I practice gratitude. Not just gratitude but purposeful gratitude. I know that sounds like a funny statement and I really wish it didn’t.
It sounds funny because it isn’t common practice, but it really should be! We do all thank people for things, true. Some of us may even thank a higher entity for things, but are we truly practicing gratitude? What does that even mean?
Practicing gratitude is about being present and purposeful in our lives. Be present in every moment of our day so that we open ourselves up to recognising even the smallest things to be grateful for. It seems so simple, but it does require some discipline and practice. I know this through the experience of my own journey! Recognising the things we can be grateful for is the first step. Recognising can be a challenge on its own though. If we aren’t looking then we won’t be able to see what is happening in our lives. We have to make a purposeful commitment to ourselves that we will live in the moment and seek out things to be thankful for.
Practicing gratitude means taking the time to reflect upon the things that you are grateful for that day, that moment. Reflecting upon them, taking them into your heart and giving thanks for the fact you have been blessed with these moments. That’s the purposeful part. With purpose you are seeking out things in your day to be grateful for and then expressing your gratitude.
Sometimes that will mean thanking others, for some of us it could be thanking a higher being, others of us make thank the Universe. Sometimes the things we are grateful for can’t be attributed to a person or entity, so share your gratitude for them with your family or friends. My youngest sister started us on a family tradition at dinner time. This involves taking the time each day to go around the dinner table giving each person the opportunity to share three good things that happened for them that day, and to express their thanks for them. At first it felt really weird and the kids tried to get skipped over (you go first, no, you go first…..you get the picture), especially if they thought they had had a ‘hard’ day. After a while though it became second nature and we could all do it much more easily. Practice does make perfect!
It doesn’t really matter who you express your gratitude to, as long as you persist in the practice of expressing it. It’s important to our own wellbeing and to the wellbeing of others, that we are gratitude practicers. There is not enough kindness and giving of thanks in our world today and that leads to unnecessary hurt and conflict. It is so much harder to be hateful, spiteful and hurtful when we are present in each moment, not thinking of the past or worrying about the future, but being right here, right now. When we are present it is much easier to see what we have to be thankful and grateful for.
When we share our gratitude with or express our thanks to others, we spread the love. We pay it forward. We quietly empower and inspire others to be grateful and to express their thanks. Imagine if everyone practiced gratitude everyday, whenever they could….what impact could we have on the world?
Less conflict? Less oppression? Less fighting? Less violence? More love, more acceptance, more tolerance, more understanding?
I hope so, and that is why I practice purposeful gratitude. If you’ve never practiced purposeful gratitude why don’t you make a commitment right now to give it a go? I guarantee you’ll see the positive benefits for yourself and for those around you!
So get out there and get practicing…..I’ll start. I’m really grateful that you read my article all the way to the very end…. 🙂