I keep a gratitude journal as part of my morning routine. Each morning I list 10 things, people, items I am grateful for. It can be anything. I don’t even know where I got it from, but it came at a time I was adjusting things in my life. I was not doing any gratitude work. Doing it every morning and starting my day with showing gratitude keeps it in the forefront of my mind. I was not counting on that though I have always considered myself a grateful person. This has multiplied that gratefulness.
Some mornings coming up with ten is a little challenging. Ten pushes me to explore what I have in my life, who I have in my life to have gratitude for. Still those mornings I sit at my desk needing two, three, four more to complete my list. I look around my office, look at my schedule for the day, look outside to find them. I make it but usually with some repeats like my wife, family, grandchildren, house, clients, money. You know the biggies.
About a week ago I was listening to a podcast by another coach. His practice is each morning to come up with one thing to have gratitude for. Even with only one thing to have gratitude for he was running into my challenge. Repeats. Running out of the biggies to have gratitude for. He challenged his audience to show gratitude for their last breath.
That hung with me. Several days later, Thursday, I was sitting at my desk doing my gratitude journal. Like normal I was running out of new things to be grateful for. As I was sitting I heard the trash truck out front picking up the trash. The light bulb went off in my head. I listed the trash pickup on my list followed by the recycling pickup.
I was actually surprised I came up with that. Pushing the limits of being grateful and being creative.
What had me be surprised? What was stopping me from seeing gratitude for the trash pickup? What stopped me for me being grateful for my last breath as write this?
It’s that biggie thing I mentioned earlier. Ranking, comparison. Big, little. Important, less important. This leads to less gratitude for what we have in our life. Less awareness of what we have in our life. Less awareness of our life. Less awareness of life.
Can you be grateful for everything? Yes.
Can you list all that you are grateful for? That would take a life time. And that’s the point. Living a life of gratitude. Taking time to notice what and who is in your life day by day, hour by hour. Gratitude is a lifestyle.
Listing ten things each morning is a practice that assists me in building my awareness and gratitude. It is not the extent of gratitude. Just a practice. I know my awareness of my life has grown since February when I took this on. Doing it in the morning sets my mind for my day. Setting my mind for my day opens my eyes, my mind, my being to what is in my day and for having gratitude for my day and what’s in it.
What are you grateful for right now? Look around you. Be mindful and aware of what is there. Who is there. You could be grateful for the device you are reading this on. You could be grateful being able to read. Your desk, chair, person next to you, the coffee shop you are in, your breath. Smell anything to be grateful for? Hear anything to be grateful for? Close your eyes. What do you sense in your being to be grateful for?
What practice could you take on to increase your gratitude?
What would change for you with expanding your gratitude?
How do you practice showing gratitude?
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