Coming off a long weekend of intense body + mind/soul work through Yoga teacher training I was inspired to actively show gratitude this week. Dont get me wrong I am one to say a quick thanks to the universe when things work out and of course when I am protected from not so pleasant things or people. My goal was to tune in deeper on the gratitude front and truly “attempt” to appreciate things/people in real time.
Surprisingly it was actually harder than I thought it would be. Most humans if thinking about things that they are grateful for or blessed to have ect, we think big ticket items such as new house, landing that job or having a new baby. Alot of times we are very grateful and can easily show gratitude for the things that are “newish + shiny”, can we agree gratitude for simply existing kinda falls in that category as well? Ok cool 🙂
I essentially had to shift my thinking this week as if all things were “newish + shiny” to really take that inventory of gratitude. For instance, I have mentioned my job in previous posts and my desire to shift more into something I have a true love and passion for.
That being said I have been guilty of the work gripe and friends Ill be even more honest that I have been down right snarky (inside my head of course) about the yearn to do something different. Come on, dont leave me hanging I know we have all felt that in some form or another. It took some digging, not too much but it did take effort to bring to the forefront of my brain all of the benefits my current position has afforded me. The most obvious is the ability to make a living, but what I am super grateful for the most is the flexibility to truly be in control of my schedule which for almost everyone is a pretty hot commodity and doesn’t come by too often.
On my quest to practice more Gratitude I researched some easy steps that didnt require journaling my life away each night. Journaling is a good way to practice Gratitude dont get me wrong, its just not for me all the time and can start to feel forced (TO ME) after while. Here are my FAVORITE ways to practice gratitude:
- Jar it up!
In January I decided to create a Gratitude Jar; basically its exactly what it sounds like a Jar all decorated that I slip little pieces of paper in when the mood strikes. I put a date on the paper and whatever Im feeling thankful for. The idea is on New Years Eve I will open the jar and relive each and every moment of thanks. I like this approach because its not really a demand to do it every day but moreso when I want which works for me + I love the idea of opening at the end of year and just recalling all these great moments.
- Send a letter
Ok sounds retro BUT I have literally done this. There are loved ones friends + family that mean the world to me and I simply want them to know it. There is something very warming to sit down and write a loved one a letter letting them know they are appreciated. Ive actually done this via email as well to my younger brother. Not for nothing, I didnt go into the letter with the idea that I would get a response or acknowledgement. I simply sat down and wrote how I felt about the person and what they meant to my life. What boosted that act of writing a letter was the responses back which I couldnt have ever imagined. Now I have not only written showing gratitude to my loved ones but I also have letters or emails in return that I will cherish forever.
- Speak it
Friends I am guilty of being that mom that loves a good toast or saying kind words before dinner. If your house is anything like mine sometimes family dinners are few far and inbetween but Sundays, we sit + have dinner like civilized people. On Sundays we go around the table and say the things we are grateful for and how we will thrive in the upcoming week! Its a moment to literally look each other in the eyes and say thanks or I am grateful.
- Change the wording
Ok so this one has been hard for me! Putting a spin on every day wording can make a world of difference. Typical me ” Ugh I have to go to the store again” but the spin on that can be ” I get to go to the store + get what I need”. Putting a spin on words can change an entire mindset from something that is dreaded to something that is an actual opportunity.
- Unplug In today’s society unplugging is the new 4 letter word, but truth be told being so attached to the social world can actually undo all the work of practicing gratitude if you are not careful. I try to set up time frames in which I unplug so I can be just in the moment, with myself or whomever may be around. The whole being in the moment can actually be super refreshing.
Practicing gratitude should become easier and easier as you go along because the idea is eventually it will happen like 2nd nature, remember that whole muscle memory thing that we have all heard from one place or another? So the more you are able to focus on the good and those things that really help us get out of bed in the morning the less those not so great moments will affect us. Dont get me wrong the not so good days will still come and some days it will win, but like anything else we keep getting up and showing up till the next very good day!