5 Ways To Create An Attitude Of Gratitude
Earlier this year I was on holiday with the family in Bali and we went on an amazing bike tour of the outlying, farming areas. On this tour we had the privilege of seeing a school, some remote communities and we visited the home of a Balinese family.
It was truly amazing and a wonderful lesson in being grateful. Not only were we (the privileged Australians) feeling grateful for all that we had as we were shown around this very, very primitive Balinese home but we also experienced the true feelings of gratefulness of these wonderful people.
I stood quietly as this family offered thanks to their Gods for the basic rice and vegetable lunch they were having – a ritual that is done at every meal. There were no toys, no TV, no radio, no toilet and barely a kitchen, yet this was this family’s life and they were happy and immensely thankful.
I reflected on how frustrated I can get when I open my fully stocked freezer and have to decide what to cook for dinner, how the kids bitch about hating peas and how nobody ever wants to pack the dishwasher.
What the hell happened to us?
How do I teach my kids the art of gratefulness?
How do I remember these feelings when I’m in my daily life bitching that the weather’s bad, the price of chicken has gone up or there’s nothing good to watch on TV?
Well, like most things, it’s about creating the habit in your life. I’ve spoken before about generating an attitude of gratitude and it really is something that will initially take some practice but is SO worth the effort.
Not sure where to start? Try some of these ideas.
Create an Attitude of Gratitude
This is a great one for stationary addicts like me. An excuse to buy (another) beautiful journal is always welcomed so get something beautiful and leave it where you will see it daily. Maybe next to your bed, beside your computer or you could update it on the train to work.
This works because you are consciously focusing your thoughts on what is good in your life and what you are thankful for – therefore restricting thoughts of lack and ungratefulness!)
Grateful / Happiness Jar
This is a great one to get the kids involved, no matter what their age, plus great if you don’t have the time or energy to write in a journal. We have this cute mason jar on the dining table and we write one thing we are grateful / thankful / happy about from that day. The kids love it and it’s great that they are focusing on the good of the day – and me too!
Yes, really!!! I know there are those weeks, where it feels like the bottom has dropped out of your life but try and stop the bitching. Stop bitching about the kids, the weather, the government, lack of time, lack of sleep, the neighbours or anything else that is pissing you off. These words have energy – negative, at that – so just close you mouth and prevent them from coming out.
I know it sounds simple but focusing on doing random acts of kindness creates a win/win for all – your recipient gets a wonderful surprise (and generally feels grateful) plus, how you feel about yourself increases (which in turn makes you a happier, more grateful person).
Be Inspired by Others
The topic of gratitude is all around at the moment so there is an endless supply of inspiration. These are my personal favourites:
– READ – 365 Thank You’s – A wonderful story of John Kralik who, struggling with his own life, thought that he may change his life if he stopped focusing on what he didn’t have and instead focused on what he did have. He set himself a goal to write 365 thank you notes over the coming year. He began to hand-write thank you’s, for gifts or kindnesses he’d received from loved ones and co-workers, from past business associates and current foes, from college friends and doctors and store clerks and handymen and neighbours, and anyone, really, absolutely anyone, who’d done him a good turn, however large or small. Purchase here>>>
– START the 365 Grateful Project – Hailey Bartholomew (from Australia) started this amazing project of taking 1 photo each day of something she was grateful for. This website now has the collection of her photographs plus stories of other grateful projects. You can also start your own project.
– GET – Free Kindness Cards – The Wake Up Project will send you a packet of Kindness Cards at no- cost so you can leave notes and make the world a better place by paying it forward with anonymous acts of kindness.
– WATCH – 30 Days Of Grateful Summer – Great inspiration for us Mum’s who see these little things in our children – that fly pass in seconds. I love that these moments have been captured to keep forever.
– MAKE – an Affirmation wall – My kids’ school did a wonderful activity where all the kids could write down their favourite positive word and put it up on the Affirmation Wall they created. It was SO wonderful to see all the kids getting involved.
– LEARN – Click on the TED talk below to learn more about happiness and being grateful.
What are you grateful for? Leave us a comment below and declare it to the world!!!!!!
Be YOU! (And be Grateful!!!)