Nothing changes life quite the way gratitude does.
Gratitude uplifts everything and helps you realize that not only do you have enough, you are richly and deeply blessed. Gratitude strengths the immune system, reduces stress, helps you sleep better, feel more alive and joyful.
Gratitude changed my life 3 years ago.
That’s when I found out I needed open heart surgery to repair a faulty valve.
Not what I wanted to hear.
I was terrified. My surgery date was set for 7 months out. 7 months??? Oh boy. That’s a long time to anticipate what’s ahead.
I stewed in it for a while letting anxiety build (and build). It felt like I was being swallowed by fear.
Just before I was about to hit the point of no return and descend down the rabbit hole I gave myself a much needed shake.
“Get it t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r girl!”
This was not how I wanted to live each day. I did not want to go on like this for months and enter surgery as an anxious, fearful patient. That wouldn’t help the outcome and recovery.
I started a gratitude practice and everything turned around.
I started being grateful. Considering the state of mind I was in, it as a little rough in the beginning but it didn’t take long before I could easily identify the many ‘obvious’ things I had to be grateful for. Now on a roll and decidedly uplifted I started to look for and identify the small, ordinary, easy-to-overlook things that made my life meaningful. That’s when the flood gates opened and life completely changed.
I was calm and centered, joyful and I felt free. I woke up excited for the day and eager to start expressing what I was grateful for. I began to feel blessed that I was having surgery. I was actually looking forward to what was ahead.
On surgery day I was ready, positive and excited. My recovery was faster than I expected and the notes my cardiologist made saw the word ‘remarkable’ used over and over.
THIS had everything to do with cultivating an attitude of gratitude and practicing it every day.
Gratitude changed the way I looked at the world and then it changed my life.
Focusing on what you’re grateful for builds an appreciate of what you have. You can’t help but feel blessed when you are able to find great meaning in life’s ordinary moments.
I started by identifying 3 things that I was grateful for every day.
These were things like my precious family, eating a yummy breakfast, connecting with a friend, or sleeping in a cozy, warm bed at night. As I got more comfortable with the practice and able to identify many more things I was grateful for I upped the daily number to 10. Finally I got to the point where I sat with my gratitude journal writing for 10 – 15 minutes every morning filling page after page.
When I was able to micro focus and tune in on the small wonders, the more profound the feelings of fulfillment, contentment and joy.
Getting that narrow focus took time. It was like peeling the layers of my vision until I was able to see what truly mattered.
Sometimes it’s hard to get past the big stuff and identify the small beautiful things in our lives but when we do the practice of gratitude takes on a deeper meanings and becomes much more transformative.
A girlfriend of mine applied a micro view to her gratitude practice. She noticed one night that as she and her husband watched television they always sat side by side and unconsciously held hands. Her sight settled on the two hands entwined and realized how this ‘little’ ritual that they’d had for years and years was so meaningful. She’s never really noticed it nor thought about it before but it prompted much gratitude….she was grateful for the bond and the closeness they shared, the life they’d built together, the trust they had and the comfort they always provided each other. An ordinary little action that meant so much.
These are some of the questions that allowed me to get beneath the surface I hope they’ll do the same for You.
I followed each one up with…”Why?” to get even deeper.
20 AWESOME Gratitude Prompts That Can Change Your Life
- What smell are you grateful for?
- What technology are you grateful for?
- What food are you most grateful for?
- What sound are you grateful for?
- What memory are you grateful for?
- What book are you most grateful for?
- What place are you grateful for?
- What texture are you grateful for?
- What abilities are you grateful for?
- What about your body are you grateful or?
- What knowledge are you grateful for?
- What touch are you grateful for?
- What song are you grateful for?
- What story are you grateful for?
- What challenge are you grateful for?
- What moment today are you most grateful for?
- What small thing so you use daily that you are grateful for?
- What friend/family member are you grateful for today.
- What form of expression are you most grateful for?
- What tradition are you grateful for?
Right here…right now…name 3 things you’re grateful for. Check in. Does your heart feel fuller? Are the corners of your mouth pulling upwards?
The richest person in the world isn’t the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.
Ahhhhh Gratitude. This is the life you deserve.
Please share so that hearts will be opened and lives can be lived with more meaning and joy.
Your biggest cheerleader,
PS A GRATITUDE Mantraband is a beautiful reminder.