Monday, February 16, 2009

MPOW #4 - Showing Gratitude

For some reason last Monday I was having a bummer of a day. I did not feel like eating or going out. So I sat down to journal my thoughts and feelings. I quickly became bored with being bummed out, so I began listing things that I was grateful for. This was an incredibly therapeutic practice. Just a short list of items in, I got a surge of energy, happiness, and I was hungry. I went out for a terrific meal, met up with friends, and made a wonderful night of it. It is so simple and so powerful. Here in the US, we re-learn the joy of this every Thanksgiving, and it is wonderful to get into it. We do not need to wait for a holiday. Try this practice every day this week.

The Practice
Sit down with your favorite writing tools and begin writing what comes to mind, whatever your thoughts are feelings are. If you're using a computer, give yourself a rule - no backspace key (typos are ok). Do not edit what you write, just let whatever comes come. When you are ready for it, guide your writing to a practice of gratitude. Just begin enumerating a list of all the things that you are grateful for, whatever comes to you.

- I am grateful for <who> <why>.

Example list:
- I am grateful for Agent K whose playfulness reminds me to enjoy the simple things around us.
- I am grateful for Edison for inventing the lightbulbs that enable me to read and write when it is dark out.
- I am grateful for the manufacturers of the clothing that I'm wearing for keeping me warm.
- I am grateful for the restaurant who cooked my dinner tonight.

Do this for as many as you can focus on. You will probably get onto a roll. I recommend setting your minimum at 20.

Another approach is to choose one person or one thing and then write in depth about your gratitude for it.

Afterwards, record how you feel. Later, you can compare how you felt at the beginnning with how you felt at the end.

Dedication - This post is dedicated to the people who installed the street light outside my condo. Thank you for your hard work doing a job that needed to be done. Agent K is currently playing with his own shadow cast by the light, and it is adorable.

Request for Comments
  • What was your experience with this practice?
  • Do you find that this helps?
  • Do you have a different way of showing gratitude?
  • How does this change the way that you live?

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