“…there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.”
-J. Robert Moskin
Last week, my husband and I bought our first house.
It’s pretty empty right now while we do the hard work of stripping, sanding, scrubbing, painting, measuring, and tweaking. Soon, it will be ready to be filled back up with people, things, warmth, merriment, and good memories.
Out with the old, in with the new.
In my last newsletter, I was encouraging you towards a different kind of clearing out, via the inner work of forgiveness (read article here: 23,000 Opportunities to Let Go). That’s equally hard work for sure, getting rid of all those old resentments.
An inner scrubbing of sorts. Out with the old, in with the new.
With all the work of letting go that we’ve explored throughout the early fall, ideally we should now have a lot of SPACE that’s ready to be filled back up with all those things/people/situations/ideas that do nourish and fulfill us.
Just like filling up a new home with warmth, merriment, and good memories.
When it comes to our bodies/minds/souls, it turns out the ideal quality to replace resentment is – you guessed it: gratitude.
So how do we begin to fill up all this space inside of us with gratitude?
November happens to be the natural time of year to illuminate the idea of gratitude. With Thanksgiving around the corner, this month has the reputation for a being a time of, well – giving thanks.
What does YOUR personal practice of gratitude look like?
Does it need some fine-tuning? Or perhaps a full-blown jump-start? Is it contained to that one amazing feast on Thanksgiving Day when you go around the table sharing what you’re grateful for?
Maybe not even that?
It sure is easy to forget the whole concept of giving thanks when there’s ridiculously distracting pumpkin pie beckoning us instead..!
But what if our spirit of Thanksgiving wasn’t even contained to just one meal, or one day, or even one whole month?
What if we practiced a spirit of Thanksgiving…all year long?
I think we’d be a lot happier, a lot healthier, and a lot more joyful.
Gratitude isn’t purely self-serving by filling us up and making us happier – it serves everyone around us, too, us because it has a natural tendency to spill outward.
Gratitude is the quality that allows us to build bridges that reach across our many differences.
And we need more bridges these days, don’t we?
Instead of holding steady on an island, build a bridge of gratitude instead.
Gratitude has the power to transform everything.
Like that stranger that cut you off; the spouse that pushes your buttons; the boss who doesn’t seem to get you.
Remember once again that they are your teachers – and thank them (maybe silently…) for helping you to grow.
Situations that don’t make sense, the people we can’t stand – find something, the smallest thing that you can be grateful for within that person or situation.
If you truly can’t find any good or any lesson to be gleaned, then turn to the rest of the goodness in your life, the rest of the good people around you – and give thanks for them instead.
Fill yourself up with so much gratitude that it naturally pushes out any leftover hurts, resentments, disagreements, and anger.
We can’t bring good to the world if we’re full of negativity and anger. But we bring a lot of good to the world when we’re full of goodness ourselves; goodness in the form of love, appreciation – and gratitude.
Start a Practice
1. Buy a journal that is SMALL: that way, it won’t feel like a big task.
Don’t over-complicate it!
Start by writing down one thing that went well that day, or one thing or person that you’re grateful for in your life.
Start reaping the awesome benefits of gratitude journaling!
As this Hausa Proverb reminds us:
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.”