Monday, September 28, 2009

A Few Things I Do To Cultivate Gratitude

Don Young commented that gratitude is one of the secrets of life. I completely agree with Don and I've been thinking about how to put into words the things I do to cultivate gratitude. So, here they are:

1. Before my feet hit the floor I find three things to be thankful for. I say it out loud and sometimes, it makes me giggle, which is even better.

2. I recognize what I value in other people. Sometimes, people will wonder why I've done something nice for them. I tell people what I like about them, such as how well they write, or take pictures, or how they take time to help other people. What I've noticed is that the value I've recognized continues to surface time and time again.

3. I allow what's good and positive to sink deep into my bones. I do this by enjoying the moment that I'm in. Gratitude is a deep emotion for me.

4. I smile even when I don't feel like smiling. The boys where I teach call this fake it to make it. It's difficult to say something mean and nasty when you've got a smile on your face. Try it, I dare you. :-)

5. I try to look for what is good in everybody and in every situation. I realize that there are some BIGGIES out there that require some whistle blowing and digging up, okay...I'm excluding those. Just try it with the people close to you, like your kids and friends. Stop critiquing and evaluating those that love you.

6. I try to find the positive intention. This comes in way handy for where I work. The boys daily delve into behavior that is quite annoying, but I look beyond the behavior and try to find the unmet need. Usually when I meet that need, the crazy behavior ends.

7. I have been trying hard to master this objective...sending thank yous. Just taking time to send a thank you to someone. Some people are quite thrown off guard by this simple gesture. I also look for the "quiet heroes" in my life, that don't toot their own horn.

8. I've made a list of the people in my life that I am grateful for, who have encouraged me. I go out of my way to let them know how much I appreciate them. I'm thinking that sometimes, this small act on my part may come at a perfect time for them.

That's my how to be more grateful to do list. Ultimately, you are in charge of how you respond to the events of life. Why not respond gratefully?

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