With Mother’s day just over a week behind us gratitude is a value most likely fresh on our minds. As we discussed a few weeks back, the challenge to make meaningful use of what is, is to be truly grateful for all things that come our way. How are you doing with that task? Where are you finding difficulties and where are you finding success? The impact of living in gratitude is so robust that once you fully reach it, it’s nearly impossible to imagine living life any other way.
It’s easy to find things we are grateful for on days that we are reminded to do so like Mother’s day or other holidays where we celebrate something or someone specific. But what about the everyday gratitude. Thankful for all the little things that we often take for granted or simply fail to even recognize.
The things that make every day count.
Counting our blessings for our successes and our mistakes is an integral part of living a full life. Some may think it’s odd to find gratitude in what doesn’t necessarily go right, but when we talk about making meaningful use of what is, that includes harnessing energy from the good and the bad. We’ve all heard the phrase “what doesn’t kill you make you stronger” OR as the trends of today would have us ask “But, did you die?” As cliché as they both may sound let’s use them this week as our foundation.
This week’s challenge is simple. In an effort to build the measures of consistent gratitude into your life, I challenge you to take note of the things you are most grateful for on a daily basis. Perhaps breaking it up into three segments. A list of 3 things you are grateful for in the morning upon waking up. A list of 3 more things in the afternoon when you break for lunch. And finally, 3 things at the end of the day just before bed. Totaling 9 different points of gratitude each day. Start small and keep it simple. An example could be simply that you woke up. Or, that you had enough time to make and eat breakfast at home. On the contrary, turning a negative into a positive situation could look something like, although you feel like you bombed your interview or audition you are grateful to have had the opportunity in the first place. As a bonus, try to make sure at least two of your points stem from unsuccessful situations practicing what that shift looks and feels like. How it might change your next steps and re-calibrate your overall energy leading to a changed reality or outcome.
Additionally, I implore you to keep a running log of your gratitude points making it easy to reflect and honor yourself in those moments when you are feeling most down and out. The moments when you’ve had just about all you can take from the world.
The beauty of this exercise is that it allows you to create and give value to your life as you see fit. So give it a go and see how it feels. You may find your list over flowing from the start realizing that three points at a time isn’t enough. Or, perhaps 9 in total for the day to start is way too much. Whatever you discover, make the necessary adjustments that are right for you and run with it. The point is to simply honor life and yourself in a unique and positive way. I promise at the end of the day you'll be better for it.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie