The Gift of Gratitude

Over 20 years ago my best friend from high school gave me a special gift, a book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  I was going through a challenging time in my life so this book was a helpful tool to help me get through it.  The book is written to be read on an everyday basis with the themes of abundance and gratitude running throughout.  Each day there is an excerpt meant to inspire reflection of the abundance in your own life.  

This book helped jumpstart my own practice of writing in a gratitude journal which I have been doing now for over two decades.  The exercise of thinking about what I have to be grateful for has been a very humbling experience.  Some days I write that I am grateful for simple things like the morning silence, the beautiful day outside, or the birds singing, while other days I write I am grateful for much larger things like my family, my health and well-being, the shelter my home provides, and having all of my loved ones safe and well.

Through the years my gratitude practice has evolved and now I include it in my daily morning ritual of meditation and journaling.  I start my day off every morning surrendering to the sound of silence with my meditation practice which includes Metta meditation, or loving-kindness meditation.  The concept behind Metta meditation is that you must practice loving kindness to yourself before you can extend it to others.  This is a beautiful reminder to be grateful for ourselves and to love ourselves first.  After Metta I recite three things which I intend to manifest during the day and I close with Namaste, honoring the light within me and sharing it with others, as well as honoring the individual light of others.  

After my meditation practice I pull out my gratitude journal and sit in a cozy pile of cushions, pillows and throws.  I like to get really comfortable when writing as it helps me tune into my true, uninhibited self.  I learned about the Five Minute Journal a few years ago and have incorporated it into my gratitude practice.  Each morning I write down 3 things which I am grateful for, then I write down 3 answers to the question “What would make today great ?” then I write 3 ‘I am. . . .’ affirmations.  Before I go to bed I also write in my journal 3 amazing things which happened that day.

Through the years this practice has really enlightened me to everything and everyone in my life I have to be grateful for.  I enjoy sometimes flipping back through the pages to see my answers from a particular period of time.  I feel by practicing gratitude on a daily or regular basis it opens up our hearts to all of the abundance we already have in our lives and makes us aware of it so we can be open to receiving more gifts in our lives.

The Gift of Gratitude is one which can be given freely, it can be as simple as saying “Thank You” or showing appreciation for someone who has been kind to you with a smile or a compliment.  If we all practiced giving the gift of gratitude on a regular basis think about how much happier we would all be.  

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