The Gratitude Journey Continues

by Manal Ghosain on November 30, 2011

earth

In the previous article we talked about the importance of gratitude and started with the first 15 days of our adventure.

Today the journey continues with another 15 ideas of things we can be grateful for. Choose the ones that resonate with you and replace others with your own. The most important thing is to focus on something to be grateful for every day. Here’s the next 15 days.

16. Work/career

Choose to focus today on the work you do and what values you derive from it. If you think you don’t like your job, think of things that you like—the pay, supporting your family, your coworkers, or getting a chance to leave the house and see other people.

Reflect on all the jobs you’ve had and career choices you’ve made so far. What did you learn from each experience? How did you change and grow?

17. People in your life

We are social animals and our lives are intertwined with others in so many ways.

Who are the important people in your life right now? Why are they important? How do you feel about them? What positive impact do they have on you?

18. People who moved on

Life is in constant motion and our social environment keeps changing with it.

Reflect back on the people who were part of your life at one point and either passed on or the relationship ended for whatever reason.

People like your teachers, school buddies, previous coworkers, past romantic relationships, family members, and friends. What did you learn from the relationship? Who inspired you and how? If you were to see this person again and can only speak to them in positive terms, what would you say?

19. People who influenced you

These are the people and role models that you may have met (or not). Maybe you saw a story on Oprah, or read a book or a biography and felt inspired.

What are the things you’re thankful for from your role models and inspiring individuals?

20. Art and entertainment

What are the TV shows that you watch? What are the things you enjoy about them? What movies are you grateful for? How did they affect you?

Think of sports, theater, paintings, or other works of art that bring you joy and you’re thankful for.

21. Books and knowledge

What books have influenced you? What stories resonated with you?

What are the things you learned that changed your life? How did you learn them?

22. Music and sound

Listen to your favorite artist and feel the creative energy behind their work. What do you feel? Reflect on how their music elevates you.

What sounds around are you thankful for—birds chirping, a child laughing, someone drumming, wood crackling in a fireplace, typing on your keyboard?

23. Animals and pets

Give thanks today for all the pets you have or had in the past. We can learn so much from animals and how they live their life, moment by moment, doing their thing without judgment or complaints.

What lessons did you learn from your pets? Do you have any fond memories of times you spent playing with a pet?

24. Nature

Today notice every thing around you that’s part of life, the soil, trees, shrubs, grass, the clouds, the color of the sky, the weather.

Reflect on all the things we extract from earth—oil, metals & minerals and plants.

25. Services

Pay close attention to all the services that you use on a daily basis. When you start your shower, think of all the plumbing and work that is done to get you hot water and to drain the water that you use. Think of what it takes to dispose of all the waste we produce.

And don’t forget to appreciate the building structures, the roads, and the power and cable lines. How much planning and hard work it took to create the entire infrastructure that we use every day.

26. Science and technology

Our knowledge of the planet, ourselves and life around us has grown exponentially. Consider the advent of printing, radio, television, the telephone, satellite and the internet.

We are connected today because of all the advances in technology.  Look at the computer screen, mobile phone or tablet that you’re reading this article on and think of all the resources required to provide you with the equipment, power and communication services.

27. Medicine and healing

We are so fortunate to live in times where we have options. We can go to the doctor and get treatment or choose a naturopathic approach. The quality of life has improved tremendously because of the giant leap in vaccines and  medicine. We have been able to eradicate diseases that killed millions in the past.

Reflect today on how you benefit from such advances compared to our ancestors.

28. The universe

We live on a planet that is situated at the perfect distance from the sun—our star and main source of energy. The moon serves its purpose in climate and tide control seamlessly. How lucky are we to be supported by 4.5 billion years of expansion and evolution. Our existence is the miracle of all miracles. So let’s celebrate it today.

Look at the heavens. Give thanks to the moon, the sun, the stars and all the invisible energy and forces that run in the background making life as we know it possible.

29. Beauty

As we get closer to the end of our journey, let’s start looking into the truth behind every creation and expression around us. When we truly look, we see beauty at its utmost profound level.

When you look deep, you will see everything as a work of art. Your kitchen tiles, the design or print on your bed sheets, the shape of a light bulb, your computer or cell phone, the fabric on a chair, the thread on a tire. Expand your awareness today and see the exquisite in everything.

30. Love and connection

Love is what life is made from; it’s at the core of our being. Give thanks for all the people and all the things you love in your life. Appreciate the people who love you the way you are and are there to support you.

Celebrate love today from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. You will find plenty of it all around you.

What’s next

Focusing on what’s good when things are going smoothly is easy. It’s much harder to be grateful in the midst of rocky and challenging times. No matter how bad things seem, there is always something to be grateful for. The mind shift happens when you keep looking for the goodness in everyday life experiences.

After 30 days of focused gratitude I recommend you keep a journal (paper, or computer, doesn’t matter). In your journal write about two things:

I. Your success for the day

Write about what you got done today. Did you make it to work or a meeting on time? Did you brush your teeth? Did you empty the dishwasher?

There is no small success.  You don’t have to be detailed; just create a simple list. Try to list at least 5 to 10 things per day. For example:

    1. Woke up at 6
    2. Meditated
    3. Showered
    4. Took the dog for a walk
    5. Had lunch with a friend
    6. Wrote in journal
    7. Published blog post
    8. Paid bills
    9. Completed ABC report
    10. Worked out for 10 minutes

II. Things you’re grateful for

Write five things each day that you’re grateful for. This can include health, money, family, friends, a fresh cup of coffee, the washing machine. Come up with five things. The next day find five different things to be thankful for.

The gratitude habit

As you go about your day, notice anything that can make it to your list of success and gratitude. Write it down as soon as you can. Sometimes by the end of the day you just need to reflect on your list.

The whole process of journaling about success and what you’re grateful for is simple and won’t take you more than 10 minutes. However, it will transform your life. You will shift from focusing on what went wrong in your day to what went right. Do this for a whole year and see what happens.

Together we can create a gratitude movement. If we spend just a few minutes every day reflecting on what’s working in our lives we will change our world—one thought and emotion at a time.

Let’s use Meister Eckhart’s infamous saying as a mantra to enforce the habit of gratitude.

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.

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