Cultivate gratitude, change your life

"How you live your life is a form of prayer." ~ Sandra Maria Esteves

Living in gratitude has connected me to the divine. I notice and rejoice the glory of each morning and the beauty of being alive. I pause and give thanks. Even on days when I am not feeling it, and trust, there are those days, I catch myself, breathe, and find one tiny thing that I am thankful for. In living like this, I've become awakened to glorious moments that otherwise would have not been perceived. I experience wonder because I live in gratitude. But it takes commitment to live in gratitude. And when I stray, I give myself a break.

Living in constant gratitude is like living inside a treasure chest. Everyday little experiences--dew on a plant, my radiant children being who they are, the smell of coffee, a glass of water, watching a butterfly breakfast--take on a more profound meaning.

Gratitude has been proven to change our brain patterns and allow us to have a more expansive view of our lives. It's been proven to improve happiness. Being stuck on what you don't have will dampen your spirit and mess with your head. Being stuck on giving thanks will deepen your joy.

Try this: live in gratitude for a week and being to experience a shift. 
Or try this: live in gratitude for thirty days and watch your life transform. 

Seventeenth century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza was an early proponent of living in gratitude daily. He recommended that for thirty days straight, ask the following questions:
  • Who or what inspired me today?
  • What brought me happiness today?
  • What brought me comfort and deep peace today?

What's your morning song of praise?

Starting a daily gratitude practice will transform your life. Helen Russell offers useful tips. Here are more:

  • -Start small:  

Even if it's one tiny blessing, be grateful for it. My wiffi is working. My coffee was delicious. Each day add something else to your ever growing list.

  • -Find a grateful buddy: 

It's OK if you cannot think of one thing to be grateful for. Seek a friend who can  help you "see" your blessings. Give thanks to that friend.

  • -Jot it down:  

Get a notebook, record on your phone, open a word document, draw an image. Record your blessing. You will be amazed by your abundance.

  • -Be consistent: 

Take a moment each day, to pause, and recognize. What is your morning song? Or will it be your lunch meditation? Build on one holy moment to eventually have many holy moments throughout the day.

  • Talk about your blessings: 

When you say them out loud, you breathe life to your blessings. Share them with friends. 

  • -Experience gratitude:

It's not enough to count your blessings, say them out loud, and record them. Live and feel them fully. Breathe your blessings deeply.  

Give thanks, each day, all ways, in many different ways.