way is a dandy one. As much as we may desire for our lives to be sunshine and rainbows, it just isn’t. I’m not sure how much growth would occur if that were the case. Some days you may feel like a rockstar, ready to take on whatever comes your way. And some days you may feel like the weight of the world is collapsing on your shoulders.
Our minds have been unconsciously trained to travel from the past or to the future. We are fixated on what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow but rarely are we ever in the present moment. The more that we can practice gratitude, the more we can rewire our minds to the present moment. What is here and now.
When we are in the present, we lose sight of the regrets of yesterday or the angst of tomorrow.
Gratitude also immediately shifts our thinking from a negative, beat-yourself-up frame of mind to an uplifting, feel good, you-can-conquer-anything frame of mindset.
When I was experiencing some of the toughest times of my life, it was the simple things that pulled me through. The way the sky has different tints of blue as it became the background for a flock of birds to freely roam like the reminder of liberty. The smell of your mother’s or grandmother’s cooking. The breeze touching your face. The inhalation and exhalation of your breath.
It’s the simple things.
It’s in being aware of those special but often taken for granted moments that allow us to move through the pain in a way that is gratifying and graceful.
Here’s what I call gratitude doses that you can immediately practice and implement to bring more love, joy and blessings into your life:
As a side note: I like to start these off in the morning as it helps me to start off on a good note for the rest of the day.
1) Every morning, write down a list of 3-5 things that you’re grateful for. When writing your list, be as present as possible. Bring yourself to the here and now. Be aware of your mind and where it has tendencies to travel. Then really dig in and think about some things that you are truly grateful for that you might often overlook. It could be something as simple as “warm sheets to cozy up your body while you sleep at night”.
When you’re done writing the list, read it over again and spend a few minutes to reflect on your gratitude doses.
Become aware of how it makes you feel and allow yourself to get lost in that moment. Take that feeling with you through the rest of the day.
2) Every time you experience a feeling of stress, anger, anxiety, fear, pain. Pause.
Close your eyes.
Take a few slow, deep breaths.
Bring yourself to the present where all those feelings dissipate. And ask yourself these questions,
– How can I see this experience as an opportunity for me to learn and grow?
– What insights have I gained from this that I can be thankful for ?
– What made me laugh or smile recently?
I end with that last question because sometimes we are in way over our heads. We tell ourselves negative talk that just isn’t true. So thinking about something for someone that made you laugh recently will remind you “It’s not that serious.”
3) Place your hand over heart.
Close your eyes.
Listen to that. Feel that.
That’s you. That’s your purpose. That’s your reason. That’s your why.
and that you were granted a place in this Universe for a reason more grand than you can possibly imagine. Let go of what you cannot change. Focus all of your energy on releasing the grip on the old and instead build new bridges that will you closer towards fulfilling your purpose.
I hope this practice can become a part of your life and bring you many blessings and joy.
Be Thankful For You. (I know I am.)