I write gratitude lists, not regularly, and not enough, but I write them, and I aim to do them daily as part of my morning ritual (it’s so much more than just brushing your teeth!)
Here’s what I notice….
The things I’m grateful for change all the time.
The list gets easier to write the more I do it.
The same things always end up in different places.
My children have never been first on the list. (Sorry, not sorry)
Sometimes I wonder if/why/how I’m really grateful for that thing.
Every day I write them I feel better.
It’s a practice, one that lots of people talk about, but from what I’ve seen, few actually do.
I’ve known for a long while that they’re “a good thing” to write, but never really believed that it’s worth doing daily… but it really is.
It’s not just a flaky “nice to do thing” either.
It’s been proven to increase and improve your life.
Researchers found that simply writing a list of what you’re grateful for, from the mundane to life changing, all has a positive impact on you and your life. It literally rewires your brain!
It’s something so ridiculously simple that it’s easy to overlook, but that’s the devastating beauty of most simple things in life; they’re easily overlooked.
We expect change to be difficult, we expect life to be hard work, we’re conditioned into it, hell, it has it’s own set of cliches to call upon when things get a little easy … too good to be true? Too easy?
It’s not about life being “easy”, but that’s a whole other topic… for now it’s about gratitude. It’s about recognising what’s right in front of your what it really is.
It’s about taking “being realistic” and pessimism (which is mostly what people are when they say they’re “being realistic”) turning that shit on its head and saying actually, no… I am grateful, I do see the good, and the possibilities before me. I do value what I have in my life, and I’m gonna roll with it and use it to make my life better from here on out.
I’ve spent my childhood being told to get my head out of the clouds, my teen years to “think more realistically”, my adult years to just accept what is and go with it.
I’ve been told to tone it down, to fit in, to keep quiet, to be this, do that, and don’t even get me started on the marketing world and all the things I’m told I need to have in order to live a full and healthy life…
I’ve also spent many years being told to be grateful for the shit I don’t want, that I should be thankful for the stuff that comes my way, the people that make my life hard work, that drain the living breath out of me, that cause me to feel heavy and miserable, that kill my soul and quiet my voice.
I remember being told I should be grateful for the job, despite being miserable, that I should be grateful for the attention and unwanted advances of men who made my skin crawl. That I should be grateful for being given things I didn’t want in return for something they wanted from me.
That is not what gratitude is about.
Gratitude is recognising what makes your life better.
It’s recognising that you don’t want to live your life trapped in that job.
It’s recognising that you don’t want those people in your life.
It’s recognising that you don’t have to bargain away who you are for someone else.
It’s being grateful for the lessons you learn in those situations.
I am grateful for the strength I have to take myself out of that situation.
I am grateful for the voice I use to make myself heard.
I am grateful for the gifts I receive.
I am grateful that I am strong enough to stand my ground.
I am grateful that I know my boundaries and how to to respect them.
I am grateful to those who have helped me learn more about myself.
I am grateful for the experiences in my life that have helped me grow
I am grateful for the opportunities that come my way, and discernment to know which ones are right for me.
I am grateful for the freedom to choose how I live my life.
I am grateful to those who support and life me.
I am grateful for those who challenge me in a positive way.
I am grateful for those who teach me and expand my viewpoints.
I am grateful for my morning cup of coffee, and the silence that brings clarity to my thoughts and allows me to write these types of things.
So, what are you waiting for?
Are you going to start changing your life with gratitude?