16 Aug the magic of gratitude
It’s been a while now that I began tapping into the power of gratitude. It all began years ago with Sarah Ban Breathnach attributing gratitude with all around joy, satisfaction and abundance. I knew it sounded like a great idea but it wasn‘t until I actually won a small orange (and quite magical) gratitude journal. As I began to use it in the mornings before I launched into my day I noticed a big shift in my daily attitude. Something as simple as starting the day with reflecting on what I’m thankful for, whether it be a long list or just one humble little thing, made the difference palpable.
It has been unfortunate that in the far from lazy, super-crazy days of summer I got out of the habit of writing in my gratitude journal. No time to myself has translated to not grounding myself in gratitude, which has wreaked havoc on my state of mind. I have been attributing my mood swings to merely being out of the normal school year routine. That part of things is obviously out of my control. But what about the routine I enjoyed during the school year that I can control? Like spending 20 minutes getting myself into the right frame of mind through gratitude? I could still do that, of course, but for some reason, trying to carve out that time amidst summer chaos feels futile. More than anything, I’ve known I need some quiet time to myself.
The good news? I have found a new way to get both! I know, I know, its super-awesome. I have begun walking the neighborhood on a regular basis. I used the term regular loosely as I have never really embraced any kind of regular exercise. So, what’s the good news part? I have begun to consider my walks Gratitude Walks. Just a small perspective change that has transformed my dread toward having to walk to dog into something I look forward to. Who knew it could be that easy?
As I begin my walk, I begin to notice my breath, slow, steady and deep. I feel the air on my face, close my eyes for a moment and then as I begin to move I smile to myself and think about all the things I’m grateful for. I have found that being in motion helps me think of things that I can so easily take for granted. The sky, the ground, the whimsy of dandelions. My house and neighborhood. My legs, my heart, my mind. Sometimes I take my camera and walk slowly with the intention of focusing simple beauty (especially in the early evening hours) but mostly I just walk at a steady pace feeling the soothing rhythm of my steps. My Gratitude Walks are working wonders for my heart in more ways that one. Oh, have I mentioned my magic Gratitude Shoes?
A few weeks back New Balance came knocking on my virtual door asking if I’d like to try out a pair of their new TrueBalance toning shoes. Being the non-exercise type, I was hesitant. That was until I realized I have never had a pair of real athletic shoes. Then I thought about my Gratitude Walks and how I, in fact, was exercising, in my own way, for my mental health and that was inadvertently good for my body as well. I love it when the unintentional “fringe” benefits are as awesome as the intentional immediate benefits. When I heard more about what New Balance whole wellness message was and I thought about how perfectly synchronic the timing and even the name of the shoes was in relation to my personal journey (seriously, if I could have chosen a name of these shoes myself, TrueBalance would have probably been on my list!) I took it as a big affirming nod from the Universe,
Keep walking in gratitude Tracey. Just keep walking.
My new shoes were delivered nearly 2 weeks ago now and I am smitten. A lovely aqua blue; bright and cheery enough to keep me mindful with every step. They not only remind me to keep stepping into gratitude they help me feel more grounded, true, and yes, balanced. See what I mean about magic?
Please share where your steps are taking you this week. What are you grateful for? It’s Monday after all and Monday’s are about sharing around here!