In class this week, I had everyone focus on their feet while in a hip stretch. My mind was so focused on my feet that I forgot I was stretching my hips. Then as soon as we moved deeper into the stretch (and stopped working with the feet), I could feel my hips. My awareness had shifted. I remembered: whatever our mind focuses on that becomes our reality.
It reminded me of the time when I was in Sedona. I went to a Sound Healing session with a gentleman and he told me to:
- “Everyday, write down 3 different things you are grateful for!”
When life is going well, it may be easy to find something to be grateful for but when life is challenging, it may be difficult to find even one. I find when I am a little whiny I probably haven’t been writing in my journal how grateful I am for the people, lessons and things in my life. Every time, I do this exercise it shifts my perspective.
- Everyday, write down something that you wish had been better. Review this in a month’s time to see if it’s something you need to acknowledge or change.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that when life’s crappy, intense emotions come up or someone has treated you badly that you should suddenly try to shift your mind onto something more positive. This can lead to an avoidance of changing your life, never acknowledging or feeling your emotions, or can lead to a lack of establishing healthy boundaries with others.
Write it down and then revisit it in a month’s time (unless it needs to taken care of right away).
- If the feeling of gratitude is related to a person, tell them and show them how grateful you are (not followed with complaining or no follow through).
How many times has someone told you they are grateful and thanked you for something but they then start complaining, mistreat you, or don’t show their appreciation? Or very rarely show their appreciation and complain more than they actually thank you. This includes how your boss/spouse treats you but also how you treat your boss/spouse. Gratitude is about feeling it, expressing it and then showing it with actions. And in order for that to happen, you need humility. A proud person is unable to acknowledge when others have helped them along the way, may even take credit for things, and easily forgets the people who helped them when they no longer need them.
Gratitude doesn’t solve everything but it can alleviate life’s burdens by shifting our perspective.