Gratitude is not just an act, or an action, gratitude is a state of mind. I know live everyday with an attitude. An attitude of gratitude!
I learned this about 9 years ago from my mentor Meredith Hill of The Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs. It is through her teachings that I was inspired to take on an attitude of gratitude.
I begin a gratitude journal.
This was a simple process where I wrote daily in a journal 5 things I was thankful for. Then it grew as time went on and I started adding to the 5 things I was grateful for to 5 additional things I was grateful for receiving in my future. This seem weird at first and then it got fun! I started dreaming, believing and hoping. When you can add those three things to your thoughts then you really start living in inspired gratitude.
These exercises over time helped me to shift my perspective. You see 9 years ago, I was living the life of an unhappy victim. I blamed everyone (but me) for my situation. I lived in shame of how I looked and how I felt. I felt like there was no hope unless someone came along and fixed it all for me. I wanted someone to fix it all for me. My health, my wealth, my attitude and whatever else I was blaming others for.
That one 5 minute exercise of gratitude is what shifted my perspective. It made me see AND FEEL, that I have so much to be grateful for and that there is hope. This led into other moments of AHA's and realizations which has made me take full responsibility for myself and my actions, laugh at the shame, release the guilt and love myself. For that I am grateful.
There is so much more to the journey of my attitude of gratitude since then, however, I will save those details for another blog entry. Fast forward to today and my gratitude practice is a little different. I still live in gratitude. EVERYDAY. Not just on Thanksgiving. Now I walk in gratitude. My 45 - 60 minute morning walks are spent with the first 15-20 minutes walking in gratitude. No music, just me speaking softly outload with the timer set..I am happy and grateful for....that squirrel on the fence....I am happy and grateful for my coaching business...I am happy and grateful for my son and husband. I am happy and grateful for...If I can't think of something I look around and find it...the blue skies, the shoes on my feet. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for...if you look for it. Tip: If you leave in your headphones it just looks like you are singing instead of talking to yourself.
I invite you to take a walk in gratitude.
Here is how:
Try this three times a week.
Start small. Start with a 10 minute walk.
5 minutes in gratitude.
The other 5 minutes listening to music, talking on the phone or whatever else you like to do on your walks. I listen to some sort of inspiring audiobook on the 2nd half of my walk. Sometimes on the days I walk for 60 minutes I do 20 minutes in gratitude, 20 minutes in prayer and 20 minutes with the book.
Remember you have to say your "I am happy and grateful for" outloud. Saying it in your mind will tend to let your thoughts wonder away from you and you get off of the gratitude mantras.
Let me know how this goes for you.