21 July 2011

Mindfulness Challenge #1 - Gratitude

After following Hybrid Rasta Mama's Mindful Mothering Challenge, I decided I wanted to do something similar (yet different) for myself. Thus, I created my own Mindfulness Challenge with specific "problems" I wanted to work on.

For my first task, I decided to focus on gratitude. Not so long ago, my pastor mentioned this question in one of his weekly talks: How can we get anything new if we aren't grateful for what we already have? So many people are constantly in a state of "want;" wanting new clothes, wanting a better car, wanting a better job, etc. without stopping all the wanting and genuinely being thankful for everything that has already been given to them. I, like most of you, am guilty of wanting many things: I'd like to have some newer clothes, some day I'd like a newer car and I would like a job teaching as an adjunct because I feel it would afford me the best of both worlds, some extra income and time to spend with my children.

There is a ton of stuff in my house, stuff that no one sees or uses, and yet here it sits. How can we expect to bring anything new and useful in if we aren't properly using what is already here? I have started giving away many, many things on a regular basis that I know we don't use to make way for the new things I know are coming to us.

Another thing I have done is to start writing weekly Gratitude Posts to overtly express all that I am grateful for each week. It is enough for me to know that I am grateful, but I have already been so fortunate to have several other people join me in expressing their own gratitude. It's hard for me to express how grateful and happy this actually makes me because though I had hoped my gratitude would speak to others, I never presumed that so many others would be interested in joining me in reflection. I am so amazed at how much my thankfulness has grown and continues to grow in myself and through others.

The work that goes into being grateful is never truly done, but I feel that I have made the best start in creating a more thankful atmosphere in my life. I want to live my life in thankfulness and absolutely exude gratitude in every moment of every day. I want to be thankful from the moment I awaken to the moment I go to sleep at night and allow gratitude to govern my actions. I've said this before, but I believe that acting out of gratitude is equal to acting out of love. In either case, only good things can come from your actions.

No one has ever been hurt from being too grateful (at least not that I know of!) and as I continue to be mindful about including gratitude in my life I know that with gratitude, all good things will follow. I will be thankful everyday for things that I have had in my life, everything I have now and all the things I will have when I need them.

Thank you for being here. I hope you will thank at least one person today.


  1. Can I start by thanking you? As you know, I have found this gratitude business to be contagious, and I'm grateful for that!

  2. I am thankful for your thankfulness... ;) You are welcome, too!