I’ve written a lot about gratitude.
It changed my life.
Facing heart valve repair surgery a year and half ago I desperately needed something to calm a busy mind threatening to spin out of control with the things I couldn’t control. Developing a habit of expressing gratitude on a daily basis turned everything around. I even got to the point where I was grateful for my awaiting-surgery-situation! My surgeon’s passion for his work (mitral valve repair specifically), solid support of my doctors, the opportunity to have a fully functioning heart for the first time in 28 years, the opportunity to develop new habits, the opportunity to strengthen as a person etc…(you can see where I’m going). I had to limit myself to one full page every morning because I could easily have filled 20 pages with the volume of my gratefulness. Today, 18 months later, I note 10 things I’m grateful for. I can feel my heart opening as I write. It’s a wonderful way to begin each day.
Having said that–I know beginning a daily gratitude practice is easier said than done. I experienced several false starts before I really got going. I always started with great enthusiasm and then it would wane. The break down occurred when I got caught in a loop of the BIG THINGS in my life. Grateful for my daughter, my husband, my life, my comfy house, my friends, not that I wasn’t grateful for these BIG THINGS I couldn’t get beneath them or break them down. I would write the same things over and over every day without thinking. I wasn’t having the deep rich experience I was hoping for, I was on auto pilot.
PUT ON THE MICRO LENSES
So what was the problem? Thankfully one day the penny dropped. I was looking at my life through macro lenses and what I needed to do was put on micro specs. I started asking why I was grateful for those BIG THINGS. Immediately I felt a shift, my thinking went deeper and the flood gates released. The small things that brought me the greatest joy then came into sharp focus…the ping of the text message ping indicating a message from my daughter, my husband’s smile and “Hi Baby” greeting when he came home from work, the newspaper that was tucked into my mailbox waiting for me every morning at 5:30 am, the newspaper deliverer who worked the early morning hours to ensure papers were on time. See the difference? It was a cataclysmic shift.
I recently read a book called, Today We Are Rich by Tim Sanders. In his book Sanders embraces expressing gratitude and suggests four subtle ways of focusing thinking to get to the heart of the matter. I thought they were excellent and worth with passing along. I also added the Why’s that worked for me. Give these a try, they’ll help you crack through the surface and get deep into the practice of gratitude.
What people in your life are you grateful for?
What opportunities are you grateful for?
What experiences (past and present) are you grateful for?
What things are you grateful for?
Peace, joy and love awaits…you’ll find that you’re rich beyond measure.