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The season is here where we start getting thankful for everything we have, for our friends and family and all the little blessings in our lives but how about this year we switch it up? What would it be like if you actually accessed the transformative power of gratitude in your life on a day to day basis instead of only when calendar reminded you?
I’ll give you a hint…..it would be AMAZING.
This holiday season let’s create a lasting ritual of sitting in our gratitude. A gratitude practice can feel kind of cheesy and forced if you aren’t doing it right so it’s important to get REAL about what you are thankful for and to approach it from an honest place. It took me seeing a family member lose some of their organs to an autoimmune disease for me to really get down and dirty with immense gratitude for each piece of my body. Yet, you don’t need something to be taken away from you or misfortune to strike for you to get in a place of genuine appreciation for every single beautiful thing you have in your life. You can do it right now.
Create a time of day to start integrating this practice. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, pick a manageable five minutes, when you wake up, in the shower, or maybe during your lunch break. Get creative and find a time that will be convenient for you so that you stick with it. I began this ritual in the shower every morning. I start with taking stock of all the appreciation I had for my body and then extend it to the other parts of my life.
Start inside and then work your way out. Spend a moment to really thank your heart that beats automatically for you day after day, your lungs who nourish you with each breath without ever having to consciously call upon them, think about your feet and your legs that allow you to play, do yoga, walk around each day without pain, your eyes that allow you to see the world around you, your ears that let you listen to those you love, your mouth, tongue and teeth for giving you the experience of eating, and so on. When you spend the minute to get in touch with each specific thing, it’s easy to fill up to the brim with overwhelming gratitude.
Now allow that golden bubble of gratitude to expand, get in touch with your gratitude for the home you live in, the clothes you have, the beautiful people in your life that you love, your work or education, and beyond. You can set a timer for five minutes or simply go on till you feel complete and lit up! Commit to this practice for 40 days to really integrate it into your being and make it part of who you are on a cellular level. You can even turn this practice into a journaling exercise if writing is something that brings you joy. Spend those five minutes just free writing about whatever you are feeling especially thankful for that day!
Being more consciously connected to your gratitude will also come in handy during the say when stress, anxiety or fear pops up. Science has proven that we literally can not mentally multitask, and you know what’s the good news there? You literally CAN NOT be in your fear and your stress when you are in your gratitude.
So keep it in your back pocket and if you are feeling a little blue or grey, shift yourself back to gratitude.
Don't know where to start with meditation? Here's your beginner's guide to poses, mantras and more!