Innocently making my way through my inbox, and there it is, refusing to be ignored.
First, the Zen Mama shared 19 inspirational quotes for an attitude of gratitude, like this one:
“For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
~William Arthur Ward
It’s the simple things that bring the most pleasure, right? Why do we forget the simple things?
In the next email, Mary Morrissey referred to research studies showing that people who feel grateful and actually put it into words have a greater life experience. She says, “this has been measured in blood pressure, heart rate and cellular response. The body is an amazing biofeedback machine. When we live in a state of praise or gratitude, –especially when it is spoken –our bodies actually hear it. We thrive on this vibration of praise.”
Sounds great, right? How do I sign up?
It’s easy, but it requires the commitment to form a new habit. And since humans are creatures of habit, it won’t take long, if you practice consistently.
Whenever you think of it; falling asleep at night, slowly waking up in the morning, rinsing the shampoo out of your hair, sitting in traffic, nursing the baby, doing the dishes, cutting the vegetables, going on a walk; anytime you have a moment to yourself, brainstorm 5 things for which you’re grateful.
The catch? You mean besides the practice part?
These 5 things cannot be the same ones every time. My kids. My husband. My wife. My boyfriend. My parents. My friends. My sister. My boss. My turtle. (You never know.) Allow your gratitude to envelop the oft-forgotten blessings, the ones who don’t demand so much attention, the parts of your life that quietly make you happy.
I’ll go first.
1. The wind chimes outside the window in my office, which I bought at a moving sale next door, from a beautiful hippie girl with long blonde hair on her head, and everywhere else.
2. The floor-to-ceiling window next to my desk. It may be a sliding door, but it reaches to the ground and almost to the ceiling, and it’s the only floor-to-ceiling window I’ve got, so I’ll take it and I’ll love it.
3. Giovanna’s curls. Because they are so indicative of her spunky personality (read: courageous and determined and cute).
4. September pumpkins.
5. Homebrewed Kombucha and the San Francisco-bred SCOBY (Symbiotic Community of Bacteria and Yeast) my Aunt Sharon gave me to start my first batch.