7 Tools for Cultivating Gratitude

gratitude-giving-thanks-fall leafIn times of loss and grief it can be challenging to feel grateful let alone practice gratitude on a consistent basis. When we feel disappointed, let down, hurt, resentful and angry we are blocking our ability to feel grateful.  Here I share with you a handful of the tools I use to cultivate, deepen and expand my experience of gratitude.

  1. Embrace Beauty. Look for opportunities to appreciate beauty in your life. Learn to marvel in the small things as well as the “Masterpieces.” Soak in all kinds of beauty. For example, I pause and find gratitude in nature by seeing a humming bird or butterfly, or in a beautiful piece of movement executed with precision and grace, in a delicious meal with an inspiring presentation. The possibilities are endless.
  2. Cultivate Grace. Spiritually speaking, grace is a gift. It is not earned. We cannot create, control or will it. One way to practice grace is to practice receiving. Another way to experience grace is to practice forgiveness. Don’t focus on who is wrong or right- in the realm of grace and moving toward gratitude there is no room for blame. Gently practicing grace daily will increase your openness and willingness to experience gratitude.
  3. Be Grateful for the Hard Times. Remember, everything has a beginning and an end. All things will pass, eventually, the good (happy) times as well as the sad.
  4. Practice Humility. Recognize your limitations. As I recognize my limitations without judging myself about them, I open the door a little bit to humility. Humility reminds me that judgement of myself or others serves no purpose and in that moment i am grateful.
  5. Say “Thank you!” Receiving compliments and truly allowing them to sink in is another way to deepen your gratitude practice. When someone gives you a compliment, consider pausing and taking a breath. Receive the gift of a compliment by allowing yourself to feel it. And, say “Thank you!”
  6. Practice Gratitude Journaling. Cultivate a daily or weekly journaling practice – focused on gratitude. Being in a place of gratitude opens us up to acceptance and ultimately, love. We simply cannot be in anger, frustration, irritation or disappointment and simultaneously be in gratitude. Journaling is a wonderful way to change your emotional state and move into joy, appreciation and love. I spend 10-15 minutes daily in gratitude journaling. My writing includes giving thanks for my parents, husband sister, cousins, friends, employees, colleagues, teachers, mentors, my body, my health… you get the idea.
  7. Write Thank You Notes. I gave myself a challenge many years ago to write 3-5 Thank You notes a day. At first, it seemed like a lot. As the years went by, writing Thank You notes made it to the top of my to do list and is something I greatly look forward to. In addition to putting me in the mental and emotional space to be grateful, it has improved all of my relationships.

“If the only prayer you say your entire life is ‘thank you’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

I encourage you to use whichever tools resonate with you and to choose this profound practice.  Make it a daily and active practice.  In order to see real and lasting change in our lives we must commit to and recommit to active practices.  Watch how gratitude expands in all areas of your life.

In thanks,

Geneviève's signature with nature shot

 

 

Please Join Me for Wellness Weekend at Bear Mountain Lodge!

Bear Mountain Lodge in lovely Silver City, New Mexico is hosting a Wellness Weekend June 20 – 21, 2014. The fun and healthy two day getaway will include activities such as yoga, Pilates, hiking, education on labyrinths, personal presentation in wardrobe, and local flora (Download the Wellness Weekend flier). Your wellness and nature team will include:

Space is limited so please contact Bear Mountain Lodge at 575-538-2538 to register and reserve your space today!