Day 5 – Gratitude Challenge

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 “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.

~ Buddha

So here we are at Day 5 of our 30 Day Gratitude Challenge.  Pull up a seat.  Let me give you a hug and make you a cup of tea. I just want to encourage you, and to remind you that you’re doing so well.

Have you encountered any resistance yet?  Have there been any moments where it’s been hard to muster your enthusiasm, or when finding five things to be grateful for, and really feeling that gratitude in your heart, has been an effort?

If you’re answer is no, then hooray for you – being in flow is a wonderful thing! But don’t be discouraged if you have already encountered some of this energy. And don’t be despondent if it visits you in the next days of our challenge.  Not every day will be sunshine, puppies and lollipops. And it’s precisely on those harder days, and flatter days, that we need gratitude the most.

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When you wake to find that an attitude of gratitude isn’t coming easily, or where you’re struggling to rouse any positive emotions, then I suggest you start with counting much smaller Blessings.

Start with safe Blessings that don’t lead you back to where you’ve been. Don’t look to areas in your life that are charged with negative associations.  Do all you can to be in this very moment – do all you can to be here right now.  For example, be grateful for the taste of a cup of tea, the smell of your favourite soap, or the sound of birdsong at your window in the morning.

When gratitude is difficult, understand that you are seeing your BRAIN conforming to its habitual patterns that create depressive or negative thinking, and that is why you need to keep going with this – so that you can retrain it to know how to feel good naturally and to look for more of those feel-good emotions and thought patterns.

Really work to live in the moment, with things you can be grateful for right now, and don’t overthink it. Don’t worry if you don’t get a raging ball of happiness in your heart every day. Just surrender and trust the process. I promise that it works.

So now let’s start our day with the activities that form the foundation of our 30 Day Gratitude Challenge:

Part One – Count Our Blessings and Use 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 each day is these first four steps, know that is enough.

If you feel especially flat, then carry your Gratitude Rock with you, or lie/sit in bed at the start or end of the day, and hold it over your heart so that its energy can recharge you.

If you have an abundance of gratitude and feel-good energy, send some extra to your fellow travellers on this journey, with the intent to uplift those who need it.

Your Gratitude Rock can recharge your heart, and fill you with energy.
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Are you ready for more of a challenge?  Today we are going to practice gratitude for the simple things.

It’s the simple things in life…

When I have talked to loved ones at the end of their lives, when I have held their hands and waited with them in those final days, it has always been the simple things that they have summoned forth in their memories – the little things that have given happiness or comfort or meaning somehow.

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A husband who always got the toothbrush ready with just the right amount of toothpaste for his wife whose eyesight had failed her.

A mother’s mashed potatoes – no one else’s ever tasted as good.

The smell of clean sheets.

The lovable way a dog’s teeth always snaggled its bottom lip into a toothy grin.

Coffee from your favourite cafe.

The exquisite perfume of a fresh gardenia or jonquil.

Sunshine.

Diving into the ocean, or surfing the perfect wave.

Hearing your favourite song on the radio.

The joy of paint on a brush, or a completed crossword.

Today, spend a minute or two and really savour one of life’s simple pleasures. When you are done, build up that energy in your heart and say Thank You to the Universe, which provides you with an abundance of little things that make your journey more memorable, more comfortable, more colourful.

If you remember a simple pleasure from your past that you haven’t included in your life for a while, then maybe make the effort to reconnect with that thing, or treat yourself to a whole new positive memory.

Life is for living, and happiness is in the moment.  Bless ♥