Gratitude is the foundation for developing your greatness and is key to living your life with passion, peace, and joy. Having a gratitude practice is a profound way to connect with your soul. As a four-time cancer survivor, I've integrated a lot of healing strategies in my life. Without question, gratitude is my #1 go to practice. When things aren't going right in life, it's easy to complain or focus on what we don't have. It's when we embrace all our blessings and that which we do have in life we allow more of what we have to be grateful for in our lives.
Having a daily gratitude practice allows us to connect with a deep part of ourselves that is key to our growth. There are a few great ways to integrate gratitude in your daily life. One way is to affirm silently or out loud three things you are grateful for every morning before getting out of bed. This really sets a positive tone for your day. It can be as simple as I am thankful and grateful for each breath that I take. I am thankful for my health, my eyes to see, my ears to hear, my family... The list goes on.
Another great way to integrate gratitude in your daily life is to start a success jar.
Every night, I take a few minutes and write down one thing that went well that day. It can be something you are thankful for, something new you learned, a way you paid it forward, or some way you were unexpectedly blessed that day. At the end of the month, you can have a gratitude fest and read them. Even better, involve your family with this practice and have everyone participate. It's a great way to focus on the positive and connect with your family in a meaningful way. I wait until the end of the year to have a gratitude love fest and look at all the positive things that happened throughout the year. It's a great year-end exercise to close out the old and start anew.
When I attended Arianna Huffington's #ThriveOcourse earlier this year, she really honed in on the importance gratitude has in our lives and shared that she starts each day with gratitude. Arianna also shared about giving. There are so many ways to give. We can give of our time (our most precious asset), our talents, and our money. I feel so fortunate to be part of Arianna's #ThriveTribe as she shares so many ways we can give. She talked about how Starbucks once had a chain of 458 people in line paying it forward by paying for the person behind them. 458 times... That's powerful!
Arianna recommends doing three 5-minute favors. This is a fabulous exercise to get started when you want to give more to others. Think about tiny windows of time where you can do a chore for someone, write that thank you letter, help someone carry their groceries, bring in your neighbor's trash cans. You can volunteer your time, talents, or a percentage of money to an organization or cause you support. You can let someone else cut in front of you in traffic! I absolutely love paying for the meals of military families when the opportunity presents itself. I do so anonymously as I don't want them to know who paid for their meal. I just want them to know they are appreciated.
The key ingredients to everyday miracles available to us all are courage, love, kindness, the knowing that we are all connected, giving, and gratitude. When your heart is open and receptive to all that is good, we can change the world...starting with ourselves.
It's your turn: What are you most grateful for? Do you have a gratitude practice to share? Why do you think paying it forward is so powerful? Please comment below. I'd love to hear from you!