What is gratitude?
It is a word that’s been thrown around a lot lately, especially with the holiday season rising. And maybe you already know what it is. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. It is what you express to someone for saving your seat, or to the chairman of the board for this award.
Perhaps you’ve even heard that people who implement gratitude into their daily lives are happier, healthier, less stressed, and more proficient at their jobs. There are studies to back these things up, and you should research it more if you’re interested.
Today though, I want to just talk about some of the different aspects of gratitude that are meaningful to me. These are things, upon my regular practice of gratitude I have developed a deep sense of, or find myself considering more frequently.
For starters, if asking What is Gratitude, I would actually change the definition above to this: Gratitude is the practice of mindful appreciation.
For me, bringing a real sense of acknowledgement in a precise moment is a moving connection to the universe. Like when yogi’s use the word Namaste. The spirit in me, sees the spirit in you. Gratitude is taking that validation one step further and saying thank you for being, or thank you for your actions, thank you for this time.
The appreciation can be big or small. I like catching nature in action, whether it’s two squirrels as they run across power lines and roofs fighting, or a magpie knocking inches of snow off the tops of pine trees, making it rain like glitter in the sunlight. But sometimes it’s the appreciation that the car saw me on the side of the road and stopped. Or when someone finds your wallet and returns it, just the way you remember it.
When you take the time to acknowledge these things, it creates a safe space inside you. If you can make a habit of being mindful and appreciating the things you can’t control, the safe space inside you grows. Your ability to weather the storm grows.
Sometimes life starts to creep up on you, and you get bogged down in all the negativity.
Your boyfriend cheated on you, you’re broke, your kid is sick again. You just broke a nail and now you’re worried about getting fired from your job. Somehow those two things are related even though you can’t see how because everything just sucks. You’re grumbly and kicking at rocks and wondering how you’re going to get out of this mess this time, and why you even bother.
These are the moments you need the practice of gratitude! If you have a rolling tape of all the negative things in your life playing, you can combat that with gratitude. It’s like having your own personal patronus, but we’ll learn more about that in the following posts.
This is part one of a seven part series, where we are going to explore why gratitude is important, how it can help improve your life. Also, how you can use gratitude to change the life of others, and more. I do hope you will stick around to find out more. If you would like weekly updates about this topic or other exciting plans, please sign up for my email list.
Thank you for sharing this moment with me today.