I’m grateful. Really. I am. I have so much for which to be grateful. I have a beautiful home, a loving husband, two very cuddly cats. I have great friends, great health, and lots of opportunities to grow and to learn.
But I also have a father with health issues, a mother with dementia, and the stress of launching and promoting my new book. Why is it so much easier to focus on those things?
We do, though, don’t we? Focus on the negative things? It’s almost as if we’re conditioned to complain.
That’s why a gratitude practice is so important. Yes, a practice. We need to make gratitude a habit, or at least I do. I know when I am in the habit of gratitude, things seem so much easier, lighter, more joyful. Why? Because I’m focused on the positive things in my life. I’m focused on what’s good and hopeful.
An even more powerful gratitude practice is to be grateful for things that haven’t happened yet.
A friend of mine shared that practice with me. She read it in a book. I’ll have to get back to you on the title and author. But it’s a really powerful practice. Together with the traditional gratitude practice of being grateful for what’s good in your life, being grateful for the future is transformative.
The best example that I can think of in my own life is my book, Ascending Ladders. I was having trouble finishing it. I had all the ideas; my characters were talking to me and taking control of the story, but I wasn’t getting it all written down.
So, I decided to be grateful for the completion of my book by a specific date.
Yes, it was very specific. It was kind of like setting a goal or a deadline for myself, but it didn’t feel as threatening, as serious, as overwhelming. I was just grateful for my book being completed by that date. There was an enormous sense of freedom and joy in that, as if the burden was no longer mine alone.
And the book was completed by that specific date! No, it wasn’t the final draft. It was the first draft that went to my self-publishing program leader, Tom Bird. But it was a complete draft, and once that was completed, the rest of the process, including my revisions, rolled along. Completing the first draft and turning it in was the key to everything else falling into place. The book became a place of joy for me.
I’m grateful for so much related to my book. I’m grateful for my husband’s support in giving me the freedom to write it. I’m grateful for my coach Cyndie’s support in helping me see and realize my dreams. I’m grateful for the people at Tom Bird Seminars and JetLaunch for the guidance, editing and formatting of the book. I’m grateful for the folks who read the book in advance and gave me feedback. I’m even grateful for Amazon and IngramSpark for providing the platforms to distribute my book. And of course, I’m grateful for all the people that have bought and read it.
I’m also grateful that the sequel to the book will be published in 2020, although I need to be more specific on that date, don’t I?
Do you have a gratitude practice? You can start today. Just jot down three things for which you are grateful. Tomorrow, pick three more. And one day this week, pick something that you want to happen in the future. Be grateful for that too. Do you get a sense of freedom too?
Light up your life with gratitude.
You’ll be surprised at how many other lives will be lit up too!