So much has been written about gratitude that I hardly dare dip my toe in the already very crowded waters. However, there are some things I’ve been experiencing recently which are very simple yet have made such a difference to my life and my understanding of gratitude. I thought it would be helpful to share them with you.
Sometimes it can seem hard to be grateful for our lives when perhaps there are many things that aren’t the way we’d like them. “Be grateful,” you may retort, “when I have so many challenges/concerns/struggles in my life…..”
But the way I’ve been experiencing gratitude recently has always started from a moment and in that moment I’m recognising that I have a choice. Be grateful or it’s lost forever. And the gift that has come from choosing the former is something so worth having.
When my newly showered, naked son gives me a long hug in the morning, do I relax into the beauty of the moment or continue thinking, “We’re going to be late for the school bus”?
When I’m on a mission to get the shopping done, do I stop for a moment to breathe in the flock of starlings swooping and circling as one glorious mass overhead or keep my eye on the goal of shopping completed?
When a friend gives me a compliment, do I pause for a second to really hear what she’s said and be thankful to have such loving support – or do I dismiss it because I can’t take a compliment (and anyway, my mind is already onto the next thing to be said or done).
All of these have happened to me in the last week or so and each time I’ve chosen to be with the moment, to really appreciate it and drink it in, something has changed. I can literally feel the energy in my body shifting. Then my day becomes something different afterwards. I feel more at peace, happier, more loving. It’s as though the moment of gratitude has reconnected me to my heart, to what really matters.
So, as we approach Christmas, which often comes with its own stresses and challenges, try this out. Whenever you can, recognise a moment to be grateful for, relax into it, feel something change inside you, and continue with the knowledge that (no matter what else is going on) in that moment, life is good.