Gratitude Practice 

Shannon Carlton

Tis the gratitude season! If you have read many of my emails you know that I am a believer in practicing gratitude. So, I wanted to visit my gratitude practice with you again this season. I think gratitude can change the world. It definitely changes the way you see the world! Beginning the practice this time of year when the season of giving is upon us and service businesses seem to slow down a bit is a great time to challenge yourself to daily gratitude. I love the practice of a daily gratitude journal because sometimes I can get really down on myself (who is with me?) By focusing on what we are thankful for each day, it makes us more receptive to the goodness that life has for us. According to author Derek Carpenter “People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.” I learned this practice over a decade ago, from none other than Oprah Winfrey. I have been a single mom for 10 years and business owner for the last 4 years. Both of those opportunities can be very challenging. It is imperative for me to journal every day 5 things I am grateful for. I want to be intentional in my gratitude and use my creativity at the same time I am seeking to be grateful for what I currently have so that I can attract more of the good! I look for the simple and complex things that happen in my day for which I can be grateful. Here is an example from my gratitude journal: I am grateful for the few precious moments I had with my daughter last night before she went to bed. I am thankful that there is healthy food for us to eat, I am thankful for a new client yesterday, I am thankful that I remembered to take out the trash, I am thankful I had a chance to say hi to the homeless man on the corner…. Practice here by writing five things you are grateful for (I want to encourage you to find a beautiful journal to write your daily thoughts of gratitude): Beginning your day being thankful brings a different attitude with you throughout the day. It can eventually help you see good even in the most dire circumstances. I remember when my dad passed away suddenly. It was one of those times in life when I could hardly function. The pain seemed to literally pull me down. He was the best of all of us. During those awful weeks and months, I continued my {fairly new} gratitude journal practice. Because of that I was able to see all the good my dad did in the world. In the midst of that pain I was uplifted by all the goodness around me. I love this practice and I hope it can help you get the best day and life that you want to create!