For any of you who know me, you know that eventually it had to get back to the food. The FOOD! I love the ritual of the meal. The gathering of friends and loved ones to nourish ourselves and each other. A gratitude meal is a beautiful way to celebrate our thankfulness.
Finding gratitude in every step of dining can make a meal more satisfying and joyful. From food preparation, to eating, to cleaning up, expressing gratitude will add a lot of goodness to your nourishment.
Preparation: Send gratitude to the people who grew and picked your food. Be thankful for the individuals who stocked it and sold it to you in the grocery store. Thank yourself or the cook for preparing it.
Meal time: Commit to a moment of gratitude at the beginning of a meal. Look at your plate and really appreciate the lovely food on it with all of your senses. The different colors, the delicious scents, the textures. Be grateful for every bite.
A gratitude walk can be very nurturing when you’re stressed, down or worried. Take 15 minutes or longer to walk outside in the park or in your neighborhood. While you walk take in the natural beauty on your path, the trees, water and earth. Breath deeply and enjoy a moment of gratitude for the sights and sounds. Be aware of all your senses. Notice the leaves rustling, the birds chirping, the green grass, ripples in the water, the sun and wind on your skin, clouds in the sky, the smells of autumn. Then touch base with how you’re feeling inside, how the air deeply fills your lungs, the way your muscles stretch with each stride, the peace you feel when you connect with nature.
One of my favorite places to take a gratitude walk is on the canal. I can go deep in my thoughts and not worry about traffic. There are the beautiful natural elements of air, water and earth present and the scener...
Each time I get a hand written note of appreciation, it feels like I've received a beautiful gift. Especially snail mail. I also love the art of writing a note. Something about putting pen to paper feels authentic and permanent. Our handwriting has our qi or our energy in it. It is unique to us.
WAG Day 5 has 2 challenges.
1. Send a thank you note to someone who's made you feel grateful. Maybe it’s your mom or dad. Or Ms. Hurley, your 3rd grade teacher. Whoever it is, write it out and let them know they’re appreciated. You will make their day! As a form of communication, writing gives you a chance to really think about what you want to express and gives the recipient a keepsake they can enjoy forever.
2. DONATE SOMETHING
Donating gives us gratitude by helping someone in need. It connects us with the abundance we have and appreciation that we can pay it forward to others. Clean out your closets and give it to a charitable organ...
Have you ever noticed how expressing Gratitude connects you with the present moment? According to University of California Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, "mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. " Mindfulness has been shown to help deal with pain and depression and promote focus and well-being. Gratitude connects you to what your are experiencing both externally and internally at any given moment. A practice to help you develop mindfulness and gratitude is meditation. Give it a try!
Today's Gratitude challenge is to START AND END YOUR DAY WITH A GRATITUDE MEDITATION.
If you already meditate, try repeating your Gratitude mantra during your practice today. Here are a few links to guided Gratitude meditations that you may find helpful.
A wonderful exercise to get you in the Gratitude mindset is to write a Gratitude mantra. What's a mantra? Its a phrase that is continuously repeated during meditation or prayer. It could be something as simple as "My attitude is Gratitude." Or "I am grateful." It can be longer such as "Gratitude brings me in harmony with the universe and those around me." Try to make it a phrase that feels natural to you. My favorite is "Inhale Love, Exhale Gratitude." Feel free to use it :).
Get your mantra down on paper because you'll be using it for your Gratitude Alarm assignment.
SET A GRATITUDE ALARM
Schedule in 3-5 gratitude breaks throughout the day. Use the alarm app on your smart phone. Pause when the alarm goes off and inhale and exhale deeply while saying your gratitude mantra. At that moment, think of something you are grateful for. This exercise keeps you in the moment. We can all get caught up in our day to day busy-nes...
MAKE A GRATITUDE JAR. Find a clean jar and label it. Some naming ideas could be “Gratitude,” “Good Things”, “Thankful”, “Merci” or whatever feels right for you. Make sure the mouth of the jar is big enough for you to reach into.
Here are a few helpful tips:
Keep your Gratitude Jar in a visible place in the house.
Pick a time of day to write down what you're grateful for on the small pieces of paper. Some families like to do it at dinner when you gather together and recount the happenings of your days. You can stuff in 1 note a day, or 100. Whatever floats your boat.
When we finish the Gratitude Challenge or whenever you need a pick me up, pull a gratitude note out . It will be a reminder of the wonderful things that occurred during WAG. Keep this jar going for longer than the week. Encourage family members to participate. Some people choose to have one jar per year....
Gratitude is defined as an expression of thankfulness or appreciation. It's being grateful for what you have, noticing the beauty around you, acknowledging kindness that has been bestowed upon you. This week, we will explore the benefits of Gratitude and different ways we can bring it into our lives.
Your first assignment to prep you for the week is to select a Gratitude Journal. Pick one that's appealing to you – something you enjoy picking up and writing in everyday. If you’re crafty, make it your own. Glue on some pictures or drawings that make you happy. Something worthy of your Gratitude! Grab a pen that feels good and have it ready for tomorrow. If the online thing is more your style, start a personal Gratitude Blog.
If you missed it in the November ENews, give this list a read through. Gratitude is GOOD for you!