Here it is November, the month dedicated to Gratitude. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratitude changes everything.
What a lovely quality to possess or to have as a recognition practice in your life.
Gratitude Practice Growing Up
Growing up I don’t remember this practice being taught at home or in the spiritual institutions I attended. Maybe I just missed it.
Yes, occasionally we’d get the “eat up and be grateful you have food on the table” speech from our parents, but not a consistent ritual of gratitude recognition.
I didn’t encounter that practice until my 40’s, when I was complaining to a friend, and she started saying I should write a gratitude list of all the things I was grateful for during a day. But at a minimum, write at least three things down.
Gratitude Changes Everything
That was hard for me at first because I couldn’t think of the blessings in my life, although they were abundant. The more I worked on this writing as a daily practice, the more I discovered the abundance that surrounded me. I softened and so did my attitude. Gratitude changes everything.
A few years later, I was given a copy of Simple Abundance – A Day Book of Comfort and Joy, written by Sarah Ban Breathnach. In this lovely daily reader book, she talks extensively about gratitude and how a daily written list will change your life. It changed mine. This book is a gem of simple practices that help us realign our thinking and with that our lives.
At the time I started my written gratitude list, I needed some changes in thinking and the book was also extremely helpful in that regard, but especially around gratitude.
This simple practice has changed my perspective and my thinking over the years and with it, my life. It has been a contributor to the more positive outlook I now have in general toward life.
A Brief History of Gratitude
Gratitude is a concept or principle that every major religion embraces – one of the few things that they agree upon.
Even the Romans in the B.C. years recognized it. Cicero, a lawyer, writer and orator of those times said, “Gratitude is not the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
Gratitude has a rich history. As it is one of my favorite topics, I’ve written a couple of other blogs on the topic if you are interested: Gratitude – A Solution for Chaos and Celebrating Gratitude and a Challenge.
Do you have a gratitude practice, where you write daily, in the morning or in the evening, 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for? Leave a comment and let me know, let me know how it has affected your life.
If you missed the last 3 Keys to Radically Transform Your Life and Finances, I’ve scheduled another on November 29, 2022, at 2pm PT. You can register here.
You can buy my book Everything I Learned About Life I Learned on Vacation here.