Much has been written about gratitude. It’s simplicity is priceless and its power undeniable.
Prioritizing is a function of organization. It gives us clarity on how we want to be spending our, and helps us know what in our physical environment is most important. Gratitude is an effective tool in reminding us of our priorities.
Gratitude costs nothing to practice and can be done anytime, anywhere. When I take a breath and ask myself what I’m grateful for — whether it’s quietly at the end of the day, or in the middle of hectic afternoon — the answers that come to me cut through the extraneous noise of what I’m caught up in, and ground me in what I truly value. My health, the shelter I have at home and my husband are often at the top of the list. Sometimes, my gratitude is that the difficult feeling or situation I’m experiencing will not last forever –this kind of gratitude allows me the long view on my circumstances, reminding me my life is bigger and richer than this moment.
These gratitude check-ins during the day are an excellent way to course-correct if I’m caught in distraction or pursuing an unproductive path, It can also serve as motivation for a risk I need to take, or a connection I need to reach for, if I see what I’m grateful for is being neglected or obscured by other activity or preoccupation.
I’m part of a group of women who write their gratitudes as a group. There’s no set structure for the group. Some days one person will email first, other days another. Some days no one writes at all, and other days nearly everyone will chime in. Someone else’s gratitude will help me stop and drop into my own. The group serves as a gentle reminder to all of us to stay in the process of gratitude.
And what I’m grateful for with how this group works, is there’s no sense of obligation –because nothing kills gratitude more than a sense of “have to”. Gratitude implies a choice in how I view my world and circumstances. Even when a day seems rotten, when I choose to take a look, there’s almost always at least one thing I find I feel genuinely grateful for, and this is truly a relief and often a starting place to build more gratitude.
Next time you feel unclear of your direction, or what your priorities need to be for the day, drop in and locate your gratitude. It could inform the whole structure of your day.