How to be Grateful

gratitudeDoes anybody have the same difficulty I do with that axiom that you should be grateful for what you have now, while, at the same time, setting intentions for what you want to change in your life? If we are so grateful in the here and now, why are we planning to change it?

Of course the simple answer is that life is all about growth and change, and to stay still is to stagnate. But there are times when I am so eager to manifest change, that I forget to be grateful for what I already have on this day. That’s mainly because I am lacking awareness of who I am and what is around me in this very moment. I think I am not alone in this, we all do that at least some of the time! And this is where I can use writing to help me become more mindful.

Have you ever tried writing a Gratitude List? It’s easy to do – take some paper and write the numbers 1 through 50 down the sides of the pages. Then write 50 things you are grateful for in your life right now. It doesn’t all have to be too deep – you can be grateful for that good cup of tea you had at breakfast, or for that flower you saw in the garden.  But you can also add bigger things to the list, like people who love you, or some personal talent or ability you possess. Don’t think too hard, just start writing the list and see what comes out.

But sometimes there are days – and I’ve had them, too – when things seem black and it is very hard to feel gratitude at all. That may be the day when writing a Gratitude List is most valuable. On days like that I start my Gratitude List like this:

(1) the air that I breathe

Think about it – air is a gift we are all freely given, every day of our lives, every moment of our lives. It gives us our very life. And there is no charge for it, we don’t have to earn it. It is something to be grateful for in every moment. When I write that down, I realize that there is always something to be grateful for, and I quickly find more things to write on the list.

Give it a try! And see how you may become just a bit more mindful of all that is good in your life at this very moment.