There is an explosion about the importance of being grateful and the practice of gratitude in one’s life. People are talking about it everywhere and how it can fill your life with hope, peace and vision. There are websites and coaches who work solely on this concept. In fact, Gratefulness.org’s vision is to be ‘a worldwide community dedicated to gratefulness as the core inspiration for personal change, international cooperation and sustainable activism in areas of universal concern.” That is a heartfelt vision and one no one can deny is of tremendous import.
BUT how do you use that in your everyday life. What will the practice of being “Grateful” truly do for you? Why should we begin a daily practice of gratitude in an already packed-filled life? And, once you know that, how do you sustain that practice in these turbulent times?
The practice of Gratitude is an art and once practiced it will provide you with a FEELING Of being “Filled with Greatness” That’s not the ego-inflated greatness we all see in so many individuals. But, rather, it’s the feeling of fullness of all that is possible. It’s the feeling that the cup is not only Half Full but can become full at any given moment we want. It is the feeling that we appreciate all that is given to us and set in our paths and that we, as individuals, do not squander or waste the talents that are unique to each and every one of us. This feeling will give you so much more ENERGY to use all of those talents.
And, a daily practice of gratitude is easy once you place the intention that this is the kind of life you are choosing to have.
How do you cultivate a daily practice? START with these THREE EASY steps and you will begin to feel what people are talking about in having the “Gratitude Attitude” I’ll show you what I did yesterday:
1. Upon wakening, think of three things you are grateful for and hold these dear in your heart for the next several minutes. I looked at being:
Grateful to be spending the day driving 7 hours with my 83 year old Dad because he will tell me at least ONE family story that I do not know (and he did!)
Grateful that I run my own business and make my own schedule so that I can do #1
Grateful to be able to spend 15 minutes enjoying my dogs romp in the am before #1
2. Start a gratitude journal. Write in it what you are grateful for. Write as often as possible. Write the seemingly most simplistic things such as the air that you breathe or that you breathe!
Ex. So grateful that the one car that swerved in front of me almost causing an accident for it reminded me how important my focus on the road needs to be after 6 hours of driving.
(Mind you~ I needed to take a quick moment to expletive about the other drivers abilities ~ afterall, I had the fight or flight feeling BUT then turned it into the LESSON I needed to stay focused and have a safe trip home!)
3. When someone wants to go on and on lamenting about how awful their circumstances are have compassion for that person, as they are not as happy and filled with greatness as you know they could be. Envision a bubble around them keeping their lamenting contained so that it doesn’t become part of your beliefs.
I did this with my father as he was talking about the before mentioned driver as he went into a long discussion about the drivers on the road ‘now-a-days’ (remember, he is 83!) !
The Result: after 7 hours in the car with him, another 2 to get to him and home, I was able to spend time relaxing with my family before writing in my journals and getting a good night sleep because I had the ENERGY and FEELING that all was good and joyful.
If you START with THREE SIMPLE ways of gaining the “Attitude of Gratitude” in your life, you will see that it does not take an overwhelming amount of time in your day and you will find that the energy you save NOT lamenting about the challenges of life, will give you so much more energy for enjoying all that you have recognized as things to be Grateful for!
What other ways can you incorporate into your daily routine to create the Art of Gratitude in your life?