It is so easy to feel grateful when things are flowing easily and life keeps dishing up one delicious moment after another. But when life feels unbalanced, or when we are struggling with burdens and drama on a daily basis, it can be difficult to dig deep to recognise those small, treasured moments in our day that we should be eternally grateful for.
I know how difficult it can be to put a poker face on when you feel like life has handed you an abysmal hand of cards. But I also know that the fastest way to turn this into a winning hand is by adopting an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis.
“Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present”
The definition of gratitude is “a feeling of thankfulness”. Gratitude is about noticing the simple pleasures in life and acknowledging them for all they bring to teach you.
Do you remember when you were a kid, how easy it was to be grateful for the simple things and to be appreciative of the small pleasures that life brought you? How happy you felt to be allowed to ride your bike for an extra half an hour in the evenings, before being called in for dinner? Do you remember the excitement of hearing the ‘Mr Whippy’ chime coming down your street on a Sunday afternoon (those of you that are Kiwi-kids will know what I’m talking about!)? And what about the thrill you experienced the first time you skipped a stone over a still lake?
As we grow up and life begins to ‘happen’, we slowly loose this young innocence and we forget to see these little moments for what they truly are – the big moments in life that we should be grateful for!
Five years ago I went through some really hard life experiences that literally tore my world, as I knew it, to bits. Within an eighteen month period my marriage broke down, I lost a house in the Christchurch earthquakes, I was left with a whole lot of debt and I had a business that I had to close the doors on. My life was a mess and I struggled to see even the faintest light at the end of, what seemed like, a very long tunnel.
I had lost everything that I felt defined me and I couldn’t identify with the person I had become. I was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. And I had no idea of how to start rebuilding my life. I was completely done.
Then one day I came across the book, ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, and my life began to change immediately. The chapter that resonated most with me talked about how powerful adopting an attitude of gratitude could be in changing your life. I looked down at my two gorgeous dogs, who were lying either side of me on the couch, and felt so grateful that I knew they would always love me know matter what else was going on. I felt grateful for their happy smiles and wagging tails every time I got home. Grateful for their hugs. And grateful for their friendship.
Over the next few months I began practicing gratitude on a daily basis. I would say ‘thank you’ whenever I woke up to sun streaming in my window in the morning. I would say ‘thank you’ if I noticed birds whistling in the trees. And I would say ‘thank you’ when I noticed the first daffodils of spring began to bloom. As I began to slowly connect with the world around me again, and become thankful for all that I saw, I noticed that my life began to change with it. It became easier, it began to flow again and some truly wonderful things began to happen.
“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”
Adopting a daily practice of gratitude is a very simple, but powerful tool, that will begin changing your life straight away. You can begin today by:
1. Keeping a gratitude journal and each day writing down 3 things that you are grateful for in your life.
2. Writing a letter expressing thanks for all that you are grateful for.
3. Wearing a charm bracelet that, every time you look at it, reminds you to say a word of thanks for something in your life.
When you start practicing ‘an attitude of gratitude’ you begin to see the small things that you may have been missing out on in life. It feels like the blinders have been taken off and suddenly the world has opened up around you. And you suddenly realise that if you don’t recognise these moments then they will be lost forever, and you will never get them back. Gratitude is something that I talk to my clients about a lot as well, and it is the starting point in my ‘Heal Your Body’ 1:1 coaching program. If you would like to read more about how you can heal both your emotional and physical pain then you can do so by clicking here.
I would love to hear the ways that you practice gratitude in your life so please share them with me in the comments below. And please share this post to spread the powerful message to all about the importance of viewing our lives through eyes of gratitude, rather than lack.
My last word this week is to say thank you to you all. I am very grateful to have you on this journey with me.
Yours in Healing and Health,