the gift of gratitude

I truly believe that gratitude is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Practicing a life of gratitude can provide clarity, peace of mind and it opens our heart and soul to the possibility of wonderful things. It is good for your health and a good method of keeping perspective.

But what do I mean by practicing gratitude? Isn't gratitude given by thanking that random person who held the door open for you or buying your mom flowers on Mother's Day?

For best results, a daily practice of gratitude is key - not just on the occasions where we feel socially obligated. There are simple methods of infusing gratitude into your every day, such as keeping a gratitude journal. Personally, I'm not so great on the writing down. I have an alarm on my phone, and when it rings my mind automatically begins to reflect on my gratitude. Those sixty seconds are my daily practice.

If you want to celebrate gratitude in a big way, throw a party. Invite all those who bring gratitude into your life. Cook them a meal, engage in conversation and share what you're grateful for. This doesn't have to happen on Thanksgiving. Get creative with your methods of expression. Maybe you tell them one-on-one, or maybe you have personalized gift bags to hand out when each guest leaves and inside are all the reasons you are grateful for them?

Gratitude is not a chore.

Here's a real challenge for you, let's call it the 108 reasons of gratitude. Grab your mala (say what, you don't have a mala? I love Tiny Devotions or Mala Collective.) Get comfortable, like you're about to meditate. This is, after all, a form of meditation. For each bead on your mala, verbalize something you are grateful for. Big or small, whatever has impacted your world. Repeat for each bead. Don't express the same form of gratitude twice.

We all have more than 108 reasons to be grateful. The real challenge is in recognizing what those reasons are. But the power that comes with acknowledging them will bring balance and energy throughout your week.

Megan te Boekhorst