Gratitude: The Secret Weapon
I find myself smirking at the assignment this week. Maybe because I am trying to find a way to bend the rules. I mean, to name a single thing of gratitude?! How do I begin to narrow it down? How do I pick just one thing to be thankful for, when I have been blessed with so much? So then it hits me. Actually, the idea hits me while breathing through my downward dog on the wall. Yes, it’s what it sounds like: do a regular downward dog yoga pose, and stretch beyond your limits, and then, walk your legs up the wall and hold the position. When all that blood is rushing to my head it’s amazing what insights and inspiration hits me! Upside down poses on the wall aside, I am grateful for my practice of gratitude.
I’ve been working on gratitude for years now. I started each morning by writing down three things I was grateful for, in a gratitude journal. It didn’t have to be elaborate, just three things. In the beginning it felt like an exercise, like work. Within weeks though it was easy, and the list started to evolve. Eventually, I brought it in as an evening practice. Just before falling asleep, I look back on the day and list out the juicy moments, the moments of bliss. What a state to be in before falling asleep! It definitely brings better rest.
It’s amazing – that simple routine transformed me. First of all, the more I practiced, the more I became aware of places for gratitude. Before long, I was finding things to be grateful for all day long.
I now continue this practice with my kids. When we sit around the table for dinner, we go around the table, each sharing the best part of the day. It makes for interesting conversation and more enjoyable mealtimes, and it sets a tone for the kids, which I hope that they will carry into adulthood.
However, my favourite gratitude practice – I love it because it takes the intangible and allows me to hold it in my hand – is a gratitude box. Full disclosure, I got the idea from a Facebook post a couple of years ago. That version was a spectacular glass vessel with sparkles all over it, and beautifully penned notes inside. Mine is in a re-purposed Christmas box from the Dollar Store, with a pretty page stuck to the cover. But, it’s the inside contents that are the best, with notes scrawled on bits of different kinds of paper, written with all kinds of writing tools, in all kinds of handwriting. We call it the Blessings Box. Here are the only instructions: Every time something juicy happens, or something which makes you feel super jazzed, write it on a piece of paper, date it, and put it in the box. At the end of the year we crack open the box and read them all out loud. It’s such a powerful thing to do. The kids love it. I love it. It’s heartwarming to look back on the year and re-live hundreds of bits of awesomeness. It’s humbling to realize how incredibly blessed we are in that moment.
Gratitude is a frequency. The more you vibrate in that frequency, the more it attracts more gratitude-inducing things also in that frequency. It is transformative. I send my healing clients home after sessions with assignments to keep them involved in their healing, and challenge them to find one thing each day for which they are grateful. Their results speak for themselves. There are many examples where gratitude changes situations. Just check out the self-help section in any bookstore, and you’ll find many different books all touting the benefits of gratitude. It’s a sound, tried and true practice that has been known and practiced for centuries. Rumi tells us,
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.
Not convinced yet? Here are just a few examples of how my cloak has fed the various corners of my life this last month alone:
- Gratitude has attracted more opportunities for me to share the gift of Huna.
- Gratitude has attracted opportunities for me to learn and be immersed in new healing modalities.
- Gratitude has attracted more Huna clients.
- Gratitude has attracted a newly-formed supportive group of other Huna practitioners with whom to learn, share and grow.
- Gratitude has brought me the health of my kids.
- Gratitude has brought new job opportunities for myself and my husband.
- And today alone, this gratitude also brought positive results for my dad’s health.
It’s honestly dizzying the things around me that can elicit gratitude, but I know it’s a secret weapon and I use it every chance I get. I might celebrate my gratitude for this post by following more wisdom from Rumi:
Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.