Learning how to be grateful—especially when things seem to suck, because let’s be honest, they sometimes do—is one of the most, maybe even the most, powerful tools for transformation.
Melody Beattie said it best,
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
So in honor of November, Thanksgiving, and alchemy inspired tools for transformation, we’re sharing 3 simple ways you can infuse your day with gratitude. Each exercise is simple, can be dome anytime, anywhere, and in less than 60 seconds.
THE FAST TRACK TO GRATITUDE:
1. Find your happy
Think about a time when you were really happy. Like ear to ear smile, tears of joy, can’t stop thinking about it-type happy. It could be from something major happening like passing the CPA exam, holding your kid for the first time, graduating from university, or something smaller (though not any less spectacular), like what happens to your psyche when you step foot on a beach.
Got it? Good.
Now close your eyes and feel that feeling. Really feel it, deep within every fiber of your being. Dwell in that new found (old found?) joy for 3 deep breaths then open your eyes with the intention to see all things from this space of light.
2. Make a gratitude list
We’ve mentioned this tool many times but it’s worth repeating and doing, often. A favorite amoung us and our clients as it provides a bit of tangibility, the act of writing a gratitude list does wonders for your mind. Give yourself 60 seconds (more if you feel called to) and write out everything you have to be grateful for in that moment. Take note of anything that comes to mind, big or small. If you’re struggling to get started, remind yourself that 1) you’re here 2) you’re breathing, and 3) you have a completely wondrous opportunity to do this thing called life.
3. Say thank you
Think of someone that’s had a positive effect on your life. Someone that’s inspired you, supported you, believed in you, or maybe didn’t believe in you (criticism can be a powerful motivator). It can be someone you know well, someone you’ve had a brief encounter with, or someone you’ve never met. Take a minute to write a heartfelt thank you sharing your appreciation. While you don’t have to send the thank you, gratitude can be felt energetically, we highly recommend writing it out as there’s magic in putting pen to paper.
To up the ante even more, instead of writing a thank you to someone that supports and inspires you, try writing to someone who’s hurt you. This will bring up all sorts of “stuff” and most likely require more than 60 seconds, but cultivating gratitude for someone you need to forgive is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.
Anytime you find yourself spiraling down a spree of negativity, try practicing one of these exercises.
The more often you dwell in a space of gratitude the more joyful life becomes.
How do you currently cultivate gratitude? Share with us in the comments.
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