Day 13 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from basicindia.typepad.com

Every time we remember to say “thank you”, we experience nothing less than heaven on earth.
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Something magical happens each time we take a breath of air.  Breathing grounds us, it expands us, and it energises us.  Although it is a simple act, and free, it also empowers. The breath alone can be a healing force in our lives. Many cultures and religions believe breathwork to be sacred.

Today give thanks for the air you breathe. Let every breath nourish and support you.  Let every breath do you good.

And of course, as we have done every day so far, let’s begin our day by counting our Blessings.

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of the process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  4. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here. Place your rock back beside your bed, and go to sleep, cocooned in this good energy.

If all you do today is these four steps, know that is enough.

Are you ready for more?  Try this simple exercise, designed to amplify your energy, gratitude and connection.

Image from larainegordon.com

Breath of Life

Sit quietly, and give yourself the gift of five minutes of uninterrupted time.

If possible, sit with the sun on your face.  If it’s not possible, at least sit near a window, or outdoors, even if it is in the shade, or under a shelter.

Breathe in. Really pay attention to that breath.  Feel it swelling your lungs.  Feel the passage of air from your nostrils down into your lungs.  Feel your chest expand. Have an awareness of that breath.

When you breathe out, once again, pay attention.  Feel the air exiting your lungs, feel it moving softly back through your nasal passages and out into the space in front of you.  Feel your lungs emptying and contracting.  Notice how that feels in your body.

Breathe in again.  Do this mindfully five times, inhaling and exhaling.  Just sitting in awareness.

Image from blisscentre.com

Now, repeat this process, but this time do it with your eyes closed.  Five breaths in, and five breaths out.

Finally, do this exercise one last time, but this time, imagine that you are breathing in energy.  Imagine that you are breathing in love and healing. With each exhale, imagine that you are releasing something that no longer serves you. Feel your connection to the world around you.  Notice if your breath links you to a time, a place or a person, now or at any time in history.

When you are finished, sit quietly for a moment with your eyes closed and give Thanks to the Universe for this sacred breath, for this gift of life, for this wondrous connection to all that is.  Bless ♥ xx

Image from rechabite.com

16 thoughts on “Day 13 – Gratitude Challenge

  1. Thank you, Nicole. I always look forward to each day now and thinking of things to be grateful for. It’s a really enriching experience. As I do yoga, I am also looking forward to this breathing exercise. What a wonderful mentor you are :))

  2. Nic, I have a question. I find that in a space of gratitude and peace and such, it ends up feeling inevitable that the ‘yucky’ stuff arises, as if it feels safer to do so, almost. Ah, it says, here I am, will you meet me and hold me now? I find this challenging when it comes on strong. Sometimes it looks to me as if I am holding it too tight, holding on to victimhood, holding on to wounds, re-wounding, instead of healing. Healing is a mysterious process. Sometimes, as it all plays out, the best I can do is hold some awareness that this is not all there is, and that beauty and peace and gratitude all exist, as well as the wounds and patterns that want to play out. Sometimes I can’t stop them playing out, and to try and stop them totally would be further wounding. This is especially tricky when the wounds are personal, but also echoes of bigger, wider social wounds. Like sexism, for example, being treated in a demeaning way, perhaps just because I am female. I find these wounds can be complex. It can be hard to tell where I end and society begins. Because we are all interconnected and interwoven. Knowing that helps me to have perspective, to not take things as personally, but it can be hard to maintain that perspective sometimes. Oh … now I don’t even know what the question was any more! I guess it has something to do with … is there a place for being grateful for wounds, and how do we be gentle with this? How do we not wound ourselves further, neither by suppressing/avoiding/ignoring/pretending it’s not there, nor by picking/poking/prodding at it … but something wholesome and healthy and strong.

    • Hi Sal, what a beautiful and thought-provoking question-thing… Two things come to mind in response to this.

      Firstly, when we begin to deliberately choose gratitude and appreciation as a way of thinking, our old thought-patterns and emotional responses begin to surface as we are clearing them and letting them go. Our job is not to judge them, to try and fix them, or even to get rid of them. Our job is to sit in awareness and then go back to being grateful for something in our lives, even if it is the tiniest thing. That way we rewire our brains to look towards the the positive. Whatever we think about and put emotion to is what we attract more of into the world, so by thinking about injustice, we amplify that. By thinking about kindness, we amplify that.

      Secondly, yes, we can be grateful for wounds and hurts. Why? Wounds are the place where the light comes in… Because these hard parts in our lives afford us the opportunity to learn and grow. They give US the opportunity to choose differently. They give us the opportunity to forgive. They strengthen us and temper us and make us who we become.

      Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

      Dalai Lama

      If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.
      Pema Chodron

      Love you, precious sista xoxo

      • I copied the quote from the Dalai Lama, because I need that, too … thank you. Sending positive, healing energies, love and hugs your way. ~ Julie xox

  3. Reblogged this on More Like A Child and commented:
    I love this posting so much that I just had to reblog it!! I’m making myself a gratitude rock today and starting a gratitude challenge…did I say that I absolutely LOVE this?! This is one of my fav blogs to read.

    Note: I’m finishing up a Verb Tribe course with Patti Digh at http://www.37days.com, and am also participating in Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge this week…so I’ll be back into blogging within the week! Can’t wait!

  4. Today, a good friend came by… a very special Spiritual Sister. She reads my gratitude posts every day and is grateful for me… grateful that I’m on a journey towards becoming the True Me. Life is beautiful… YOU, Nicole, are beautiful.

    Here is my blog post for Day 13: http://muddlavoie.com/blog/rituals/30-days-of-gratitude-day-13/

    Sending LOVE (and a few laughs) to all the Sweet Souls on this magical journey to Abundance 🙂 xoxo

  5. This is a wonderful gratitude challenge, and one that is a regular part of my day … I’ve printed it out to add to the others, thank you so much, Nicole! xoxox

  6. I will be traveling to pick up my grandaughters that will live with me a while. I will take my notebook and gratitude rock with me. I will teach my girls to be grateful even if they think their parents are not with them. Just that they need time to grow themselfs so they could be even greater parents. I will certainly do the challenge with them. They are 8, 7 and 6. It will be a good start. I could be great that this challenge will be practice in school. They dont give u tools for this. But education needs to change. Hope soon this will be pratice. I also want to teach the girls how to grow vegetables and take care of planet earth (by recicling).

    Love the challenge many blessing have come to me. So thanks I am grateful for u Nicole and for the group of people that make this posible. Many blessing of light and love. Peace on earth♥

    • When I suggested my son join me in the challenge he said … ‘nah, we already do that at school every day’! So there ya go … education is changing! 🙂

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