As we’re getting closer to Thanksgiving time, I wanted to talk about gratitude.
I know, I know, gratitude is one of those IT words this year, like ‘self care’ and ‘mindfulness.’ All of which are IT words because they’re so massively important and under appreciated in our culture.
I was listening to a podcast the other day that basically told me I’m practicing gratitude all wrong, and you know what? It was true.
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Gratitude has been a daily practice for me for a year and a half now, ever since I first read You Are a Badass. But the way I’ve been going about it hasn’t been ideal.
Every day I was writing down what I’m grateful for and saying it in my head, it was always big things, like I’m grateful for my husband, my house, my animals, my job, my health. All things that I’m still grateful for, but this podcast said to do something different, and it’s been totally amazing.
Instead of practicing gratitude for the big things, find gratitude for the small, every day things that happen. List out things that happened in the past 24 hours that you’re grateful for, instead of the over arching good things in your life.
This practice is important because once you get into the habit of being grateful for the little things, you start to look for little things all day put on your gratitude list tomorrow. You begin to expect good things to happen all day, which is such a perspective shift it’s incredible.
I’m still grateful for the big things, but I’m also finding heaps of gratitude for the small things.
Some things I’m grateful for today, big and small:
- Seeing a heaping pile of outgoing chicken mugs on the front porch, ready to go to their forever homes. This sight always makes me feel such gratitude for those of you who support my little art shop and gratitude for my ability to create artwork that brings joy to others.
- I’m grateful for the beautiful snow falling from the sky. It brings me such peace.
- I’m grateful for my cozy woodstove.
- The piles of books in my home that I get to choose from to read next to the cozy woodstove.
- The fact that Nico didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night to go out, and I got to sleep all the way through the night.
- The love notes my husband left for me this week when I wasn’t feeling well.
- The ability to stay home from work when I’m not feeling well.
- The piles of half finished work I have in my studio, just waiting for a coat of glaze and firing to bring them to their beautiful selves.
- All the dishes being done, and clean clutter-free countertops.
- The foresight I had a few weeks ago to pick up extra animal food so we wouldn’t have to run out to the store in a winter storm to grab more.
- And lastly, the love and support from my family and friends while I’m going through a tough time.
I make these simple little lists every day, sometimes in my head while I’m going through the day, sometimes on paper. It helps so much to focus on the good, even though the tendency is to dwell on the bad.
The bad is always more appealing, because drama is exciting, but focusing on the good is so much better for your soul.
Will you practice some gratitude today?