Greetings from a beautiful sunny Scotland. Don’t you just love winter sun?
It certainly feels that spring is on its way here… though I don’t want to get too carried away because this is Scotland after all. And everything could change tomorrow. No wait… everything could change by 4pm this afternoon. So for now – I’m just going to be grateful and appreciate the sunshine in this moment.
And that is what I want to talk about today – Gratitude.
First – allow me to introduce you to my nephew Logan.
He is 5 years old and bursting with life – a joy to be around. We spend every Saturday together (at least when I’m in the country) and recently enjoyed a train trip to Edinburgh and a visit to the castle. Whilst we were on the train, I introduced Logan to a new ‘game’ – the gratitude game.
Taking alternate turns, we would share aloud, something that we each felt grateful for.
Logan: I am grateful for my dad.
Linda: I am grateful for my friends.
Logan: I am grateful for my toys.
Linda: I am grateful for my health.
Logan: I am grateful for the train.
Linda: I am grateful to spend time on this train with you.
We played the game for over an hour – and part way through, Logan exclaimed – “This is even better than I spy”. And how right he is. So much better than ‘I spy’.
What was so beautiful to witness during the ‘game’ is that at no time in the hour-long journey to Edinburgh did Logan struggle to ‘fill in the blanks’ after the words “I am grateful”. This innocent little boy – untarnished by challenge or struggle, is truly grateful for all the good things in his life.
I ask the women I work with, what they are most grateful for – and I have to tell you – they often struggle to come up with anything at all.
But here’ s the thing. It is absolutely essential to practice gratitude and I urge you to do so.
Feelings of sadness can arise when we focus our thoughts on the things we don’t have in our lives. But by shifting our focus onto all the things we do have and being grateful for each one, we can immediately increase our levels of happiness.
Gratitude can very quickly take us from feeling sorry for ourselves to feelings of joy.
Scientific research shows that practising gratitude on a daily basis will make you happier, more self-disciplined, even physically healthier – but best of all, gratitude frees us from emotional pain. So if you want to experience more joy in your life, first – experience gratitude.
In fact, just the other day, I was listening to a podcast featuring Brene Brown and in it, she tells us:
It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
START with gratitude and the joy will follow.
So – no matter what is going on in your life right now, I want you to promise me that you will start to practice gratitude. Struggling? Start small…. I am grateful for my breath. I am grateful for the chance to start over in a new day. I am grateful to have a bed to sleep in each evening etc etc.
Once you establish a daily practice (writing a list of at least 7 things you are grateful for) and begin to focus your attention on all the good things in your life, you will notice things start to change and before long, you will experience a significant increase in your feelings of gratitude – you will find yourself becoming more aware of the positive things in your life.
And then you will notice how much better you feel in yourself.
Start today – like Logan says – ‘Its way more fun than I spy’.
x Until next time, sending you love x
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