It starts with a heartfelt “thank you”, but it’s deeper than that.
But, let me begin first by explaining why I have a gratitude practice in the first place.
it changed my life
Yep, I know – it sounds a bit “cliche”.
It changed my life.
But this is the impact of what you will experience if you too practice gratitude every day.
It was my epiphany moment.
There I was with my feet up, after a day walking on the Camino de Santiago. I was feeling thrilled that day, but I couldn’t put my finger on the reason why.
I just had this warmth in my heart, and I knew that something was happening to me.
I was nearing the end of my journey towards Santiago de Compostela, and I was so grateful that I had made it.
A month before, I was nursing an injury that I had sustained on my first attempt at the route, and when I went home from Spain on that occasion, I felt like a total failure.
But here I was, back in Spain, living the most incredible days of my life. You see, for me, it was the epitome of my top two core values of freedom and adventure.
As I was looking over my shoes, with my legs up, drinking an Aquarius (delicious!), this feeling of gratitude overwhelmed me. I was facing away from other pilgrims, and I just cried.
Here I was – a strapped up right calf, a pelvis and hips with their previous four surgeries with the scars to show for it, and I was living out my bucket list.
I was so grateful for everything that had happened to bring me to this place.
it was a feeling like no other
I thought that I had always been grateful, but perhaps this “new” feeling had its foundation in the regular practice?
When I would set out on the road, backpack and walking poles as company, there were no other things to think about but for the incredible experience that I was living.
I would marvel at the surroundings; I would happily greet passing pilgrims, who always wished me a “buen camino” in return.
There was no other option but to be grateful.
and here my daily gratitude pracitice was born
Getting home was a massive adjustment to make to “regular life”.
I had just experienced the most incredible event, and I knew that I was well-positioned to make meaningful and purposeful changes in my life.
I won’t lie – I was afraid to step out of my corporate career into a space of entrepreneurship. But hands down, when I reflect on that journey, I can attribute everything that I have been able to do as the result of my daily gratitude practice.
It’s a simple thing that I do every day now, without fail, and it resets my mind, totally keeps my heart on track and undoubtedly sets me up for productivity.
It’s the most powerful first step that you can take in your daily habits.
my three-step gratitude practice
Let’s be honest here.
It’s a whole lot of easy to be grateful when you are out living your dreams!
It’s tricky getting back to “regular life” and bringing that feeling with you. This was my biggest fear.
I had this fantastic feeling on pilgrimage, but how would this translate into my new life?
With a heartfelt gratitude practice.
Here is how I do mine.
I have picked three items in my office. Tangible items that are easily replaced.
This sounds a little frivolous, I know, but it’s the backstories that keep me in the space of gratitude whenever I am near them.
Item number 1 is my laptop.
It is the place where I do all my business.
This is the place that will sustain my audacious goals and which will always help me live out my core values of freedom and adventure.
I have a vision of myself, walking pilgrimage with my laptop in my backpack, coaching and mentoring others towards their version of freedom.
My laptop is also where I have forged some incredible friendships, which is incredibly empowering for this introvert.
Item number 2 is my chair.
It supports me.
It holds me up.
When I am nervous, I hold onto its sturdy armrests, and I feel anchored.
It is comforting.
Item number 3 is my washline.
I know, right! Mad!
But you see, I remember a time when I had first moved out of the family home. I was making my own way.
It was a Saturday morning, and I was hanging my washing on a clothesline, and I remember just smiling to myself, feeling wholly accomplished at that moment.
I didn’t know it then, but I was on my journey to where I am now.
Every morning before I set off with my work, I close my eyes and imagine these three items.
Then, I replay why I anchor myself on these items with their backstories, and I immediately experience a shift in my mindset.
It is the perfect foundation for a fabulous day.
give a gratitude practice a go
So, if you don’t yet have your own gratitude practice, maybe its time to give it a go.
It is really a quick practice that can be incorporated into your day, and when you find your own three items, with their backstories, you can use these items to ground you.
Gratitude gives us an opportunity to see everything that we already have, and from this place, we start to see all of the abundances that life has to offer.
You see, those three items are just the start of it.
It’s the initial practice.
You will find that when you start to exercise your gratitude muscles, like going to the gym, the consistent and regular practice starts to cause changes.
And done often enough, it can change your life.