“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
― Eckhart Tolle
Gratitude is a way to protect your mind from constantly complaining and finding the negative in things. To enjoy the present moment with a sense of reverence and humility. By slowing down and bringing gratitude into our present moment we bring a sense of delight and focus on the positive in life. Even when things are bad we can be grateful for surviving them and learning from those events. Gratitude is always an option.
- Not taking things for granted, appreciation of what you already have.
- Finding the pleasant in each moment.
- Being thankful for the totality of our experience, the good, the bad and the neutral.
- Awareness that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn.
Gratitude Meditation/ Reflection
Depending on time you might choose one, more or all of these reflections.
- Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Find a comfortable position and lightly close your eyes. Notice your body, notice your breath and notice how you feel. See if you can appreciate and enjoy the sensations of breathing.
- Reflect on the day so far. See if you can recall a friendly interaction with someone, however small. Perhaps the bus driver smiled at you or your friend paid you a compliment. Notice how it feels to recall this and allow yourself to appreciate the interaction.
- Recall the gifts you have received today such as the food you have eaten, the hot water in your morning shower or having a roof over your head. Reflect on all the people and processes involved in bringing these gifts to you. For example you might reflect on the farmers, factory production workers, lorry drivers and shop assistants involved in producing and bringing you your morning cup of tea. Notice how it feels to reflect in this way.
- Recall people in your life who have had a particular positive influence, or helped you in some way. This may be parents, teachers, friends or colleagues. Notice what you appreciate about these people. Notice how it feels to connect with them in this way.
Gratitude in my practice
Out of every mindfulness practice that I have learned over the years, gratitude is probably the one that has had the most impact on my life. In times of stress, I readily seek out the pleasant and positive, knowing that there is always something to appreciate. This doesn’t make the difficulty go away, but it puts it in perspective. I might have something on my mind that is worrying me but I can see something beautiful out of the window. I might have had a difficult interaction that day, but I can also recall everything that has gone well. It gives a sense of balance and resilience that I really value. It is an ongoing practice – our natural human pull towards the negative can be very strong. But it is worth the effort.