Life is a funny old thing….
For years I have taught meditation and mindfulness.
I have come across people that are just starting out on their journey, people who feel they have lost their way; people who claim to have done years of study (psychology, mindfulness, NLP, EFT etc.), but behave like they have no understanding of themselves or life, busy judging others whilst holding no accountability for their own actions; then there have been those who are so full of grace, peace, gratitude and compassion, that live their lives with congruency, ethics and integrity beyond anyone I have ever met before – they are the ones living breathing gratitude with every breath.
It doesn’t matter where you are at right now, because every moment in every day we have the opportunity to make new choices.
Most people think they know what gratitude is…
Some give gratitude daily, some experience gratitude daily.
Some practice gratitude each day, whether through journaling, prayers, meditation, mindfulness, being of service to others etc
But what is gratitude?
How does it differ to thankfulness?
How can we experience more gratitude daily?
I’m a strong believer in that the more we show gratitude to those around us, the more gratitude we experience and the more reasons we find to be grateful in life, because…
Gratitude works two ways…
For example, if a friend was struggling emotionally, physically, financially, or all of the above and you organised to do something nice for them – have their kids for a day? cook them dinner to give them a night off? send them off for some pampering or a haircut?
Would you do it because you expect a reward, or because you care and love them?
Now let’s say one day you come home and find something simple like a little note, a block or box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers (handpicked, servo, supermarket, florist – does it matter?), etc
Would it make you feel good about the choices you make in life? Would it inspire you to do more? Spread more kindness?
Would their gratitude towards you, breed more gratitude elsewhere?
So how does gratitude differ to thankfulness?
Some people say thanks, some people put thanks into action…
Sometimes the words “Thank You” are enough. But…
Everyone knows someone, or has a friend, that only ever talks about themselves, they show no interest in your life, they never ask questions about you, they might say thanks, but there is never any gratitude.
Do you keep them as a friend or even in your life? Maybe?
It depends on your self worth, your self love, your boundaries, the circumstances…
If gratitude isn’t two way, does it inspire you to keep breeding more gratitude in your relationship?
Even if you don’t expect a reward, it is always nice to feel appreciated, especially when it is unexpected…
I got home the other day to find a note and a bag of home grown apples.
It gave me a feel good factor because I often go out of my way help others, not for reward, but because I care.
What made it even more special is, as a single mum, it is very rare I get dinner cooked for me, let alone breakfast, yet I had just got home from a night away at friends, where I had received a weekend of true friendship, fun, love and laughter.
The husband cooked dinner for us all on Saturday night, and the wife made me coffee and breakfast the following morning, whilst also keeping my son entertained for several hours so I could get some online study and seminars smashed out.
I’d had a weekend of genuine care, nourishment and nurturing, that was their act of kindness and gratitude for all I do for them in business, life and friendship.
To come home and find a random note and gift, just topped off what I thought had been an already perfect weekend.
Everyone loves to feel appreciated – don’t they?
I already had reasons to be grateful and I found more reasons to be grateful.
So you have a choice…
You can find reasons to not show gratitude, you can focus on yourself, or…
The more reasons you find to be grateful, then the universe will deliver more reasons for you to be grateful.
Even if it is something as simple as a bag of apples on the doorstep, a written note left on your pillow, or under a windscreen wiper, a chalk pen message on a window, a book; or it can be as elaborate as treating friends to an open tab on a bar, a weekend away, a night at the movies, doing someone else’s laundry, cook for them, clean for them, the opportunities to demonstrate gratitude are endless.
We are all busy, but I promise, if you find the time to show gratitude to those around you, the universe will give you more to be grateful for.
What / Who are you grateful for today? How can you show it?
The choice is yours – what do you choose?