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What are you grateful for?

Gratitude – resting in the small and the large

Gratitude is a way to feel joy, stop and learn to see the small in the big. You can find gratitude in the fact that someone held the door open for you this morning or that you got to see your child’s first steps. Or that someone close to you has survived and cheated death. Gratitude doesn’t know the difference between big and small and nothing is better than anyone else. When we take our time, stop and feel grateful, let the feeling spread within us, we also get other good states in return.

If we train ourselves to be grateful for the small and big things that happen around us, we are more likely to see the good instead of getting stuck in the not-so-good. We are getting better at accepting what is happening and what is happening right now. We can also learn to find gratitude in things that did not turn out as we expected.

Imagine a family or a workplace where gratitude is part of the given environment. Where you and your loved ones or colleagues practice appreciating things in the moment. Where the focus shifts for a moment from rushing forward to landing in the present. The present, the only thing we have to play with.

At the company

As a leader/employee, stop and be grateful for your employees/leaders. It is easy to make demands on how we want someone to be. It can be very meaningful to find gratitude in the same person. I’m not saying it always feels possible, it’s up to you to investigate and find out.

In the family

Choosing states such as gratitude can also de-dramatize situations that could otherwise escalate into something bad (if you can stay calm). Ex. a discussion with your child. Instead of getting stuck, it might be possible for you to stop and see something in the child at that moment that leads you to gratitude. Arguing -> thankful that he/she has a strong will, strong opinions -> thankful that he/she is good at arguing, etc.

Then I personally see a great point in teaching my children gratitude, and that it rests even in the smallest thing, state or action.

Gratitude as a practice

The ability to be grateful is a matter of practice – here is a suggestion for an exercise. Try it out and see if it gives you meaning and a boost to appreciate yourself and what you have around you a bit more.

  1. Sit or lie down with calm around you.
  2. Feel and observe your breath for a few minutes.
  3. Find something you are grateful for – essential to life (food on the table, healthy etc).
  4. Say thank you to yourself and do it several times until you feel that it lands, be in the moment when you say it. Let the realization that you actually have what you are thinking about spread from your heart to your body.
  5. Find something to be grateful for – not life-changing but important (whole socks on your feet, new toothbrush, time to snooze).
  6. Repeat point 4.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 if you wish.
  8. Feel how it feels in your body and what condition(s) you have.
  9. Finish by feeling and observing your breath again. 3-4 minutes.
  10. Pay attention to how it feels afterwards when you do other things. Are you more observant, calm, happy, present?

This post was my 30th of my 30 day challenge (fall 2018). Where for thirty days in a row I have chosen to write posts that in some way relate to thoughts and tools on how change can be observed and implemented. So it feels right to end this challenge with a post on gratitude.

I am grateful

I am grateful that I get to meet so many great people through the work I have chosen to do for a living. I am grateful for my rag socks. I am grateful to have people close to me who encourage and believe in me when I feel small sometimes. I’m grateful for the water flowing from the mixer tap in the kitchen and that I don’t have to freeze now that it’s getting cold. I am grateful for the drawings I receive from my children. I am also grateful for the well-being of myself and my family and for being able to stand on my head. And I am grateful to you, the reader, for taking the time to read my words. I hope the posts have made sense to you and that you want to keep reading. What are you grateful for?

The challenge may be over, but I have many topics and blog posts in the pipeline, so there’s no shortage of words to be written yet. However, there will not be one every day, but will update on Instagram when there are new posts up.

If you have thoughts on something you would like me to highlight, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

Wishing you the best.

/Rebecca

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