Yes, I am back to the topic of gratitude. It’s just so rich and there is so much to be learned from applying it to our lives on a constant basis. I’ve been home sick for two days and it’s been interesting to say the least. I’ve been amazed at how restless I get at times even when I’m completely exhausted. Today I did a lot of house stuff, laundry, cleaning, organizing, paying bills and I even wrote out five full (8.5 x 11 in) pages of gratitude. Yup. You read that correctly. Five full pages of what I was grateful for this morning.
As you know I write daily gratitude lists and have been part of a gratitude email list since 2010. Writing these quick lists every night has been a very useful tool for me. Even when days are rough I can always find at least ten things to be grateful for and receiving the lists in my inbox each day inspires and motivates me. It’s really nice to connect with these women, some of whom I am very close, others I know only through their lists. It definitely keeps things in perspective.
Writing five pages of gratitude this morning wasn’t difficult but it was time consuming. I was surprised at how quickly I went from being grateful for my cute apartment and sweet cat to being grateful that I went through a break up and that I took more risks in that relationship than I had in years. I wrote about how grateful I was that my heart broke open and I have become a more forgiving and tolerant person as a direct result. I am more willing to be kind to myself when I make mistakes and practice unconditional love towards myself. I am grateful to have been shown, once again, that the way I treat others is a direct reflection of the way that I treat myself. Since we are all connected it is in my best interest to practice as much compassion, honesty and forgiveness as possible and a daily gratitude practice helps me get there.
Gratitude really is a portal to love for it is only when we are able to really accept ourselves and our lives exactly as they are in any given moment that we can begin to experience the abundance that is our birth right. Like attracts like. It’s a fact. The more willing we are to be grateful even when we think things suck the more open we become to the gifts that surround us. And in order to get there we must be willing to be grateful, like really willing, not just pay lip service and write a quick gratitude list but to dig deep and accept where and who we are no matter what. Trust me. This is actually quite a bit of work but, the good news is with enough practice it becomes less work and the easier it is for us to live in gratitude no matter what challenges we face.
In order to be a person that is not easily swayed by others actions or opinions of us (which btw are none of our business in the first place!), gratitude is key. As soon as I start to fall of the gratitude beam and become full of shame and self-pity and self-imposed sadness the more likely it is that other people will start bothering me. Someone won’t call me back and I’ll take it personally and think I’m an awful person, I won’t get that client or job and feel like a total loser, whatever our “stuff” is it will surely rise to the surface if we don’t keep our attitude of gratitude in check.
If you have a gratitude practice already – way to go – you are so ahead of the game! If you are looking for a way to step things up in that area start writing five pages of gratitude every morning. Do this for 10 days and see what changes unfold in your outlook and life. It’s a very powerful practice, trust me. I would also encourage you to pause throughout your day and check in with where you are in relation to gratitude. If you’re having a rough time, get still and then think of things to be grateful for. Perhaps it is a blessing that person didn’t call, or maybe you didn’t get that job because something more suited to you is right around the corner and you need to be open to receive it. There is always more than one way to look at something, and changing our attitude changes our feelings and ultimately our lives.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will be back very soon.