Gratitude is Gorgeous
My last post about showing supporters some love and appreciation got me thinking about the positive mindset that accompanies gratitude. In meditation they teach that two opposing thoughts can’t take up residence in the mind at one time. Thus, if you turn your mind toward the things for which you are grateful, in those moments when your mind is pondering gratitude, you won’t at that same time be thinking about things that aren’t going so well. In some ways, gratitude is a gift you give yourself while you send it out into the universe for others to enjoy.
My first real partnership with gratitude came a few years back when one of my daughters was away at school and none too happy with the way things were going. She was dealing with some significant issues and had reason to be unhappy. In seeking a way to help her develop a life strategy and to keep her head above some very miserable waters, we agreed to try something. At the end of every day we’d text or email each other three things we could be grateful for that day. We committed to one month of shared gratitudes. What we found was that even on the worst days we could each find three things we felt merited recognition for goodness. From “I noticed the cloud formations in the sky were magnificent today,” to “my breakfast oatmeal was especially satisfying with those blueberries in in it,” to “My friend got some wonderful news today and I’m happy for her,” to “I was able to run three miles,” or “My English teacher adored my paper,” each day held something of value to think about right before the end of the day.
We finished the month and continued to share gratitudes for a while longer.
Although we no longer write them to each other, I developed a habit of getting into bed and finishing the day silently writing my list of three things I appreciate about the world, my life, my friends or loved ones or pretty much anything in the universe. This practice has served me well in good times and bad. Especially in bad. You can imagine how much I needed this in the years I was dealing with our dysfunctional extended family. I could write a book! Oh, wait, I did write a book! 🙂 The point is that you can try this too and I pretty much promise it will add a bright spot to every day.
Give this a try. In the comment section, write the first three things that come to mind when you consider being grateful today. You’ll be glad you did.