13 Jul 2011

Develop The Skill Of Gratitude

1 Comment Live your best Life

gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It’s a way to live.
– Jacqueline Winspear

In the most challenging of times, I have learned that gratitude is the quickest and most effective way to turn things around.  In the moment of frustration, annoyance or despair if I am doing my work, I can turn it around when I stop and think, –  what can I be grateful for?  I find when you put that question to yourself, it can burst that bubble of self pity and get you back on track.

My mentor coach Rhonda Britten first introduced this concept to me in a very concrete way by requiring all of her students to keep a gratitude journal.  At first it was tough, what do I have to be grateful for today? I learned that Gratitude is for things that are outside of yourself.  Things that you don’t necessarily have control over.  The perfect parking spot when you are in a rush.  A cancelled appointment when you are already over scheduled.  Time to sit and stare at the sunset, the grass grow, or a new baby.  All of these are things that, if you are grateful, can really add up to a whole pile of goodness.  The miracle to me about this is that, when you become skilled at it, the goodness just shows up.  The trick is to notice it.  The skill of grace is to be present enough to take 5 seconds and think, yep, I am grateful for that.

I have found in life there are two sets of people.  Ones that are naturally living their lives in a state of grace.  The other set are people are those who get stuck in what I call the lack mentality.  Where things are not good enough, where they are always seeking more, and where sitting stuck in the muck of misery becomes a habit.  What a shame to live a life where simple pleasures are not fulfilling.  Where “poor me” becomes the sound track of their life.

I also know that this second set of people, those who are challenged by living in a state of grace, absolutely have the power within them to turn it around.  If gratitude is not something that comes readily to your brain in challenging times, you absolutely have the ability to practice exercising that skill.  Grace, if not natural, can become something that you become skilled in.  All it takes is a little notebook or journal, and the willingness to to practice seeing things through the lens of grace.

What was required of me when I was taking my Life Coach training is now something that I encourage all of my clients to do.  A Gratitude Journal.  Everyday, challenge yourself to find five things to be grateful for and write them down.  The act of writing is powerful.  If you find that being grateful is a challenge, I would be willing to guarantee that committing to writing five gratitude’s a day will turn that around for you.  At first you may struggle to get things down on paper.  That is okay, that is the point.  Push yourself to dig down and find them.  If you commit to taking this on for a week, and then three weeks, and then six weeks, I know that you will find them coming to you easier.  I also know that you will find them coming to you during the day when you are going about your routine.  And before you know it, living in a state of Grace can be yours.  When that happens, a whole new world of opportunity will be yours.  Bad days will just be that, a bad day.  It will no longer define who you are, or how you show up in the world.

Here are my gratitudes for today:

Today I am grateful for having a quiet house.

Today I am grateful that my children went happily to daycare, excited to see the other children and their care provider.

Today I am grateful that the garbage truck was late and I got all the garbage out.

Today I am grateful that my friend is holding me accountable to meeting her at the gym.

Today I am grateful for the rain last night that has made everything look more green today.

Don’t get caught in the mistaken idea that to be worth writing down the gratitude needs to be extraordinary.  That is far from true.  If you can really be grateful for things like a late garbage truck, and believe that something that simple is worth noticing and being grateful for, then so much more will be available to you.  Take responsibility for your own life and attitude and start practicing the skill of grace.

Today, Be Grateful.


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Beth supports people in finding solutions to everyday problems!
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One Response to “Develop The Skill Of Gratitude”

  1. Rain Rain, Go Away… | Constructing Life Coaching says:

    […] a complaint around isn’t that hard. In my blog post “Develop the Gift of Gratitude” you can find a ton of tips on how to exercise the muscle of grace so that it’s stronger and […]

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