Do you have a gratitude practice? Do you write your gratitudes in a journal? Do you share them with others? In email to a small circle? In a blog, like this one, to the wide world?
What moves you to express gratitude? And, more importantly, what does the awareness and expression of gratitude do for you? For your sense of wellbeing? For your level of commitment? For your smile-to-frown ratio? For your joie de vivre? For your ability to savor this moment, and the next one? For your acceptance and serenity?
I’ve been a gratitude-list writer for ten years now. Started in a daily email to my first business coach (her idea, most certainly not mine!). Each and every day I’d write a list of fifteen things for which I felt grateful, even when it was a ginormous stretch. Turns out to be one of the most valuable investments in time and energy I’ve ever made.
I’ve written about the fabulous results of a gratitude practice a lot (one article here, as a guest post for my friend Sharon Rosen), about how gratitude enables you to create what the Buddhists call more wholesome habits.
I love the neuroscience of this! Basically (very basically), here’s how I understand this to work: Your disappointments, your regrets, your bitterness—after a few zillion repetitions, you get habituated to negative thinking. What may have started as a sincere response to something challenging, or as a protective reaction to trauma, becomes habit. You groove habitual pathways in your thinking that color everything with the gray projected by that black cloud that follows you around above your head.
Guess what? When you start practicing something positive (like a gratitude list), you start making new neural pathways, and with practice, these new paths become grooved, and habitual, and yes, it’s possible to change the way you think! I am living proof. Daily gratitude lists (even when it feels like the last thing in the world you want to do, or is that especially when…?) are powerful powerful magic.
It’s simple. Write your article about gratitude and send it over. I will be posting submitted gratitude posts between now and the end of this year. If you have images that illustrate your blog, send them along too (your own images preferably, or with permissions and attributions).
I’m so excited to share with my readers how the practice of gratitude has had an impact on your life. Send your submission to me here. And of course, if you’re moved to, share a gratitude in the comments below.
(You may have seen this invitation already, if you’re a member of my Gratitude Challenge 2012 group. They got the first round of invitations, and now I’m opening it up to you!)
Yay for you sharing your grateful heart with me and my readers. Yay for us!
If you’re moved to add comments to any of these, please do. If you think one or more may be of interest to your network, please spread the word, and help me extend my reach to more women…
I am grateful for beautiful guitar music in the background as I write
I am grateful for laughter and smiles
I am grateful grateful grateful for a late-night visit from my daughter last night
I am grateful for her self-possession and balance
I am grateful for her moments of acceptance and peace
I am grateful for the bounty of my garden
I am grateful for learning from master gardeners who are my neighbors and who farm with me
I am grateful for the beauty of this place where I live
I am grateful for late summer sunshine
I am grateful for a good night’s sleep
I am grateful to be clean and sober for so long that I’ve found access to feeling useful and fulfilled, that life is no longer something from which I crave escape 24/7
I am grateful that my experience and awareness is useful to other women who seek their own peace, regality and balance
I am grateful for my sense of humor
I am grateful for love
I am grateful for finding and taking ownership of my own voice…
Wishing you a week full of love and light, gratitude and inspiration, my heart to yours…