1. Setting our intention for practice
2. Launching a Gratitude Journal.
What Really Matters
The first thing we need to consider in our gratitude practice, or anything else we do in life for that matter, is our intention. It is beneficial to get a clear sense of why we’re taking on this challenge.
I have recorded a short meditation on setting an intention for the challenge but if you’re not into guided meditation it’s enough if you just pause for a moment. Right now!! And before you go on reading this post take a couple of deep breaths.
Now ask yourself what brings me to the gratitude practice, what is my intention for being here. What do I really want. What really matters.
Imagine you were at the very last moment of your life looking back. What would have mattered then. Be open and receptive to whatever comes up for you. Listen inwardly to your answer with a sense of sincerity.
But please don’t settle for just wanting to feel better or getting rid of a difficult situation that is currently present in your life. There will always be unpleasantness in our lives and discomforts of some sort , but this is not why we come to practice, any practice. There is a much deeper yearning. To open our hearts, to transcend our lives, to touch the mystery, to realize interconnectedness. To BE love.
So what REALLY matters to you.
As part of setting an intention for practice I suggest a little ceremony. Make it today’s exercise to launch a gratitude journal. Either buy a new notebook for that purpose or create a new file on your computers. The daily gratitude journal is a very straightforward practice. Essentially, we designate a page for each day of the challenge and every day list down at least ten people or situations we feel grateful for.
The daily journal should address gratitude towards people or situations that happened during that particular day of the challenge. I assure you that we will touch upon appreciation to our past blessings but the journal is intended to keep us in the present. To remind us that there are many things we ARE grateful for – every single day.
When we create a daily journal we set our minds to intentionally look for things to be grateful for. It keeps us on the lookout for people, situations and beauty to appreciate and express gratitude towards. This way we deliberately shift our attention towards what is beautiful and joyful and intentionally change the content of our thoughts.
I recommend to fill up the journal throughout the day but I know that it might be difficult. So filling up the journal at the end of the day while summarizing and reflecting on the passing day would also work very well.
Anything can go on that journal ranging from appreciating a nice cup of coffee we had in the morning to not getting stuck in traffic on the way to work, to having a meaningful conversation with a friend, a romantic moment with our partner, quality time with our child or feeling grateful for simply remembering to be mindful and grateful throughout the day. Whatever makes our heart expend.
During the first stages of my own intensive gratitude practice, the daily journal has been the main practice pillar and I found it to be very beneficial. I hope that you too will find the journal beneficial and that you enjoy filling it up every day.
Thank you for all your kind words and for your support. I wish all of us a blessed day.
May we always be happy.
- The Power of a Gratitude Journal (ilsewatson.com)