Year round gratitude is a practice worthy of exploration. Here are twelve tip of encouragement to invite into your life, now.
Absence, Neutrality, Support
1. Pay attention to the things you don’t have…a sore throat that goes away, a noisy and nosey neighbor that moves away, a core scene of annoyance with a loved one that doesn’t happen as often, with the same intensity, or for the same duration.
2. Pay attention to the neutral moments and watch them transform into positive moments. At the holiday dinner table this year, there was no drama, no anxiety, no drunkenness. As we reflected on this at day’s end, we smiled and gave thanks.
3. Pay attention to what support looks like for the people in front of you and the opportunities to be of service. In the past I swung between “it’s all up to me” and “there’s nothing I can do” (neither of which is true) and now I simply ask, “how can I help?” From this place of genuine concern, I truly tune into my willingness in this moment to love even more, and do what I can to make the world a better place.
Nature, Body, Reality
4. Pay attention to the sky. The quality of the sunlight, the dancing display of clouds, the stars and moon imperceptible in their movement, the trees losing leaves.
5. Pay attention to your feet: Rub and massage them for all they have accomplished, for the miles they have carried you, for the uplifted nature they allow. How can we not have gratitude for our feet?
6. Pay attention to water: The faucet that turns on and produces, the rain that fills the lake, the one ocean that connects us all in the bigger perspective of life.
7. Pay attention to the energetic exchange with animals, vegetables and minerals: the purr of the cat, the bark of the dog, the wag of the tail, the buzz of the bee, the strength of garlic and red onion, the grounding quality of sea salt on your tongue.
8. Pay attention to gravity, a power greater than yourself that is always present.
Breath, Enough, Money, Life
9. Pay attention to your breath, effortlessly, endlessly, easily keeping you alive. Instant gratitude.
10. Pay attention to those moments of feeling well rested, loved, loving and enough. They exist and they nourish the soul. The act of noticing them increases their positive influence on our overall wellbeing.
11. Pay attention to money, sharing appreciation for all the freedom is affords you. Borrow what Marie Forleo says when she spends it, “there is more where that came from.”
12. Pay attention to the great good fortune of being alive. If you struggle with remembering this, go on a media fast and don’t let in the negative for at least 30 days. Be willing to experiment with your life. Be a force for good by cultivating a grateful heart and living in gratitude year round.