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11.8.12

Week 1- Experiments in Gratitude

Thankfulness.  Gratefulness.  (Adj.)
  
The realization that we are blessed.  In more ways- each day- than we realize. 
  

It's been an interesting experiment so far. It seems the minute I choose something and begin to "practice" thanksgiving throughout the day, I am suddenly in deep testing mode.  It's not been easy doing this for even a week.

This was a surprise to me.

For some reason I thought practicing thankfulness would be a breeze- natural- like breathing.  I had another thing coming.  I guess this thing that came was called "life."  As in the first day when I chose to practice gratitude for my job... it was the worst day on that job I've ever had.  I'm not kidding.

A sampling of what I practiced this week:

  • job(s)
  • my beautiful house
  • moments of silence
  • good health
  • that we can choose growth, not apathy
  • that we can pursue our calling in life
  • the helper that brings peace, comfort and wisdom to my life
Now, please understand that my list is not a reflection of my priorities- what's number 1 or number 783 on my list of important things.  (Case in point: the morning I woke up with "The Bunny Song" in my head and just about went crazy trying to get it out!)  Rather, the topic comes to me in the first hour or two of my day...and I go with it.

I've come to the conclusion that these things, although they proven challenging, were meant to be an exercise in growth, perspective and trust.

I believe that God is the source of all good things.  Even things that don't seem "good" at the time, I choose to believe there is a greater purpose in it.

I hope you've joined me in my journey.  I'd love to hear how it's going for you and what you are learning from it.  Keep practicing my friends...perhaps over time it will indeed become much more like breathing.

3.8.12

Experiments in Gratitude- The Beginning.

I had this idea the other day.  It came on a particularly bad day too.

It must be that little voice in my head again.

In fact, this idea was inspired by the very notion that sometimes...okay many times...it isn't easy to focus on the positive. My gut tells me that it's more like human nature to dwell on the negative. Whether it be fear, doubt, worry, negative circumstances, the past, some annoying co-worker or a miriad of other emotions that crop up- let's face it- they can get the best of us.

I feel like I used to be more of a positive thinker when I was younger. Sometimes life has a way of wearing a person down.  In those times, it takes purpose and conviction to change the mind, and with God's help, the heart will follow.



My idea was this: What if, for 90 days, I purpose to focus on gratitude? How would it change me, my outlook, my relationships and every day
life?

Here's the plan:
  1. Each morning I choose one thing to be grateful for. I write it down and remember it.
  2. All day, I purpose to focus on, pray on and live out that specific thing- always keeping it in the forefront of my mind. 
  3. At the end of the day, I will reflect on that one thing and record my thoughts in a journal.

I invite you to take the journey with me. I will share some reflections with you along the way. Maybe you'll be able to identify and be encouraged. Maybe you'll just think I'm a bit nuts. Either way, what can it hurt? When the wall is broken down, we can see hope. 

None of us are the kings and queens of thankfulness I'm guessing.
The road may not be easy, but some baggage may be ditched along the way. Our head might be lifted and our breathing a little lighter.  Now wouldn't that feel good?

The mind can be a true battlefield.  Let's put on that fancy helmet, grab our shield and get on the field.  It might be messy, but it might have a really good ending.