What brings joy to your life? What blessings are you grateful for? What fills your heart? Bringing more awareness to gratitude in our daily lives can have a very positive and uplifting effect. It helps us to see the joy that is ever present in our lives. The scent of a flower, a smile from a stranger, the taste of a piece of fruit, the wind in my hair, clouds in the sky... these are a few of the simple things that fill my heart with joy and gratitude, reminding me of the beauty of this life...
Gratitude shifts one's awareness from thinking about what is lacking to appreciation of what is. It can be found in simple pleasures and even in situations that you may consider unpleasant. For example, I have come to embrace and delight in walking in the rain, feeling it's wetness on my face, it fills me with aliveness. An attitude of gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve one's quality of life. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, improves health, and reduces stress. Cultivating an awareness of gratitude and appreciation may take some mindfulness initially. Here are some of the things that I have done and continue to practise to attune to my gratefulness:
- Pay attention, I notice the little things as I move through my day, be it my breath, a flower, a smile or any of the thousands of miracles I encounter.
- Keep a gratitude journal and daily write at least 5 things that I am grateful for.
- When I sit to eat a meal I take a moment to close my eyes and offer thanks for the food and those that helped bring it to my table.
- Take a gratitude walk, noticing the things that make my heart sing and feeling my heart open in gratitude for them.
- See and embrace the gifts and opportunities in life's challenges.
- Imagine that this is the last day I will live, notice if this changes my perception and encourages me to appreciate what is really important in each moment.
- Perhaps you can think of other things that bring your attention and amplify your gratitude.
I love to sing and music is something I am feel extremely grateful for... Life is a blessing and I'm grateful for it all...
With love and gratitude,
Fiona is an Openhand Facilitator and house manager at Avalon Rising (Openhand's Retreat Centre in Glastonbury). She is also a reflexologist and experienced doula. She is passionate about living true to her heart and soul and empowering others to do the same. Her website is... http://www.fionareilly.co.uk