Saturday, October 02, 2010

Growing in Gratitude

I've written about gratitude here before, but I'm finding that in the midst of major and unexpected life changes and a schedule that keeps getting more and more crammed with things to do, my practice of gratitude gets lost in the shuffle. Instead of recognizing all the things I have to be grateful for, I focus my attention on my long list of to-dos, my frustrations and my failings.

As I've become more dedicated to my yoga practice, I can see that I am becoming less judgmental and more accepting (of myself and others), and learning to be more present and grateful in my life. I generally find it easy to express my gratitude for the big things: my health, my family and friends, my job. But in the midst of all the busy-ness, I usually forget to be thankful for the little things, the things that make those big things so much more enjoyable.

This week I'm setting an intention to shift my perspective and practice gratitude in the little things. In fact, I'm starting right now with this list of things I'm thankful for, things that I've experienced in just the first few hours of this Saturday:

  • An early start on this cool fall morning
  • Sunshine after rainy days
  • A free parking space
  • A good hair day
  • A challenging yoga class
  • Openness to new things
  • Productive writing time
  • Childrens' laughter
  • The pleasure of watching demonstrations of a parent's love
  • Soft, warm bread and hot soup
They're not monumental experiences, but I'm grateful for them just the same.

We don't have to be utterly ungrateful to benefit from having more gratitude in our lives. So I plan to take this morning's attitude of gratitude for the small things throughout the rest of my day (and, with a little practice and patience, the rest of my life). I'm hoping that focusing more attention to the positives of the little things will help me to continue forward in this new phase of my life and not get caught up in what I sometimes think I'm lacking. Out of my gratitude, I know that contentment will follow.

Thanks to Christina Katz for the inspiration to write about gratitude this week. If you're feeling grateful, too, share your thoughts on Gratitude on your own blog and link up the post at The Prosperous Writer.


Unknown said...

So did you go to Panera, or did you make your own soup & bread?


have been missing you, Ami. we definitely need to chat soon.


Ami said...

Erin - Panera, of course! I haven't had time to make my own bread and soup. :) I miss you, too. Send me an email and let me know when you're free. We'll make some time to chat soon!

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