I am so grateful that you are taking the time to read this today - and that's the clue about today's topic - Gratitude. I'm sure you have heard about practising gratitude but how often do you remember?
And as the wonderful drawing (reproduced with kind permission by May the Thoughts be With You) demonstrates it is often the small acts of gratitude that make our day. Gratitude is an attitude that we can embrace - at all times, whatever is happening!
At the beginning of the year I started a Gratitude Facebook group. It was inspired by a website I happened across where Hailey posted a photo of something she was grateful each day for a year and wrote about how it changed her life. So I thought that I'd follow her idea and for the last three and a bit months have been posting a daily photo of what I am grateful for both there and on my website.
It has been a really inspiring journey of gratitude because some days I didn't feel grateful for anything at all! In fact I really had to look around me to find what I was grateful for. On those days it took a while but in the end I always found something, even if it was just my lovely cup of tea.
What I have noticed that because this has become something I have committed to doing daily it has begun to infuse my life. I see my world more and more as full rather than half empty. Each and every day I am reminded of just how wonderful a world we live in and how much I really do have.
Sure there are still things I would like to have in my life but somehow instead of focusing on the things missing I focus more on the things that I have.
Our attitude is the one thing that we have absolute control over. It is totally up to us as to what attitude we have each moment of the day. Choosing an attitude of gratitude is one of the best choices we can make.
There is another bonus for practicing gratitude too. When things happen that I do not want or had not planned for I look for the gift in the situation. I look to see what this particular experience might hold for me. Last month my brother let me know that the flat I had been using in London for the last year was now needed for his son. I had always known that at some point it he would want it but I had not thought it would be so soon.
Now knowing myself in the past that would have created stress. What was going to be the alternative place to stay when I came to London? How much would it cost? What was I going to do with all the stuff I have got there? All these things would have worried me. However I found myself feeling that it was all fine and that I was grateful for being able to have used it for the last 18 months. That in fact it was perfect timing and that it would free up some resources to do other things. Somehow having a practise of gratitude had helped me have a whole different attitude.
What was even fun was that because I was not all stressed by the 'what next' all the so-called problems simply resolved themselves easily. I was offered two places to stay whenever I needed to be in London and in one click I found a cheap and easy way to get all the stuff back to Spain. Would I have found them anyway? Maybe but I am sure that the practise of gratitude gave me a whole different way of handling what could have been a challenging situation.
Practising gratitude - even for the small stuff every day, like the oddles of hot water in our bath, simply shifts the energy with which we approach our day and that is magical.
So check out my daily gratitude page on the website - bookmark it and check in regularly and have a daily reminder to look for the things you can appreciate every day in your life. I promise you if you make this a daily practise you will begin to see your life differently. If you are having trouble seeing your life in this way then maybe it is time for us to have a chat so that we can begin to discover how you can shift your life to one of gratitude. Drop me a line and let's arrange a time to talk. Looking at your life through the lens of gratitude is the best gift you can give to yourself, in fact you will be grateful you did!