If I read one more email about gratitude I just might…be more grateful. LOL. I know, know…Thanksgiving doesn’t always make us feel instantly grateful. For some of us this Epic Holiday is like a gigantic beacon reminding us of what’s not quite right. Could be that someone’s missing, or maybe you feel displaced, out of touch, lonely, or not as connected to your family in the way you have been or would like to be right now. And having it smashed into your face at every turn: radios blaring ads about all the sales, how to find your perfect date for the holidays, commercials depicting deliriously happy people eating turkey in a Martha Stewart-like setting (fill in your holiday trigger here), can sometimes just make it worse. So how do we get from gobble-gag to gobble-grateful? Here are a few tips that work for me when my gratitude meter needs a boost (or a jolt).
1. Gratitude is a way of life, not necessarily an event. Just because you aren’t feeling over the moon about some of the particulars of this holiday (perfectionism, much?) doesn’t have to mean you’re not grateful. Take a moment and review this point. Both things can exist and be true!
2. You are flat out just NOT feeling it, can’t access the gratitude because of some unavoidable scenario. That’s okay. Start there, then. It’s always best in my opinion not to climb over what’s true and what might want or need my attention. Take a time out and review what has got you in such a bunge. Maybe it’s time to let go or move on, release an out-dated grudge, or question if ______ (whatever it is) is still worth spending your precious energy on. Hey, if you’re feeling really crazy you might even be grateful you turned this into an opportunity to heal something instead of letting it remain an obstacle to creating more connection.
3. Which brings me to one of my favorite “cures” for low g-tude.
Find someone (literally, almost anyone could do) who is feeling worse than you, or finds themselves in a situation that is truly desperate. There are plenty of places to look (start w/your contact list) and DO SOMETHING FOR THEM! Getting out of ourselves works like a charm, every time. Instant gratitude and heart connection. “There but for the Grace of God go I” as they say! Who knows, you may even find you have softened your original position or maybe forgotten all together that you weren’t feeling grateful!
4. The old standby. Perhaps just reading this has been enough to inspire you to make your Top 25 list of things you are most grateful for in 2011. If you need a hand getting started, try some of these on: Breathing …in and out (what a gift), being alive (another gift), being able to read, having five minutes leisure time to read blogs like this (many folks work 18-hour days and make only $1).
5. And here's one from my new pal, Dr. Allan Hamilton: Write three 300-word testimonials about how three individuals have touched or changed your life and HAND DELIVER THEM! What great advice! You’ll be swimming in Gratitude!