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What exactly is gratitude?
According to Google, by definition, gratitude is the quality of being thankful and a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
The thing about gratitude is, it is rarely effective you unless you make a conscious effort to actually put effort into acknowledging it.
One of my most favorite and memorable moments of gratitude happened out of the blue. We were driving down the highway with the mountain range in the horizon with the most exquisite sunset falling behind it. I was overcome in that moment with gratitude. For my eyes to see this wonder, for my husband for driving with me at that very moment, for the fresh air I was breathing in and for being able to live in such a beautiful place.
At that moment, I felt grateful for EVERY SINGLE THING in my life. It was overwhelming. Now I wish for that moment every day.
Why do I practice daily gratitude?
I don’t ever want to forget all of the things I had to go through to get where I am today. Even if it’s not exactly where I want to be yet.
My friend and I had a conversation recently about travelling first class and how the people she saw that were fortunate enough to be able to afford it, couldn’t remember what it was like to sit in a seat built for a toddler with short legs, with no options of free champagne in real big-girl glasses or a heated cloth to refresh your skin. Now, I’ve never been able to fly first-class, but that sounds pretty enticing.
I never want to be that person.
Just like my friend who relayed this story, I want to be the person that doesn’t have an issue with picking up the wrappers off the trays next to me and throw them in the garbage on my way to the bathroom, just because I can. Not just because I’m entitled to have a flight attendant do it for me.
How can gratitude help get your sparkle on?
So, here is the best part about gratitude. Those that practice it daily find that it starts to create it’s very own momentum. Like a force from the universe that starts to manifest itself. The things that you have appreciated and been grateful for start to shine even brighter and new and exciting things are presented into your daily life.
Want a better job? Be grateful for the crazy things that have happened in your current job and the bat-shit bosses that made you want to go crazy so that one day you will be extra grateful to have amazing, supportive co-workers in your next dream one.
Want more money? Be grateful for each moment that you had to eat ramen noodles so that the taste of caviar will be that much more delicious. In fact, eat ramen every once and a while, just to remember that feeling.
Maybe caviar tastes good with ramen? I’ve never had caviar either, but I’ll let you know if I ever get to try the combo.
Incorporate gratitude into your daily life
Another great thing about gratitude? It’s completely FREE. It doesn’t cost anything to be grateful. Being grateful in your everyday life doesn’t take any effort really. And if it does, you are likely not really grateful about it to start with.
There are some super easy ways to help you start your gratitude practice.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Grab a really inspiring, pretty notebook and write a list of all the things you are currently grateful for
Make a Gratitude Board
Buy a cheap cork board, paint it gold and start adding pictures of all the things that you love in your life. Don’t quit until it is exploding full and then hang it somewhere you will see it everyday
Meditation is my absolute favorite way to practice gratitude. I take 10 minutes each morning to meditate with the Calm app and try to visualize everything I am grateful for. Practicing this daily helps set my mood for the day, makes me feel refreshed and makes my heart feel full.
If you are wanting to learn more about gratitude and practicing mindfulness, Calm has a great book that you can snag off of Amazon to help you figure out how to calm your mind in a crazy world.
I also have a great Pinterest board dedicated to Meditation and Mindfulness you can check out.
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How do you currently practice gratitude? I would love to hear it!