I know I spoke about gratitude a few months ago but I couldn’t help to circle back to its importance this week as I am consistently reminded to give thanks. How often in life do you sit back and actually count your blessings. Over the past few weeks I have encountered a multitude of emotions from life lost to love gained and everything in between. The most important thing it has taught me is that above all else gratitude is what really matters. As our days become busier and busier it’s easy to get wrapped up in all that is going on and fall victim to the idea of things just happening. Certain actions becoming part of your norm and ultimately leading you to take things for granted. But what happens when life throws you a curve ball and those norms begin to shift leaving you to feel uncertain, insecure, and dare I say lost?
That in my opinion is when gratitude steps in and what I would like to discuss this week.
So for the purpose of truly understanding just how powerful this notion is I am going to try and keep this as succinct as possible.
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
It’s that simple. The quality of being thankful.
With each day that we live, each breath that we take we all have something to be thankful for and it’s imperative to get in the habit of recognizing every blessing that comes our way. When we are thankful and conscious with gratitude we automatically shift our mindset to reflect the positivity that surrounds and lifts us up. We’re also more apt to reflect positivity and uplift others in return. Even in the worst of times gratitude can be your secret weapon to overcoming any and all obstacles, if you let it. When you are in a grateful mindset focusing on whatever that is good you make it most difficult for anything else to live and breed in that space. I’m not saying that you won’t have thoughts of fear, pain, disappointment, suffering, etc. … you should have those feelings as they are a natural part of the human ecosystem but, those thoughts don’t have to live alone. They aren’t exclusionary. In those moments of uncertainty and loss, let gratitude be the foundation that moves you into recovery, where you count your blessings rather than your troubles.
Therefore, this week with all that is happening in your life and the world around us I challenge you to seek out gratitude in each and every situation you are faced with. Take a moment to truly honor yourself and your efforts regardless of what the outcome may have been.
Because I learn and process ideas better when I write everything down I encourage you to create a gratitude journal. Something small that you might be able to carry around with you, keep at your desk, or on the side table next to your bed and whenever something significant occurs reflect upon it and jot down what you have to be grateful for in that moment. It shouldn’t be something you have to give too much thought to and that takes up too much time. Keep it simple and authentic. You might notice that it’s somewhat challenging to come up with a multitude of ideas around what you are grateful for in the beginning, perhaps only having one thought and that is totally fine. Stick with it. It’s not a competition to see who can come up with the longest list. Remembering all the exercises I suggest are personal and designed specifically to benefit you. As time progresses within this challenge take note of how your lists grow and what reoccurring themes are represented. Are there certain people or places that keep showing up? Do you notice certain specific actions that keep coming into play? What new actions become a result of your gratitude? Take the time to review these elements as often as you can and see how your life is better for it.
The key here as with almost all of my work is to create and build consistency within your life. Patterns that become implemented as automatic and subconscious ways of doing and being.
Gratitude just like everything else is a way of life. When you clear space for it to live and breathe among all the other things in your life your journey can’t help but become more meaningful and enriched.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” -Eckhart Tolle