So what is gratitude? The dictionary states that it is the ‘Quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation in return for kindness”. During my childhood I was taught by various adults in my life, their interpretation of what gratitude was to them. I began to wonder what gratitude was to me as an adult right now in this moment and what is the role that it plays in my life.
I thought I would begin with a list. The obvious ones were easy, health, family and job but then it began to get a little tricky. After all those were the very same things as a child I was taught to be grateful for. I realized I needed to take the time to acknowledge how I am personally grateful. I had never challenged myself to dig deep enough to uncover those parts of myself that I had allowed to sink into the depths of forgotten possibilities. Simply put I did not deserve to have good things come to me which in turn would stimulate gratefulness. You see if we are grateful for things in our lives we may have to accept the fact that we are of value.
Our culture is always striving to reach that thing up just up ahead, out of reach. I want to be challenged in the moment and gratitude is the ticket. I invite you to not wimp out but challenge yourself. Now let’s get back to the list.
As I continued to work on my list I soon realized just how important it was to figure all this out. Darn it gratitude is just to pivotal to leave gathering dust on that shelf of ‘never got it right’. There is kindness, compassion and all those other momentous traits that we all collectively share but what about what we already have? Am I worth having good things in my life?
So let me suggest that you take five minutes for yourself and come up with your list. If you find yourself beginning to squirm a bit it may be time to take that courage pill that you have been putting off in order to recognize just what you have to be grateful for. It’s in there somewhere
After you have created your list, no matter how small, take one point every night and read it before you go to bed. Next, slip it under your pillow and acknowledge the fact that by morning that seed of recognition will blossom into a part of who you are. Do this for at least five days, in a row. After those five days you will discover that your life is filled with the most delightful things to be grateful for.
Here is how I look at it. Gratitude is not something to be taken lightly. It is personal by design. It is not just another one of those skills that we need to mature up to. It is something that should be acknowledged, daily and that living life with passion is in support of it. Pass it on like a yawn, you know how when one yawns in a room it almost instantaneously triggers yawns throughout a group. Gratitude is a reflection of joyful living and like a yawn can be contagious.
I believe that gratitude is a remarkable lens which life can be viewed through. It is ever-changing and unique to each of us. So what is gratitude to you? Where does it come from? If you closed your eyes and imagined it as a landscape what would it look like? Are their clouds in the way of your vision or are they parting bringing you a new perspective of your life.
I encourage you to not wimp out, but explore? Will it be different tomorrow or will it stagnate in the safety of your comfort zone? Reach beyond and strive to discover gratitude in the collective moments of your day. Each time you yawn or witness a yawn remember those seeds of gratitude that you planted and with courage continue to nurture throughout the collective moments of who you truly are.
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