Gratitude: Day One
Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life.
Become A Mindful Observer of the Good
Welcome to Day 1 of the BYou Gratefulness Challenge!
You have made a wise decision to invest in your health and wellbeing. Practicing gratitude has been proved to provide extraordinary benefits, some of which include:
Improving physical and mental health;
Increasing awareness and presence;
Igniting greater clarity of thought and creativity;
Aiding in sleep;
Expanding sense of abundance, contentment, and joy;
Relaxing the heart;
Reducing anxiety and depression, and more.
Today we’re going to be starting with the very simple practice of mindfully observing the good.
A grateful heart is a heart that notices the good things that are already present. In other words, when you’re grateful, you’re constantly seeing all the good that you have in your life, not constantly searching for the next thing you’re trying get or consume.
This is because gratitude fixes our attention in the present moment, opening our eyes (and your hearts) to become more aware of what we already have instead of becoming fixated on what is missing or imperfect.
Likewise, the practice of gratitude also helps us to be in a posture of thankfulness, which enables us to notice the good things that surround us, even in the midst of suffering or difficult circumstances. This is because gratitude connects us to presence of the Sacred, which in turn, connect us to the goodness of all that is universal and eternal.
This connection reminds us that we are not alone, that the Divine Creator, God, is with us and for us, and that we have a role to play in the ongoing work of creative goodness in this world. With practice, this enables us to live in greater alignment with our created purpose and helps us to experience greater congruence and wellbeing.
Today, set the intention to be a mindful observer of the good. When you notice these things, you give thanks for them.
A delicious meal…
A gorgeous sunset…
A car that you love…
A peaceful walk with your loved ones…
Friends who make you laugh and love…
If you want to be guided by gratitude in life, you must regularly be mindfully observing all the good things, big and small that already fill your life.
When you shift the focus away from what you don’t have and onto what you do, your heart becomes naturally filled with gratefulness. And in turn, your life becomes filled with more peace and joy.
Decide today that you are going to mindfully observe at least TEN things that you are grateful for and offer thanks.
Start observing as soon as you wake up. Make an effort to notice something you’re grateful for within the first five minutes of waking up.
If nothing comes to mind, simply be grateful that you’re alive! You’ve got another glorious day to live, another day to experience wonderful blessings, another day to be filled with joy.
The moment you notice something, give thanks for it. It can help if you audibly say, “Thank you for [insert thing you’re grateful for].”
By saying it out loud, you’re actively reminding yourself of the good that is already present or flowing into your life. What's more the vibration of the sound you create when you speak helps you to embody the feelings of appreciation and thankfulness.
You shouldn’t have any trouble mindfully observing ten things to be grateful for. If you get to ten early in the day, go for TWENTY! The more you’re grateful, the happier you’ll be.
If you discover that finding ten things to be thankful for is challenging for you, take some time to reflect on what you are noticing instead. Most likely, your attention is intentionally focused on the things you feel like are missing in your life or the undesirable circumstances you wish would change in the future. If this is the case, see if you can shift the focus to what is surrounding you in the present.
Even if you can only give thanks for breath in lungs, blood flowing through your veins, the clothes that on your body, the last meal you ate – being grateful for these good things, even if they seem like small things, will help you begin the journey towards cultivating gratitude.
Okay, now it’s time for you to practice mindfully observing the good and being grateful.
At the end of you day, write how this exercise shifted your thoughts or feelings throughout the day. And stay tuned for tomorrow because we’re going to start keeping a gratitude journal.
See you tomorrow!