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Cancer survivor

Life Enricher

Life Coach

Life Success Consultant   

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Does Gratitude Have Power? 

It is amazing how powerful and transformative gratitude is when we choose to express it, pay attention to it, and experience it. I have discovered that I can’t feel sorry for myself and be grateful at the same time.  

I spoke to someone recently who had been in hospital for a few months.  When he was asked what he appreciated most about being out he said, seeing the stars, listening to children laugh, and hearing dogs bark. Wow! Think of all the times when my neighbour’s dog has barked and I wished the neighbour would do something. There are so many of the simple things we take for granted that we could choose to be grateful for each day.

There can be many reasons (i.e. excuses) we have for not focusing on what we're grateful for: 

  • We don’t think about it and just take things for granted. 
  • We're too busy and stressed out.  
  • In these days with lots of people going through tough times we don't want to brag about how good we have it  
  • We focus on all of the bad stuff in our lives, what needs improvement, the many things we still have to get done.  
  • We're waiting for things to work out perfectly (which they almost never do)  
  • We get embarrassed saying gratitude’s and wonder what others will think.  

While all of these reasons could make sense and could be understandable, they simply get in our way of tapping into one of the most powerful emotions we have access to in the power of gratitude.

Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles and co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, said that gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.

Not only does being grateful make us feel good, it's also one of the greatest attractors of all the good stuff that we want in our lives. Things like abundance, love, peace, health, success, relationships, and more.  The more we focus on what we already have and what we appreciate and think of the wonderful aspects of our lives, the more we end up having to be grateful for.  

What are you grateful for?  

We can expand our capacity for gratitude in our lives by creating simple habits.  It doesn't really matter what we do or how we do it, just that we come up with easy and meaningful ways to focus on what we're grateful for all the time.  Below is a short list of some different possible gratitude practices.  Pick one, use many, or choose something else: 

  • Practice random acts of kindness and do something for someone just for the sake of being nice! 
  • Write cards or emails expressing your gratitude for others and do this for no specific reason or occasion  
  • Meditate/pray and focus on what you're grateful for  
  • Have everyone at the dinner table share something they're grateful as you eat 
  • When you're together with your family play this grateful game. A good time to do this is when you are all in the car  
  • Ask people what they're grateful for  
  • Use a gratitude journal and write in it regularly first thing each morning or last thing at night. 

While so many of us understand and know about the power of gratitude, it's the practice and expression of it that really has impact.  When we take the time to think about, feel, and express our gratitude and appreciation for life, others, and ourselves we can literally transform our lives and relationships in a beautiful way.

We always have Christmas later than the 25th of December because our family lives interstate and they have Christmas with one set of parents and then usually a week later we have our Christmas together. One of my cherished moments this year was our grand daughter who is 8 years old. We had our family dinner together, and then just as we were about to participate in our gift giving she said, “Wait, we haven’t done our ‘I appreciate you’ yet”.  Receiving and giving of that appreciation to each person in the room was more important to her than the contents of the boxes.  What a wonderful gift to give to each other – to build another’s self worth. These affirmations of appreciation will last a life time!