Close your eyes for a moment (after reading this of course). Take a big breath in and out. Call to mind three entities in your life you are grateful for. Perhaps a person in your family comes to mind? Maybe it’s your job or the fact you can pay your bills? Possibly it’s another aspect of your life you’re really proud of, or even better, maybe you’re thankful for your breath?
Now hold this list in your mind. Be mindful at this moment of these things (people, events), that when you think of it, makes you feel the emotion of gratitude.
And, now notice how gratitude arrives in the body. Is it a feeling of lightness in your chest? Do you feel “butterflies in your belly?” Does a tingling sensation arrive in the tips of the fingertips or toes? Do your shoulder muscles relax a bit? Or do you feel the soft pulse of your heart beating?
Gratitude is a muscle. One we often reserve to strengthen when we gather around the dinner table at Thanksgiving. But, what would happen if we treated EVERYDAY like Thanksgiving? What would happen if we began EVERYDAY with an expression of Gratitude- a moment to tap into what we are grateful for and then give time to FEEL the emotion that accompanies it?
You can try this on your yoga mat. Make your intention to come from a place of gratitude for your body and your individual ability on your mat to practice postures or stillness. Witness how this changes your practice.
Then, try this in your relationships- start conversations with gratitude. Start emails with gratitude. Send texts just to reveal your gratitude. And witness the shift in your relationships and how people respond to you.
Then, sit back and notice, as the muscle of gratitude gets stronger, life seems just a little bit sunnier. You tend to notice more the glass half full. Enjoy.