Rock a Feeling of Gratitude Year Round

Rock a Feeling of Gratitude

As we head into the holidays, bombarded by commercials and jammed shopping aisles, the idea of gratitude and thanks is often thrown in as an after thought. It’s another angle to sell during “the season.” It vanishes by January when we are then overwhelmed with ads for getting in shape, as we drag around a big bag of shame from eating one too many holiday cookies and not militantly going to the gym. Lame.

 

What frustrates me most as we descend into the depths of holiday madness is that gratitude is viewed as a holiday-specific activity, and is not an every day occurrence. It’s as if the holidays is the one time we give ourselves permission to say nice things and buy gifts for each other. Then, after this glorious month or so, we are maxed out on the gratitude wagon and good cheer, just thankful its all behind us for another 11 months.

 

I am not saying that I don’t get caught up with the craziness of life and forget too, as I chug through piles of laundry and go gangsta on my email inbox. At the end of the day, however, I can always come back to my simple ritual of gratitude that has become a very distinct part of my life.

Getting into the Groove of Gratitude

 

I take a few moments in the car, when getting in or out of bed, as I am waiting for a friend, any spare time I run across. I choose a few simple things to be grateful for and say them out loud (or in my head). I make a habit of doing it once a day if possible.

 

Sometimes I want to put a bit more specific energy into my gratitude thoughts, so I make it fun. I have some colored construction paper I cut into strips. I write down a sentence or two, then toss it into a decorated box or special little drawer.

 

Its just another way to create recognition around what is going well and right in my life instead of always focusing on what I have to get done or what is causing friction. Many people (including myself) also have an inner need to “do”, so why not use that impulse to be grateful? If you create a personal ritual you will see how it soon shifts your thoughts, enabling you to switch to a feeling of gratitude more quickly even when you are frustrated or angry.

 

Not sure where to start? Its as simple as saying, “Yay! My legs work today and I was able to make my own breakfast!”  Yes, there are thousands of people around the world who cannot even do those simple tasks for themselves. If you want some help or specific ideas, you can also consider checking out Your True Nature and their Appreciation Items. Its a mini-kit for a gratitude practice and gives you simple ideas to get started.

Give the Gift of Gratitude this Holiday and Every Day

 

If you want a really awesome gift idea that just takes a little creativity and time, make a gratitude box for someone else. Use an old shoe box, gift box or even a little fabric bag.

 

Decorate it with beads, photos, colored paper, anything that draws your eye. Then write down a bunch of things you are grateful for about that person and the joy and value they add to your life. After they read all your heart felt thoughts, they also have a simple way to begin a gratitude practice of their own with a ready-made container.

 

As you look at your to-do list this holiday season, take time to recognize your own fantastic traits, accomplishments, gifts and appreciations. What do you like about yourself? What is going well in your life, right now? What is the smallest, simplest thing you are grateful for that brings you enormous pleasure and peace? Mine is a full-belly laugh. When I laugh I feel truly alive, and for that I am extremely grateful.

 

And one last thing when focusing on gratitude – it’s just as important to be open to receive all the love, wishes and heart felt things people want to share with you, too. Receive them with an open heart.

 

Photo by: limevelyn

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