I love how there’s so much talk about gratitude in November, in Thanksgiving season.
What a wonderful awareness to have—remembering to be grateful for all the bounty in our lives, for the food we eat, for our loved ones, for the homes that shelter us, the clothes that keep us warm, for light and heat.
What would it feel like to convert that annual remembrance to a daily practice? This blog of mine evolved out of a daily practice I took on in 2002—writing a gratitude list of at least 15 items, every day. Asking myself that question, daily, made—and continues to make—an enormous shift in my life. This is a very powerful way to step into one’s greatness, leaving behind all the petty thoughts that trap us in our smallness. When I step into gratitude, I step away from the idea that I’m a victim of anything. I step away from self-pity and self-centeredness.
Gratitude changes my path. It guides me into acceptance, and peace, and generosity. And when we can be grateful for what we don’t even have yet, well, just imagine! My coach, Jackie Woodside, tells this story about a conversation with her five-year-old son, Nathan:
As I drove Nathan home from school one day, I asked him what he’s grateful for and he said “Otie, our new boat, and our new pet.” I didn’t need to remind him that Otie, our beloved 19 year-old cat, had just passed away, but I did comment, “But we don’t have a new boat or a new pet yet.” He said, very matter-of-fact, “I know.”
Imagine that. At five years of age, he already knows the benefit of being grateful in advance for the things we intend to draw into our lives. Neale Donald Walsch says, “Life proceeds from our intention for it.” I firmly believe that when we set forth an intention, hold it in high consciousness with clarity, and express gratefulness in advance for its arrival, it will unfold before us. I guess, since Nathan seems to have an intention for a new boat and a new pet, I better get ready for those things to arrive in our lives soon!
Adding gratitude to the practice of affirming what you are ready to receive in your life. What a powerful, juicy combination!
My invitation to you
Give yourself the gift of a gratitude practice. Every day, write a list of 15 items for which you are grateful. Share them here, as comments, if you like. Or post them to my Facebook page. Or keep them to yourself. Or share them in email with one or more loved ones.
Here’s mine for today:
Today I am grateful for
The concept of youthifying
The inner smile as I do all the beautiful self-care practices I have taken on
The clothing swap I attended last night: I gave away more than I took
Wonderful food and my talent with cooking
Homemade kombucha: my kombucha rocks!
Creative ideas inspiring me to make art
My art partner Jenny Bach
My daughter and our loving relationship
My reliable car
T’ai chi practice
Laughing loud and long
Babies and children in my life
This beautiful life!