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FEATURE - November 2015 - Santa Fe
The Importnace of Gratitude
By Tania Vasallo
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”
– Meister Eckhart
How grateful are you feeling right now? How often are you consciously giving thanks? Do you take things for granted or are you grateful for everything that you have and do in your life?
For more than a decade I have kept a small journal next to my bed where I jot down at least five things that I'm grateful for that day. My challenge is that I can't repeat whatever I wrote the day before (if not, that's cheating).
It's easy to be grateful when things are going your way, but how about when things aren't flowing in your life, or you're moving too fast to even acknowledge all the wonders and beauty that’s taking place? What do you do?
At the beginning of this week I felt very rushed with things. When you're feeling rushed, it's a huge sign that you might be taking things for granted, which is what happened in my case. I was taking for granted the fact that my husband had just watched my daughter for five days straight, while I got to travel and go work on my business. After having a conversation with him I became very present to this fact and wanted to switch the energies. I sat down and wrote what I was thankful for on approximately 30 different Post-its, and then I proceeded to put them all in his car (back seat and trunk) so that he didn't think I don't see all that he does. I don't ever want him to feel like I take him for granted, plus it was fun writing out all the Post-its. It immediately changed my energy. Why do I tell you this story? Well, when things aren't going the way you want them to, I highly recommend you shift your energy into a place of gratitude. It will do miracles for you!
5 WAYS TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE
1. Daily Gratitude. Give thanks daily. Set a time to do it and commit to it. I suggest writing your "thank you's" down (theygain more power), but if you don't have the time to write them down, then just say them out loud or in your head (while driving to work, when you first wake up or when you're going to sleep).
Gratitude when feeling bad. When you're feeling off or things aren't flowing for you, pull out a piece of paper and write down all that you're thankful for. Here are some examples to start with: your health, your life, your family, your friends, your hot water, the roof over your head, etc.
Gratitude ripple effect. When you feel like you can't come up with enough "Thank you's" think about all the different layers of gratitude. Here's an example: I'm not only thankful for the organic apple that I ate, but for the grocery store that supplied me the apple, I'm thankful for the people that picked the apple, and for the person that carried the apple from the field to the store, and I'm thankful for the farmer that grew the apple with out harmful pesticides, and for the sun and the water that made that apple grow.... You get the idea. There's a ripple effect of gratitude when you truly want to dig deeper.
Gratitude when someone is upsetting you. If you're feeling jealous or upset at someone, instead of justifying why this person is bad or evil, I challenge you to pull out a piece of paper and write down at least five things you're grateful for because of this person. You'll start seeing them with different eyes.
Gratitude towards yourself. It's easier to criticize ourselves than to give thanks for what we do. In that little night journal that I mentioned before, I also jot down at least three things I acknowledge myself for (it can be as small as eating a piece of fruit that day to making a dreaded phone call); start acknowledging yourself and being thankful for who you are.
I'm grateful for our connection, and I'm thankful for you reading this article. Wishing you a fantastic week!
Tania Vasallo is the founder of The Courage To Be Happy a supportive community that empowers passionate, heart centered female entrepreneurs all over the world to be able to have their life and work flow with ease so that they can experience freedom and play while making a big difference.
Tania provides high-end training, coaching and mentoring for women to discover more about themselves, about what they want to create in their life and business.