The fastest and most efficient thing you can do to ensure that you keep the things you love and even receive more of them in the future is to say “Thank You”, regularly and often.
Meister Eckhart: “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”
So how do you establish a regular practice of Gratefulness? Practice, practice, practice every day, being grateful for the people, places and things that enrich your life. Here are seven very helpful suggestions:
Exercise #1 – Say Grace before each meal
Pause for just a second before you eat a meal or a snack and give thanks for it. Without food and water, there would be no you.
Exercise #2 – Say Thank You as you begin and end each day.
Begin each day with an expression of Gratefulness, simply for life itself. Each morning is a time of renewal. It is t he perfect time to make a personal commitment to get the most enjoyment out of your very precious human life, one day at a time. End each day the same way. Whatever you impress on your conscious mind as you begin traveling into deepening levels of sleep automatically becomes part of your life experience – so make sure you’re thinking only about things you love and nothing else.
Exercise #3 – Say “Please” every time.
Brother David Steindl- Rast, a Benedictine Monk and a Cornell Fellow, who has devoted his whole life to the study of Gratefulness, believes that every prayer we utter, no matter how it is couched, is ultimately a prayer of Gratefulness. Even a prayer of supplication or asking, he says, is ultimately a prayer of gratitude because implicit in every “please” lies the expectation of the opportunity to say “thank you.”.
Exercise #4 – Ring your Bell
There is little doubt that our lives progress better when we develop habits that “ground” us in our faithful expectations. In India, believers often choose the sound of a bell or a chime to help them “find their ground” and “keep their Spiritual balance.”
A simple gratitude ceremony that comes out of Taoism is called the Gassho Ceremony. It can be done anytime, but is especially effective if performed before the work day begins. Simply light a candle, bow your head and assume the Gassho position, which is palms together, fingers and thumbs facing “up” in prayer – (as in the greeting – Namaste) and then silently express gratitude for whatever comes to your mind or heart.
Exercise #5 – Give Yourself a Gratefulness Intervention
A Gratefulness Intervention is especially effective for relieving painful conditions such as high stress, depression or physical or emotional pain. The practice is one of intense concentration on expressing gratitude, in minute detail, for a single object or attribute. A simple, easy to access subject for a Gratefulness Intervention is your hands. Sit in a comfortable chair in soft light and set your timer for five minutes. Then spread your hands out in front of you. Stretch them, clench them, bend each of your fingers, examine your knuckles, your nails, and your thumb and then begin to think of all the reasons you have to be grateful for your hands. Think of ways they work, ways they sooth, ways they help you explore, ways they help you communicate.
Exercise #6 – Focus on what is best about people.
Regularly recognizing and appreciating all the helpful people in your life is a great mood-shifter. For this exercise you need a small notebook that you can carry around with you all day and a pen. As you meet people you like and enjoy – write their name at the top of one page in your notebook and begin writing down good things about them. Keep building your list of good people doing good things and soon those are the only types of people you will have in your life.
Exercise #7 – Be grateful wherever you stand
Whenever you have a free moment, practice being grateful for whatever is right within your sight. If you’re at your desk, for example, start with your computer, your monitor, your printer, your phone, your calendar. However, don’t just say thank you for each person or object within your sight. Stop and think about how valuable that person or object is to you. What would be different about your life without them? As you move from place to place; from the office, to the car, to the dinner table, to bed at night, practice being grateful where you stand.
As an added bonus, being Grateful causes you to feel happier. Prosperity Guru Louise Hay’s favorite expression is: “I’ve discovered I can’t be grateful and unhappy at the same time.” No one can.
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