Gratitude…a challenge or inspiration?
How do you respond when someone asks you what you’re grateful for? Is it easy to come up with ideas or a challenge? What does gratitude mean to you? Is it a spiritual concept, a religious one or an emotional one?
Last week I was reminded by a coach and friend how not so long ago I thought the idea of gratitude was hard, challenging, and avoided it like the plague.
Yeah, I thought I was grateful enough. I sooo resisted it. Yet pushing through it was one of the most magical things I’ve ever done. There was a point in my life where I literally couldn’t think of anything to be grateful for. I asked for some help to get the flow of ideas going thankfully (a slightly humbling experience).
In an email complaining about what I was feeling bad about, her reply: make a list of 30 things you’re grateful for! Not what I expected! It felt like a punishment in a sense. I did it. I sat at my cubicle at my Oil & Gas job during my lunch hour and started my list. The funny thing was, that once I got going it was like the flood gates poured open with more and more ideas. I ended up with a list of over 100. (Yes, I shocked myself). The feeling was so bizarre, and I was so relieved I was able to change my focus from what I wanted and didn’t have, to the abundance of what I did have, and definitely a very humbling yet freeing experience.
Gratitude has such a different meaning and significance for me now than it did then. I really thought I was grateful and then was introduced to the deeper experience of gratitude. If you haven’t done any gratitude work, this is a great time to start. It’s a magical experience to say the least. There’s a book I read (through the advice of my coach) called “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne. It’s a 28 day process …1 chapter a night and a fast, fascinating, and easy read. I wasn’t happy about doing the work at first but ended up so tickled with the results that I started tracking them. Talk about truly mind blowing and amazing!
Thankfully, what started out as a chore has become so easy, effortless, and enjoyable!
So now I ask…what are you most grateful for? What has made a difference in your life? I’d love to read your comments blow if you’d like to share. 🙂 You never know if your experience might inspire someone else. 😉
Will leave you with this…the hope that if you haven’t already, that you find the magic in the experience of gratitude not only during Thanksgiving but every day!
In the spirit of Thanksgiving next week, I thought I’d share a few quotes on gratitude with you here.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.”
~Neale Donald Walsch
“None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude.
Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves,
and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”
– Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
“With gratitude, all life appears as a blessing –
without gratitude, all of life
is perceived as a burden.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie