Do You Have a Grateful Heart? / Question of the Week #13

DSC_0029 Our thoughts are powerful.

Both what we think and how we think affects our attitudes, our energy and our ability to be thankful and happy. If we are stressed or unhappy, it can influence our jobs, our parenting, our relationships, or pretty much any area of our lives. Without even being aware of it, we attract negative energy. (And being in a funk can make it hard to feel thankful or grateful for anything.)

I know, I've been there.

So this week's question is: Do you have a grateful heart? If yes, make a list of the things you are grateful for. If no, maybe you need to make some changes.

At one point in my own transformation I could not find much to be thankful for. How sad is that? I look back at that time in my life and realize that I was in a big funk and could not appreciate all that I had.

Here are some entries into my gratefulness journal that got me started thinking positively.

I am thankful for:

A warm house.

A safe journey home for everyone.

A clean(ish) house.

A loving and patient husband.

Being able to stand up for myself at work without getting emotional.

A family who loves and supports me.

Children who challenge me.

Sisters. Friends. My yoga community.

Options. Choices.

Energy to set a goal and accomplish it.

I am so happy to have moved past that bleak time in my life when I could find little to be grateful for. I now appreciate the little things, the big things, and everything in between. I learned that we all have the ability to control how we react to the situation(s) in our lives. And we can choose to be grateful.

In answering the Question of the Week, if you find little to put on your gratefulness list, maybe something is not aligned properly in your life.

Here are some ideas to get you started on a path to appreciation.

1. Keep a spiritual journal -- write down when you experience special moments or meet inspirational people.

2. Share your gratitude with others --sometimes it helps you appreciate things more when you say them out loud to another person.

3. Create a morning or evening gratitude ritual of recording your thoughts. Choosing a time of day and staying consistent with that makes you look forward to that time to think and reflect.

4. Ask others what they're grateful for. Read blogs, ask friends or coworkers, or read a motivational book. Find a way to learn from others.

5. Use a gratitude token (a rock,) a charm-- or something, that you can keep with you and randomly encounter throughout the day to remind you to be thankful.

Gratitude is a spiritual, emotional and mental practice. Practice gratitude slowly, and watch it grow.