“When some things go wrong, take a moment to be thankful for the many things that are going right.” ~ Anonymous
In the current state of our world, are you finding it a challenge to cultivate gratitude? Or perhaps, you’re counting your blessings with ease today. Or maybe life is a bit more scattered, and you’re fluctuating from feeling uplifted and bright to feeling heavy and low on any given day, in any given moment. I know I've experienced my weeks going from a full-on tsunami to a calm little tidal pool.
Give yourself permission to experience the wild waves of our world.
Our gratitude practice is one of the most powerful antidotes when the waves seem unforgiving and unmanageable. Living full of love softens the seriousness of life and calms the crash of those tsunami waves.
What is a gratitude practice?
It’s simple. Acknowledge what you’re thankful for in this present moment by thinking, saying, writing, singing, or shouting it! Awareness is always the first step. You may have to dig deep to find just one single thing you’re grateful for, and other times the list will just write itself.
How do you practice gratitude?
Here's a list of several exercises that might help you generate gratitude:
Write a list of things that are tangible to you in your current environment, things you can touch around your space - those things that you’re so thankful to have. Then notice what the function of those items are… and a whole new list can be created.
Step outside of your current space and notice the sounds, the sights and smells. Say out loud, “I’m thankful for…”
Close your eyes and dream of those people you want to hug. Sing out loud “I’m so grateful you're in my life! I love you.”
Imagine yourself far away from home with nothing and no one near you. What ten things would you wish to have with you or what qualities would you want to embody? Perhaps it’s tangible i.e. shelter or more subtle i.e. patience or resilience. In realising how little you really need and how much you already have, perhaps you'll find some thanks for what is.
Think of your values, the morals you live by, your ethos. What’s helped you form these, what have you overcome that's carved them, what parts of yourself do you love? Write down these qualities that shape you and give thanks to the person you are, right now ('flaws' included).
Sit outside. Find some stillness. Simply state “I’m grateful for…” and notice what bubbles to the forefront of your mind.
In the most mundane moments of your life, generate a bit of joy by giving thanks for what you're doing, why you're doing it, and that you actually have the ability to do it.
Now, with several ideas to practice gratitude, I challenge you to take ten minutes of your day to explore any one of these exercises. Explore your beautiful being and give yourself full permission to love your life.
What am I grateful for today?
My yoga practice. No matter where I go, it's always with me.
The breaths I breathe each day keeping me alive.
My heart that beats so strongly, never having a rest, and always pumping life throughout my body.
My family, my friends, and my support network around the world, and the ability to stay connected intercontinentally.
My curiosity to continuously learn, explore, and adventure - even though it looks a little different now, I stay inspired by reading books, surfing the web, and journaling my dreams.
Nature because we are nature. I love the smells, the sounds, the sights...
My body grants me the ability to see, touch, taste, smell, hear, think, dance, move, sing, laugh, write, play, create, and so much more.
Being aware of my darkness and shadow for without them, I would know no light.
Music because every time I pop on some tunes I feel my mood shift.
The food I put into my body that allows it to nourish and flourish.
Memes because they make me laugh and make me realise when I'm taking life way too seriously.
Okay, that was a list of eleven things I love, but it just kept flowing this morning! Other mornings, it’s stagnant. I must dig deep, and that’s okay. Life is impermanent, the only constant is change. Knowing this gives me guidance to ride the waves and know that this too shall pass - I will always uncover gratitude, even if it's just a slice.
So go ahead, give yourself permission to feel the darkness, the light, and everything in between. From this acknowledgement and awareness, we can begin to cultivate gratitude through the peaks, the troughs, the high tides and low tides.
Reinforce your gratitude practice by making it your own: light a candle, lather up in essential oils, flick on some tunes, sit outside, and create a list of everything you’re grateful for in this wild, wild world.
Practicing gratitude as an antidote to isolation will help to reprogram your habits that no longer serve you and support you to nurture your rituals that will activate an abundance of love, joy, and thanks.
*Leave me a comment to let me know what you're grateful for today.