I just finished a meditation by Sarah Blondin, one of my definite faves on Insight Timer. Her guided meditation called Make It Sacred is about making the little things in life have a sacred meaning. It doesn’t mean every single moment is special or holy, but rather to take a few pauses throughout the day to have space. To be grateful for the things that are there, working. Your eyes for seeing. Your body for providing a container for your Self. Keeping you safe. If there are struggles with these things, look for others. Turn your face to the sun, she says. Feel that and know it is good.
In the midst of things seeming overwhelming, like too much, this can be especially challenging. As I write this, the holidays are in full effect. It is Christmas Eve. I know people are alone, sad, not with people they want to be with. With people they’d rather never share space with again. It can be so much. At times like this, I think a gratitude practice is maybe one of the most soothing activities we can engage. Put attention on the small things. Create them if they are not immediately apparent. Nature, your physical surroundings or your physical self can all be inspiration. Play music you like. Read. Watch funny videos on YouTube.
In 2011, One Thousand Gifts came out. The book was a pretty big deal on the circuit of self-help, spirituality and personal growth. I read it then, and was certainly moved. As with a lot of things, though, it was at the front of my mind for awhile, then life kept on. While reflecting on gratitude, though, and how to practice, I was remembering this book. I went to the website to see what was there, and found a reader created list of things for which they were grateful. There were big things and little things, and it was an excellent reminder of how to practice gratitude. I encourage you to look at it, and take or leave the Christian aspect as you see fit. The idea is so valuable beyond the scope of formal religion.
My last recommendation in the general gratitude department is giving the 365 Gratitude Journal app a try. It can be gamefied, if that’s your jam. It’s a journal with prompts for specific things to consider, as well as a place to collect what you’re grateful for in a digital jar. You level up as your participation increases. It is also somewhat of a social network, so you can see what others are posting and gather inspiration from them. I am looking forward to seeing how influential the practice and prompting will be!
How do you practice gratitude in your daily life? Is it all about the small things? Do you keep track in a journal or app? Share your favorite practices!