Adopting an attitude of gratitude becomes a popular topic this time of year. As summer winds down, the kids head back to school and we enter Pumpkin Spice flavored everything season, the holidays begin to come to mind. The spirit of the holiday season tends to bring out a more grateful nature for many; focusing on our blessings and trying to be more giving. Sometime after fall disappears (bye bye pumpkin pie) and winter settles in, we usually go right back to where we were before; forgetting all the gratefulness and falling back into the realities of daily life. But it doesn't have to be this way at all. This year, we can launch a positive practice for living more thankfully all the time; improving our lives and making the world a better place along the way.
Gratitude is a form of energy; very high vibrating energy. It is a kind of spiritual energy that is aligned with love, peace and joy. This is why gratitude lends itself so well to a positive practice; it will positively impact your life in unimaginable ways if you get disciplined about it. When we strive to align our outlook and thinking with a more grateful nature, we raise our vibration and begin to create a very positive flow of energy that not only optimally changes our lives, but the lives of those around us as well. The energy of gratitude is a magnet for other high vibrating energy, like joy, love, abundance, peace and good health. In short, it creates manifesting magic. But you cannot fake it; living thankfully requires diligence and commitment.
That's why creating a positive practice for gratitude is helpful. You can use it to train your brain to be thankful for everything; yes every single thing. There is always a blessing, even when something seems to be a problem. I'm not suggesting you deny your emotions; you have to feel and face all of them. But learning to see the aspects of each situation for which you can be thankful is a gift we are all capable of having; if we choose to do so. Every situation, relationship, or decision has a negative and positive side; it's just the way the universe operates. We choose which perspective to focus more attention upon with our thoughts, beliefs and actions. Training your brain to see the light far more then the dark is one of the most self-loving things you can do; not to mention the good it does for your loved ones and our planet.
Tools help a great deal when it comes to training our brain and creating a practice. To shift your focus and live more thankfully requires discipline, and a regimen is a great way to exercise discipline. A simple daily or weekly plan will help you achieve a more grateful approach to all areas of your life. Here are 5 ways to live thankfully:
1. A Forgiveness Ritual: Rituals are wonderful ways to honor what's important; often with a detailed process for doing so. Since gratitude is a very high vibrating energy, adopting a more grateful existence is much easier when we have an ongoing plan for releasing negative energy. A forgiveness ritual is such a plan and will help your energy will resonate more with gratitude and thankful thinking. You can receive a free Angel Healing Forgiveness Ritual here http://www.ginasendef.com/blog.
2. A Blessing Board: Vision Boards are excellent for manifesting positive change. Creating one that focuses on things, places, people etc. for which you are thankful is an incredible way to focus your attention and draw lots of positive energy into your life; literally giving you more opportunities to be grateful. This can be done on a bulletin board, poster board, picture frame or even a Pinterst board (my personal favorite because you can access it any time). Just start with pictures, words, quotes and symbols that give you that glowing feeling of gratitude. When you are having a rough day, view this board to raise your vibration immediately. Follow me on Pinterest and you can check out my many Blessing Boards (search Gina Sendef).
3. A Gratitude Jar: This is a great project for individuals or families. Use a big mason type jar or vessel and label it with a word that represents your gratitude mantra or motto. Every day, using small slips of paper, write down something that happened for which you are grateful; it can be absolutely anything. Every month or so, read the slips (if it's a family jar, do this together). It's really fun to relive thankful moments, and you will find it's often the small things that mean the most.
4. A Gratitude Scrapbook: Save your favorite memories of gratitude from your jar and record them in a Gratitude Scrapbook. Again, this is a great tool for individuals or families. Add pictures and quotes along with the slips of paper to make this a wonderful scrapbook of reasons you are thankful. Take it a step further and dedicate a page to each person in your family or life and record all the things about them that make you feel thankful. Imagine reviewing this positive, beautiful book as the years pass; recalling all the grateful moments and memories!
5. Grateful Gatherings: This is great to do with friends or your family, especially at a meal (try to do this at least weekly; like Sunday dinners). It is really quite simple, go around the table and tell a story of something that recently happened for which you are thankful. Nominate someone to video each grateful gathering and you can create a movie at the end of the year (or several months depending how often you do this). Watching this movie and showing it to others is an awesome reminder not only of the progress we each make, but just how much we each have to be thankful for. And if you start this with younger children, it's really fun to watch them grow along the way!
These tools are useful not only for creating a positive practice, but for helping you during tough times. It's easy to be thankful when things go our way; but when problems arise it can be difficult. Yet it's during times of stress, strife or sorrow that gratitude can truly help ease our pain and raise the energy of the situation immediately. Even in the darkest of times, focusing on that for which you can be grateful will show you the light. It is a choice, of course. You can allow your mind to be swallowed by negativity, or you can make extra effort to avoid it by seeking gratitude. Use the tools you have created to help you during these times. They not only help you live more thankfully, they help you focus your brain on gratitude when you feel anything but grateful. In this way, these tools can be lifesavers.