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10 Things I Learned From A Year Of Gratitude

10 Things I Learned From A Year Of Gratitude

It began on someone else’s Facebook wall.  A coaching colleague of mine was doing five days of gratitude on Facebook and I decided to tag along.  We would post five things we were grateful for each day for five days.

On my sixth day I realized, wow, this is way too much fun to stop now!  It quickly became my morning ritual, sitting with my dogs and a cup of coffee on the patio with the sound of the waves across the street and the wild parrots in the trees overhead.

Every morning I pull out my iPhone and post the first five things I can think of that I am grateful for in this day.   Almost a year later I am amazed at the lessons I’ve learned from this simple daily practice.  Here are the top ten.

10 Things I Learned From A Year Of Gratitude

Gratitude is a habit.

After just a few days in this practice, I noticed myself looking around my life for new things to add to my list.  This searching for things to be grateful for quickly became a habit, and a year later it is simply a part of my psychological makeup.  So many of us have habits far less enriching than this one.  Fortunately for us, habits can be created!

Gratitude is joy-sustaining.

You get excited when you find things to be grateful for!  It brings you present to the good things in your life and keeps the joy fire stoked.

Gratitude is limitless.

At first I had my doubts, sure that I’d hit a dry spell.  But every morning, even if it was a simple as the song I heard a bird sing on the way to the car or that my cup of Café Bustelo was just on point this morning (as it is most mornings), I kept finding five things.  A year later, I have yet to run out of things to be grateful for.  And coffee has showed up more than once.

Gratitude is contagious.

Seeing the fun I was having on my Facebook page every morning, several of my friends have picked up the gratitude practice for themselves.  It’s becoming a movement in my social circle.

Gratitude and sorrow are not mutually exclusive.

There are things to be found even in the darkest times of grief and fear to be grateful for.  In creating space for gratitude, there is always a little light in your dark times to focus on.  If you choose to focus on that one tiny little spot of beauty, that spot will only grow.  Tomorrow will be a better day.  Or next week there will be something new and beautiful to add.  It’s the light at the end of the tunnel in dark times.

Gratitude builds connection.

Every day there are people in my life to be grateful for.  In sharing my gratitude with them they received the gift of acknowledgement of who they are for me and respond by bringing more of themselves to our relationship.  I feel it on my side too as I get to give the gift of my gratitude to them and find myself opening to share even more.  I have made new friends from my contacts sharing my gratitude list.  Positive energy attracts positive energy and the people I have connect with through this practice have been nothing but enriching to my life.  I’m grateful for them.  See what I did there.

Gratitude is power.

By choosing to find something to be grateful for, you build the muscle around choosing your thoughts and your reality.  It is a practice in creation from intention.

Gratitude teaches creativity.

Like when you’re stuck in killer traffic for two hours, gratitude demands that you get creative.  You get to look for things around you like the flowers on the trees next to your car or the wicked song on the radio in the car behind you on blast, or whatever it is that you see in the otherwise inconvenient slow-down.

Gratitude itself is creative.

The energy of gratitude pulls like a magnet on more and more things to be grateful for.  They come rushing into your life, or maybe into your awareness, in a steady and powerful flow.  The habit of looking for them has them reveal themselves often.

Gratitude destroys negativity.

When your brain is so busy looking for the beauty and the light in life, the darkness fades in your awareness.  Your brain will seek one thing at a time.  There is simply not enough space or time to seek out both complaints and gratitude.

 

Want to start a gratitude practice?  Let today be the day!  Post “Today I am grateful for…” and list the first five gratitude-inspiring things that come to mind.  Start with one or two things if five feels big for you.  Use the hashtag #gratitude and #grateful and connect with other people on the same mission of light.

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