Yet, I believe it.
Gratitude isn’t something that should just be practiced during the Thanksgiving season. It’s a way of living, an attitude of appreciation for the amazing world we inhabit.
The Big Man and I got in the habit of consciously practicing gratitude when we were traveling the globe. When I’d start whining about something ridiculous (What? No free peanuts with my beer at this sidewalk bar in Phnom Penh? Seriously?), he’d kick me and ask, “Did you practice your gratefuls today?”
“Practicing our gratefuls” was a daily exercise that included a distinct breathing pattern, a long walk, and an emerging spiral of gratitude. I’d imagine all the things I was thankful for starting very close to my own life and ending very wide with thankfulness for the incredible Universe.
Here’s what it might have looked like on any given day:
- In my own internal sphere: “I’m thankful for my clean bill of health, saucy sense of humor, easy smile, the continued ability to do backhandsprings, loving nature, natural talent to sleep on any mode of transportation, slightly photographic memory, and my adorable seashell ears.”
- In my external, yet personal, sphere: “I’m thankful for a world class education, the incredible trip I am on, the fact that I’ve always had a roof over my head, my solidly great childhood complete with a “saved by the bell” high school experience, my favorite backpacking skirt, Quincy my trusty Subaru waiting at home for me, and the paintings we’re collecting on this trip.”
- In the sphere of my relationships: “I’m thankful for the Big Man’s competence at negotiating cabs worldwide and the way he loves all of me, my family’s understanding of my adventures, my sister’s way of calming me down when I freak out, my friends’ love, support & deliciously fun spirits, the mentors who help me navigate my path, and the continued graciousness of new friends and strangers around the world.”
- Eventually I’d cover my extended network, community, world, and Universe. but I don’t think I’m going to torture you with that very long list.
Sounds like a complicated process, I know, but I’m fairly certain we copped it from a Tony Robbin’s audio book…
Point is– practicing your gratefuls is incredible way to look at each and every day. What do you do to appreciate all that you are? All that you have?
And in that spirit:
Today, specifically, I am grateful for how easily found I found a parking spot downtown, for a coffee meeting with a new coaching client who is warm, talented and gutsy, for my lunchtime chicken and pesto sandwich, for Derek at 20SB, for the strong legs and lungs that walked up hills, for Herkimer Coffee in Greenwood, for my Sister and all her awesome roommates, for my Dad’s sweet email, for my SPUN cowlneck tunic that is keeping me cozy and chic, for the man with the adorable beagle puppies who put up with my dog squeezing and kissing routine on the sidewalk, for the inspiration that is Gwen Bell, for Christmas lights, and for the waiting-to-be-watched episode of Glee that’s at home for me.
It’s a good day, eh?
And honestly, most days are when you break down all the goodness and reasons to be thankful.