I recently made the connection that gratitude and practising gratitude are two entirely different things. Im extremely grateful for the blessings in my life, but I also know I’m not putting my gratitude into practise very often. It’s one thing to know I’m grateful, but its another thing to claim what my blessings are and bring them to my awareness on a daily basis. For a lot of people, this can mean the difference in feeling apathetic about life and feeling content, grateful and blessed.
(Embracing winter, enjoying home-made pumpkin soup for lunch)
As I mentioned in my last post, I’d decided to start focusing on the positive after spending a vast amount of time struggling with internal negativity. After writing that post, I realised that my goal of reducing negativity hadn’t been as easy as just “deciding” to just start buying a first class ticking to Positive Avenue, it has been an uphill (struggle) process of change through adversity. I only realised this today when reading an article in a magazine titled “How To Face Adversity” that went something like this:
“When facing adversity in your life, don’t take yourself too seriously. See yourself as the jester rather than the tragic hero. If you can laugh at yourself, you’ll probably find that life is easier to cope with. Jesters are sceptical. You know far less than you think, including what is goof for you. We’re all confused, especially those who claim they’re not. Accepting you’re weaknesses and being open to the world makes you strong. Find pleasure in surprising places. Seek to enjoy what life offers for free, especially the beauty of nature. Above all, don’t forget that adversity in inevitable. Accepting that graciously – rather than fighting it head on, nearly always helps us makes sense of it.” – Christopher Hamilton, Philosopher.
Maybe it was just the eloquence of this passage that struck a chord, but something about this text had me realise the process I went through in order to get from an internal negative state, to a (mostly) positive one. Daily gratitude.
(Afternoon walks in the Quaint village of Alfriston, sheltering from the rain in Vintage Inn pubs with open fires to warm our hands ((and our hearts)))
(Ordering coffee cake from the menu because life is short, because my stomach said yes, and because I hadn’t eaten it since childhood)
(Sharing precious memories with the momma – those times we never get back)
In order to reduce internal negativity we must focus on incorporating daily gratitude. I have way too many lists scribbled on bits of paper so I don’t spend too much time writing down the things I’m grateful for each day, so instead, I make an effort to talk about three positive things about my day with a friend, my momma, a shop assistant, or whoever may come into my life on a given twenty-four hour period.
Since I started incorporating daily gratitude into my life, I’ve felt significantly content, happier and positive than I have in a while. I totally underestimate how much of a difference it would make and now Im a believer of the positivity daily gratitude can create. I find myself thinking about good things throughout the day because I know that I will come up with three things before going to bed at night. In turn, my positivity is increased all day long.
Practising gratitude is simply bringing all of those daily experiences that we have to the forefront of our minds. Gratitude does not undo the negative that happen to us, but consciously choosing to bringing our attention towards the positive in our everyday makes for a much more fulfilling and satisfying life.