I started writing “Thank you’s” about two and a half years ago.
In our world today it’s so easy to get sucked into the fast momentum of everything and everyone in our surroundings. I’ve learned that taking time out to focus on gratitude transforms the world around you and your perception of life. Every morning I would write down ten things that I was presently grateful for; anything from the sun, to my job to my dog, River. In the beginning, I thought it would be difficult to think of ten different things each day, but once I got started, ideas would just continue flowing to me. Once I was done with that list, I’d go to the next page in my gratitude journal and write ten more things that had not yet physically manifested into my experience, but that I desired. I would write “thank you” as if I already had each desire in my life. For instance “Thank you for my cute, reliable car, with a sunroof” even though the car wasn’t parked in my driveway… YET! Once I finished both lists, I would go through and read all that I wrote, consciously feeling gratitude for each written line. A shift began to occur in my life. The world around me literally began to look magical, as more reasons to be grateful flowed into my daily experience.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.” Maya Angelou
Over time, my written gratitude lists have become more of a mental habit. A year ago, I was writing thank you’s at work, in my serving notebook, during the slow parts of my shifts. In those moments I wanted to receive the feelings of appreciation, rather than focusing on the negative environment I was physically in. My work day always went smoother once I was in a state of love and appreciation. And I saw the affects my attitude exuded onto others.
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Marianne Williamson
Today, my gratitude lists have become more of a mental process. When I awaken, I notice my thoughts trying to race away and I’m able to catch myself; and bring myself back to thinking and feeling thankful. “Thank you for another day. Thank you for my amazing husband beside me. Thank you for a bed to sleep in.”
As I go about my day, I am able to notice when I am feeling unpleasant or a lack of…something. In that moment, I remember to focus on gratitude again; whether it’s looking around me [being present or in the moment] and noticing the beauty in people or things surrounding me. Or I go to a happy thought in my head, such as my adorable, two year old nephew.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. “ Melody Beattie
Feeling gratitude has become such a normal habit for me I had forgotten how life altering it is to feel thankful. With all of the enormous transformations in my life, taking some time in the morning to count my blessings makes the day so much more beautiful and fun. I challenge you to start your morning off writing a few thank you’s and take notice of how good you feel! Carry that feeling with you throughout your day and notice how wonderful life really is.