Join Me in a Year of Gratitude
I am a person who always strives to be better, as I’m sure most of you are. But ongoing growth requires new and different practices for me. And there’s always so many things to work on it can be overwhelming. So I decided to pick one thing for the year and delve deep into the study and practice of it. It’s sort of my theme for the year, and next year I can pick something new.
This, as you’ve guessed from the title of my blog, is all about gratitude. I’m giving it a whole year of focus because I really want this practice to go beyond habit to integrate and transform in who I am at my core, and become part of how I feel, not just how I think. And I’ve noticed that when I am thankful, I am my happiest.
Surprisingly, the first month of this practice showed me that it would be a littler harder than expected. I learned this month how easily small things really interfere with my joy of all the big and awesome things in my life. Sometimes I’m rushing so fast through the day that if anything halts my plan for even a moment, it causes irritation far more than what is reasonable. “Stop and smell the roses,” is definitely the tattoo I should to put on my hand as a reminder. And if I had done that earlier, my roses might still be alive!
Here are two things I have learned so far that are very important to anyone in a fast-paced life style.
Being grateful helps me stay in the moment. Instead of wishing for a future awesome state, I remind myself of the greatness of this moment in my journey.
Being thankful for the hard stuff helps me recognize the growth possibility more readily instead of the complaint that wants to surface, thus allowing me to quickly forget or dismiss the irritation or trial. It’s like a magic cleansing dust on bad drivers, rude people at the grocery story, or doing chores when I’m tired.
I have no doubt you’ve also experienced the power of gratitude. I invite you to join me in this year of gratitude. Here’s a few things you can do to get started…
5 Ways to Help Your Gratitude Practice
Make a Gratitude Journal: Find a new, beautiful journal, and everyday write 10 things for which you are grateful. Even on your worst day, you can come up with 10 things.
Fill a Blessings Jar: You can make your own, and drop a note each time a blessing occurs—but a least once a week. For me, this was a great gift during a frustrating time, but one of my best blessings was having the character of others revealed to me. This is also a nice tradition to do with your family—then read the blessings during a meal or special time at the end of each week when everyone is gathered.
Write a Thank You Note: There’s nothing like a handwritten note. Send a card to someone who has helped you, encouraged you or inspired you. They might need the encouragement as well. Keep paying it forward.
Learn More About Gratitude: Suddenly I’m seeing articles and blogs on gratitude and thankfulness everywhere I look! Here are a few links to get you started.
The ABCs of Grateful Living: A Practice
My philosophy for a Happy Life, TED Talk with Sam Berns
Why Thankful People are Happier and Healthier
Invite Your Friends: Engage a friend, spouse, or partner in your thankfulness journey. It’s definitely nice to have the support, but it’s also interesting to talk more deeply about the new awareness you are uncovering, and the obstacles (A.K.A. flaws) that you are overcoming on the path to happiness—which seems to be the outcome of living gratefully.
Add to my list, share your ideas, and start to observe the difference in your life and those around you. And if you’re at all like me, you can be grateful for a whole year to get better at living a life of gratitude!
Thank you for stopping by.