(NOTE: I ran across this special 12-day series by Maria Jackson and Six Seconds, and thought you’d enjoy participating! Sign up at the link on the bottom of the page. Here’s DAY ONE…)
A theme that keeps coming back to me again, and again, and again? Gratitude. Where would we be without the blessings in our life? The genuine guidance of our mentors. Our health. The ones we love. The morning cups of coffee. A place to sleep tonight. The random acts of kindness from a stranger. Who would we be without all the little (and big) gifts we take for granted?
“My cup has been filled with the gifts of so many. How can I fill the cups of others?”
When I was a kid, my mother always insisted we send a handwritten thank you card for every gift we received. I still do. There is something so thoughtful, considerate, and special about a true, handwritten letter of gratitude. It shows the time taken in a fast-paced world; it shares a vulnerable heart in a world of emotional armor.
Think of someone you are grateful for — a coworker, a mentor, a friend, a family member, your favorite bank teller. Why are you grateful to this person? Take a moment to put it down on paper. You don’t need to be the world’s best writer, and you don’t need to write a novel. The beauty is in the fact that you took the time to share your heart. When you deliver your message, don’t be surprised if you make their day. I wouldn’t be surprised if this practice of gratitude makes your own day, too.
“How can I live out the story of my life with the spotlight on my blessings?”
Practicing gratitude focuses our gaze in the direction of all that is good in our lives. “Neurons that fire together wire together” — that is Hebb’s Law of neuroscience. For example, the more we practice making pasta sauce, the easier and more natural it becomes to make pasta sauce. If we can trade out tomatoes for counting our blessings, we are going to find it a lot easier and more automatic to see the positive in our lives. A once-daily practice of “counting our blessings” focuses our brain on the positive throughout the entire day.
So, shall we try it out? Take a moment to put your phone on silent and set aside your to-do list. Pull out a piece of paper and your favorite pen, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. What are you deeply grateful for?
Sit with this question for a moment, noting what arises. Then, get those thoughts down on paper, however you would like. Bingo– you’ve just practiced gratitude!
See you for day TWO of Wellbeing: Empathy.
Maria & The Six Seconds Crew