Many things have happened this summer to remind me to be grateful for the blessings in my life. I am planning to focus on gratitude this summer, to appreciate the good and pay less attention to those things that I would prefer to be different. I invite you to join me.
Here is my list of suggestions to start your summer gratitude practice:
- Are you healthy? Do you have a healthy family? I have friends that are struggling right now with their own health issues and with hurt, sick, and dying relatives. My kids are all healthy and happy at the moment. My parents are alive and kicking. This is a huge, amazing blessing for me, and I rarely even notice it.
- Do you have people in your life who make you happy? I was so happy to spend a week with my husband and kids, just us, vacationing together. We laughed, played, ate and generally just relaxed together. I knew every moment of that vacation how lucky I was for us to all be together, and to enjoy each other. My kids are getting older, and we have limited time all together, so it makes our shared moments very precious to me.
- Do you have people in your life who support you? I have friends and family I can call on and count on for support. I hate to ask for help, or admit I don’t know something or can’t do something. But most of the time when I reach out to the right people, I end up feeling connection and support. I love and appreciate having those support people in my life.
- Do you like your work? I waited a long time to find the career that is my purpose, my calling. I am so grateful for that!
- Can you pay attention and notice the little things that bring a smile to your face each and every day? I’ve been practicing noticing these everyday delights: watching a video of my niece and nephew being silly; reading a good book; taking a walk and feeling the sun on my face; writing this blog and feeling a nice, cool breeze coming through the window; eating a delicious slice of my favorite dessert; playing a game with my sons.
- Can you pay your rent/mortgage, put food on your table? I have money stress, just like the rest of us. But I need to remember that am not on the edge of survival…far, far from it!
Take a moment each day this summer, maybe when you first wake up, to offer gratitude for one of these things, or for something else for which you are particularly thankful.
If you need some structured help, try this gratitude meditation from Jack Kornfield (http://www.jackkornfield.com/meditation-gratitude-joy):
I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.