Week 1: Become A Noticer
Welcome to Week 1 of our Gratitude Challenge! Today, we’re going to start with the very simple practice of noticing. You don’t even need a journal for our first week’s reflection and action; all you need is an open heart and an open mind.
A long time ago, I got some great advice from a fortune cookie (that does happen from time to time). It said, “You find joy in the little things in life. Do not lose this ability.”
Cultivating the ability to find joy in our everyday lives, especially the little things, was something I always tried to do growing up, and I still try to keep this fortune in mind.
Some call that being an optimist. I call it looking on the sunny side.
I’ve learned that, to encourage everyday joy in the little things, you need to practice gratitude.
A grateful heart is a heart that notices good things that are already present. In other words, when you’re grateful, you’re constantly seeing all the good that you have in your life.
You’re not constantly frustrated about what you don’t have.
Not constantly searching for the next thing you’re going to get.
Rather, you’re always on the lookout for good things that are coming into your life. And when you notice these things, you give thanks for them.
A delicious meal…
A stunning sunset…
A car that you love to drive…
A peaceful walk with a loved one…
Friends who make you laugh…
If you want to be grateful, you must regularly notice all the good things, big and small that come into your life.
When you do this, you allow your heart to be filled with gratefulness and peace.
Decide today that you are going to notice at least ten things that you are grateful for.
Start noticing as soon as you open your eyes. Make an effort to notice something you’re grateful for within the first five minutes of waking up. (I usually choose either my husband or one of my cats, whoever is closer).
If nothing comes to mind, simply be grateful that you’re alive! You’ve got another glorious day to live, another day to experience wonderful sights and sounds and tastes, another day to be filled with joy.
The moment you notice something, give thanks for it. It can help if you audibly say, “Thank you for [insert thing you’re grateful for].”
By saying it out loud, you’re actively reminding yourself of the good that has come into your life.
You shouldn’t have any trouble noticing ten things to be grateful for. If you get to ten early in the day, go for TWENTY! The more you’re grateful, the happier you’ll be.
Okay, now it’s time to practice. After you spend some time in Gratefulness Mode, write how you felt in the comments below. I’d love to hear about all the little things in your life you found to be grateful for.
And, come back next Tuesday, because we’re going to start keeping a gratitude journal to help you get grateful and stay grateful.
See you then!