Take a moment to think about your day. Did some good things happen? Funny things? Silly things? Touching things? Irritating things? Did anything or anyone make you stop and say, “Wow!” “Thank you.” “That was amazing.” “How beautiful!” Did anyone give you a hand, a smile, or an encouraging word?
That’s the feeling of gratitude. Its when your heart swells up with a little flurry of feeling that vibrates throughout your whole body. And you smile and are grateful.
I’ve incorporated gratitude as one of the foundational parts of my “Getting Unstuck and Moving Forward” system for change. It is a habit of the mind and the heart together that trains us to receive love, joy, and peace.
In the second stage of the six stages of change, we practice observing the events in our lives including the events that don’t always feel so good. We write them down and email them to a friend who has agreed to be our gratitude partner during this journey. We don’t censor, comment, or contain our thoughts as we write. We just write. Everyday.
What do we write about? Maybe it is about the weather—and then you realize you have a roof to keep the sun and rain out. Or maybe it is about an irritating family member—and then you smile and remember how cute he was at 2 or 4. You notice that your coworker helped you on a report—and she didn’t need to do it, but she did.
How about simple delights? Like the smile from your granddaughter or the snuggle with your cat. Or the sunshine you feel on your face. Or the comfortable bed you have or the wave from your neighbor.
Gratitude sets the stage for releasing negativity and instilling higher-vibrating energies that help the good go out from you and the good come back to you.
By practicing your gratitude on a daily basis, you will watch yourself and the world around you change. Almost miraculously. You will find yourself smiling more, noticing the little things, appreciating the people around you, and enjoying the moment. And happiness studies show that this habit of gratitude has lasting neural effects for good.
Let’s get started! (And thank you to Melody Beattie for this idea in her book, “Make Miracles in Forty Days.” I highly recommend the book.)
Certified Body Code Practitioner, life coach and energy healer, former non-profit executive with years of experience in caring for and about people and their place in this world. Friend of refugees and immigrants, ally to the addiction recovery community--all with respect, love, and compassion for mutual healing.