I’ve always fancied myself a glass-half-full type of person. But as years passed, I realized that I had become focused on what was lacking in my life. I couldn’t go on vacations with my friends due to lack of funds. My apartment didn’t have parking, air conditioning or laundry. I missed my body from my 20’s. My job was so inconsistent; I couldn’t plan anything in my life. But most of all, I was EXHAUSTED all of the time. My energy was low to say the least.
It wasn’t until I hired my first life coach, Amanda Morck, that I realized (read- Amanda gently told me) I was so focused on what wasn’t in my life, I didn’t even see all of the amazing things I had going for me. She had me do what is still one of my favorite morning rituals, and, bonus, it is not time consuming. Say 5 things I was grateful for 3 times in a row. This simple, daily ritual has changed my life.
The first week I did this exercise, I had a REALLY hard time coming up with 5 things every day. I would allow myself general, easy themes and repeats. You know, “I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for my health. I’m grateful for the roof over my head.” Etc etc. I would express my gratitude every morning on my way to work in the car. After a few days of this, I became accustomed to my new ritual and began to see new, more specific things to be grateful for; “My son waking up saying ‘It’s a bootyful day Mama’, “having fantastic co-workers that make me laugh”, “being grateful for my laugh” (it’s loud, real loud), “living in beautiful sunny Los Angeles where our winters last 2 weeks” and so on.
THEN stuff started getting interesting. I noticed that some of the things I used to resent and be negative about, were the very things I was being grateful for but with a new twist. My crappy apartment became the home I’d created 13 amazing years of memories in. And I was grateful for it. My friends’ vacations became my own dream destinations to look forward to. Even my body; It has yet to come back to its pre-child shape but I’m grateful for how healthy I am and its ability to have given me my son, Holden. ——>
At about the 6-month mark of doing this, I began doing this with Holden. We call it the Grateful Game and he lights up when we get in the car to go to school and says, “I’ll start! I grateful for… “ (he’s still working out that whole grammar thing). And the things that come out of his mouth amaze me: “Daddy’s big crocodile hug”, “the birdies chirping”, “that long walk we took yesterday”, “sleeping all night long” (Daddy and I are grateful for that too, buddy).
It’s infectious. That’s kind of the point. Doing gratitude exercises (or games) becomes part of your mindset and it changes everything.
Try it on your own, do it with your family and come share any of it with me on my Facebook Page!