my gratitude practice

The thing about gratitude is that you have to work it for it to work. I have a strong belief that humans are not-so-good trying to be good over the belief that we are inherently good people that sometimes do bad things. That doesn’t make me pessimistic, but realistic. If left to our own demise we would; put our needs first, steal, lie and manipulate to ensure our own advancements. If it wasn’t for laws, our parent’s teachings, religion etc, there would be no “we”, no selflessness, no understanding of altruism and no reverence of life itself. Reverence is to be in awe of how amazing and vibrant this life is. Gratitude is the result of reverence. Gratitude, the appreciation and the recognition of that appreciation, is a muscle we have to work. We may say our pleases and thank yous but subconsciously it might not be coming from a genuine place or it may subconsciously want something in return. Like I mentioned before, we aren’t always as nice as we think we are, myself included. I might say thank you for giving me a ride because it’s the right thing to say, but I’m starting to take this blessing for granted. I might pay for our coffees but secretly want you to cover our coffees on our next run. Which isn’t wrong to want the action/feeling reciprocated but it shouldn’t be the reason for doing something. So I am personally working on being okay with doing something decent and not demanding credit, attention or even a thank you in return. Being grateful for being able to help someone else…

 

Okay enough about my recent lessons on gratitude and humanity’s greed, let’s move on to why we're all here this lovely Thanksgiving Monday, my gratitude practice...

  1. Count your blessings, literally - When I’m having a hard time getting out of bed cause it’s wayy too early or I’m feeling anxious, I count 10 things on my hands that I’m thankful for or looking forward to. Sometimes it’s literally a “At least it’s not…” kinda list

  2. Don’t complain -especially about minimal things like rain, getting the wrong order, my body, realizing my water bottle is empty as I go to drink. There are soo many things going wrong for soo many people around the world. My problems are barely problems. Just get an umbrella, fix your order, get up and refill your bottle with CLEAN WATER from the tap right IN FRONT OF YOU and shut up!

  3. Make a list - I have a weekly gratitude journal that I barely use but find a way that works for you to write what you enjoyed during the day.

  4. Minimize your wants - assure yourself that you don’t need much to be happy. Minimize what you think you need to be happier, sexier, more interesting and be grateful for what you already have.

  5. Don't be jealous- easier said then done, but jealousy is literally the manifestation that you are not grateful. That you want more than you already have. That you want something that isn't yours to have. And most of the time we don't exactly want what someone has but how that partner, promotion, vacation makes them feel. We are searching for a feeling that we are not going to find envying others for having what we (think we) want in life...

  6. Close your eyes and slow down with meditation - mindfulness forces you to slow down and look at how you feel, how the leaves are changing colour, the warmth from the cup of apple cider in your hands and your ability to taste and just be.

  7. "do you need any help?" - I have been trying to ask my mother "Is there anything else I can do?" before I leave. Not because I want to but because I want to want to. I want to express gratitude by offering, even when I'm busy, I want to practice being of help.

  8. no socials for the day - when I don't have instagram to hold in contrast to my life I feel happier. Even though I try to follow positive people (unfollow people that don't spark joy), spend my time mindfully on the app and remind myself that not everything on here is real, part of me sometimes feels drained watching other people live there lives instead of putting my phone down to paint a picture, walk my dog or bake something pumpkin flavoured.

  9. inquire about others- ask people questions about themselves, ask how they are doing and listen. Am I the Queen of "Tell your mother I said hi", yes, yes I am!

  10. make a collage- I have a vision board of things I have not yet seen but I've also been wanting to make a collage of what I already do have and enjoy. My life is already so full and I should commemorate that virtually or on my physical wall

  11. meditate in the sunshine

  12. donate money, time, clothes

  13. be present - not consumed in what happened and what is going to happen. be grateful that this moment exists the way it does

  14. write down gratitude affirmations or stick them on your mirror

I love when...

I am grateful for...

I am praying for...

I wish to learn.....with grace

I love...


“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu


BONUS


 

gratitude affirmations

I am radiating with gratitude and light

I am tremendously blessed

Miracles continuously happen to me

Everything is as it should be

I am thankful for those love me and those who don't

I love my life and I'm excited for my future