Over recent years “the need for” and “how to” cultivate gratitude has blossomed into a full-fledged industry.
A week ago, a friend who is just beginning her career was over for dinner. On the kitchen table I have a small vase of multicolored polished stones. While we were visiting she emptied the vase and spread the stones on the table, picking them up, feeling them in her hand, and looking at each one. We continued visiting and a little later she held up a stone and asked, “can I take this one with me?”
“Of course,” I replied. Before I could inquire she volunteered, “I just heard a speaker talk about the importance of gratitude and he carries a small stone in his pocket and he said that when it he touches the stone that’s his reminder to be thankful. I thought I would carry a stone also and I like this one.”
Great! And immediately my coaching hat came out of the cabinet. I said to her, “I want you to go deeper.”
A drawn out, half-inquisitive “Okay” was her response, but she leaned in so I knew she was willing to explore.
“Why wait until you touch the stone? Rather, hook your gratitude to things you do every day – and there are thousands of them – and you will feel your heart, your mind, and the world around you open up.”
And my favorite:
5. Anytime you hear someone reference “today.” Maybe “what day is it today?” or “what’s today’s date?” or even “tomorrow we will….” You are so practiced with this habit that the first thought in your mind is, “thank you for today.”
I hope this post hangs with you long after you read it and you practice “hooking” your thoughts of gratitude, not to a stone that you occasionally touch, but to the endless opportunities that live each day for you to do so.
I love the thoughts of San Francisco based One Medical psychologist, Christine Celio, PhD:
Giving thanks for what we value makes us really consider what we do value, it allows us to clarify our priorities and think about how we are living. Is what we are doing consistent with what our values are? And if not, what can we do to live more in line with what we believe? Thinking about gratitude can do more than benefit us emotionally – it can encourage us to change our behavior to live differently, and, hopefully, better.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.
With love and gratitude,