Name three things you’re grateful for.
My prompt staring back at me yesterday, in my Sentence a Day book. I sat with my pen poised considering my answer.
Well my health. My happiness. My family and their health. The amazing people in my life, my loving husband who adores me, my happy kids, my supportive Mum and Sister, my wonderful friends.
Tick and I am done and yet this answer felt easy, shallow, robotic.
I slept on it.
As I drifted back to consciousness this morning a quote I wrote down years ago floated back into my mind.
Parkinsons Disease demanded I be a better man, husband, father and citizen. For that I refer to Parkinsons Disease as a gift, the gift that keeps on taking…….but a gift. – Michael J Fox
In his book, Lucky Man, Michael J Fox describes the years since his diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease as the best years of his life. He sees his disease as a gift and he is grateful. When reading his book I was amazed and deeply touched by his story and importantly his grateful attitude. How could he be grateful?
Over the years I have listened to many, many people describe their gratitude practices. The journals they keep, the moment each day they consciously stop to acknowledge the things in life they are grateful for. Family meals time when they take turns to declare what they are grateful for. I have even seen photographic journals depicting gratitude.
I have watched the interviews, read and written down the quotes and summarised countless articles about gratitude.
Vulnerability researcher Brene Brown speaks of the relationship between joy and gratitude in this video. She describes the art of practicing gratitude as way of inviting joy in.
Yes inviting joy in.
I return to my prompt, name three things I am grateful for and I truly realise I have not experienced gratitude. Yes I have all the theory, I intellectually understand the art of gratitude and I am yet to actively practice it from my heart and my soul.
Gratitude so far has been done on autopilot, a tick on the to do list of life.
Today I am beginning my very first gratitude practice, a daily practice of writing down at least one thing I am grateful for each day.
I am grateful for the abundant life I lead
I am grateful for being so deeply loved
I am grateful for a healthy body that supports my physical endeavours
I am grateful for the sadness that has taught me compassion
I am grateful for the suffering that taught me empathy
I am grateful for the mistakes I have made that have helped me grow
I am grateful for the support I have from friends and family
I am grateful for the opportunity to share my creativity online
I am grateful for all the inspiring writers and photographers who feed my desire to grow
I am grateful for the hurt that taught me forgiveness
I am grateful for this space to share myself with honesty and truth
I am grateful for my unique journey that has led to who I am and where I am today
Today I stop being grateful because I feel happy and I become fabulously happy because I am grateful.
Do you have a gratitude practice? How has it changed your life?