fall in love with gratitude
Fall in love with gratitude
November is the usual time of year that folks get in touch with being grateful because of Thanksgiving, but I’ve come to use it as a yearly springboard to incorporate more gratitude on a daily basis.
It doesn’t always have to be forced “silver lining” positivity, either. We don’t have to think to ourselves, “well, I could always have it worse” and then be grateful that our problems are lesser than others. We are free to appreciate everything we have, big or small, tangible or not.
I do this in two very different ways.
The first way usually comes in the form of some kind of social media #GratitudeChallenge – which I happen to be doing right now on twitter, if you’re a follower. Every day, I sit still for a few minutes and think about things I’m thankful for- specific people, experiences, even personal traits that I’m happy I have. This is a fantastic practice that allows you to zoom out and look at your life’s bigger picture.
The second way is by far my favorite, even if it does take a bit more effort. If the first technique is “macro gratitude”, then this one is “micro gratitude”, and you do it in real time.
Go on a walk in the afternoon as the sun is just going down and the temperature is changing. As you begin, feel gratitude for every part of the process. Gratitude for the weather. Be thankful for the expansive sky, the beautiful view, the gorgeous greenery, the changing leaves, the strength of your feet and legs to take you on this walk. If you talk to anyone, be grateful for connection. If you don’t, find gratitude in the solitude. Be mindful in the small moments, and you find even more to be grateful for.
This can also work when you’re cooking or enjoying a meal with loved ones. You can also apply it to sex, whether with yourself or a partner.
This technique makes you incredibly present during sex. If you’re having sex as an escape, this may not be best for you. If you have trauma in your background and tend to “go through the motions” during sex or even dissociate, this will drop you back into your body. Take it slowly.
Start with a deep breath and be grateful you’re able to fill your lungs with so much air. Then focus on smells, sounds, textures. Fill your heart with gratitude for pleasure and the joy your body is able to receive. You can take this as far as you want, and as you go, you’ll expand your capability for centering feeling of thankfulness like never before.
It doesn’t have to stop November 30th.
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