So, Gratitude is BIG right now. You can’t go into Paperchase without seeing a Gratitude Journal or notebook, and there are SO many quotes on Facebook and Instagram etc singing the benefits of being grateful, and they are all true.
Gratitude IS one of THE MOST POWERFUL tools for transforming your life experience, and a daily gratitude practice can and will change your life, BUT, you cannot fake gratitude, you have to REALLY mean it and truly know why you are doing it or you are missing the point.
Can you remember when you were growing up, your mum and dad saying things to you like, ‘Make sure you eat all of that food on your plate, you should be grateful because there are people starving all over the world’, or, ‘Just be grateful that you have a roof over your head’?
Well, I do and it changed the way I viewed the word gratitude for a long time. Gratitude felt like something I SHOULD feel, and that If I didn’t feel it, I was spoilt or not a good person. It felt like a responsibility rather than something joyful, nourishing and life changing.
Subsequently, when I then attempted to begin my own daily gratitude practice (I had read ‘The Secret’ and it had been recommended) I pretty much had nothing, I was just writing things that I thought I SHOULD write and I felt nothing. Also, after reading The Secret and a few other books like it, I had concluded that I HAD to be grateful in order to get all the STUFF I wanted (a home by the beach, successful career, walk in wardrobe…….).
Being grateful felt like a necessary pain in my rear end if I was to get what I wanted. It was a bargain with the powers that be that went like, ‘Ok, I will write this blinkin list if you just deliver my stuff’. I had an agenda.
But, I REALLY did want my life to feel differently so I kept at it, and began to ask myself what I REALLY was grateful and appreciative of, not the ‘SHOULD’ things but the things I felt authentically connected with. Slowly but surely, I began to connect with those things: freshly laundered sheets, new pyjamas, a good book, a well-made cocktail and oh so much more.
I began to SERIOUSLY get into it! Not only was I writing, ‘freshly laundered sheets’, but I was writing about how they felt on my body when I got into bed, what they smelled like…. I even wrote an A4 piece of paper (both sides), on the joys and deliciousness of a Halloumi sandwich once!
It was baby steps and it took practice, but the payoff was, and is BIG!
I felt like I was waking up, like someone had washed my eyeballs and put them back in. There was just SO much to feel grateful for, so many things to be joyful about, I was SO abundant, and I hadn’t even realised.
The ‘Stuff’ I wanted felt less important, and as I let go of ‘my agenda’ so the stuff began to come.
The truth is, consciously focusing on the things in your life to be grateful about helps you to powerfully shift your energy from lack to abundance, from frustration to contentment, and from struggle to love, and THAT is the energy in which you can truly create a joyful, powerful and connected life. That is the way you get your ‘stuff’ too.
But don’t do it JUST to get the ‘stuff’. Practice gratitude because of the moment to moment joy and connection it brings, feel love for your life because anything else truly is a form of self-harm and self-deprivation.
The reason we want improvement in our lives in the first place is because we want to feel better, but you can feel better now.
In fact, in order to live a life of any meaning at all you HAVE to be willing to choose to see your life in a loving and grateful way, that is how the transformation takes place.
If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, that will be enough – Eckhart Tolle
I encourage all of my coaching clients to commit to a daily gratitude practice and even created a whole journal to support this practice, but without the right approach and understanding, it is just words on a page.
What can you find to be TRULY grateful for today?
If you have a gratitude practice, I would love to know what it has done for you.