NEXT105 Having An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted on : 17-11-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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Having an “attitude of gratitude” puts us in the frame of mind to be looking for people, circumstances and places that we can feel grateful about.  I used to hate it when the people I was hanging out with or being mentored by would suggest such a thing to me.  It just sounded like another one of those platitudes that everyone says but don’t really mean.

And it might be a platitude but when I have an attitude of gratitude it works.  Imagine that.  A platitude that actually works, who knew?!

The best time to come up with things to feel grateful about are especially when it seems like there is absolutely NOTHING to be grateful about.  Your head hurts, you lost your job, you’re broke, you are divorced, your loved one walked out on you, your car broke down, you don’t have a car….the list goes on and on.  One thing we’re really good at doing is coming up with a list of what is wrong, especially if you’re recovering from any number of addictions (alcohol, drugs, nicotine, food, sex, money, insert-your-drug-of-choice-here).  For the past couple of years, I’ve been making it a point to focus on those things that make me grateful and just like “they” tell you—-the more you focus on something, the more you’ll see it.   Why, today I have so many things to really feel grateful about.  Like my husband, and my friends and family and my health and the Pistachio  Tree in our backyard whose leaves look like glinting gold in the sunlight.

Something I’ve been doing lately during my commutes back and forth to school is listening to one of the radio channels here in Austin which is playing 24/7 comedy.  I have a feeling that this great comedy will only be around until  someone purchases the air time and creates a new station (not being negative, just realistic) but for now it sure is making a difference in my attitude.  They happen to play some of my favorite comedians over and over like Jim Gaffigan. Here’s his skit about “Hot Pockets“.   Obscure comedy, my favorite. Before listening to this comedy show I was listening to ranting talk shows, some music and lots of news.  Talk about a way to get yourself as far away from grateful as possible! I mean, I’m all for you knowing what is going on in the world around you; however, we surely don’t need to be watching/listening/tweeting/absorbing everything news all the time unless we’re the President and even then we’d probably have someone whose job it was to just give us the cliff notes.

What we think about, what we talk about, what we focus on is what our lives end up becoming.  Still haven’t figured out how to manifest a Mazda RX-8 for myself (because I think about them all the time), but I sure do see them driving up behind me, to the side of me, pulling out of parking lots, backing into spaces in front of me so I suspect its just a matter of time before I will be driving my own!

I like to play this game with gratitude sometimes where I’ll sit outside and look into my house when the lights are on (except not for in the winter because it’s cold) kind of like I’m stalking myself but it puts me in a place where I feel like I’m looking at my life through the eyes of somebody else.  And I really like what I see.  Or I notice that I mostly like what I see but I really need to take the slip cover off of the sofa and wash it.  I’m still grateful though,  I mean I have a sofa so there’s that.

As we head into the season where many of us focus on what we have or don’t have, decide to capture an attitude of gratitude.  For two weeks before you go to sleep, list 5 things/people/places/ideas/etc. that you’re grateful for and each of those days for that two weeks the list has to include at least 5 different things.   I kind of got panicky when I first did this and thought ahead because I was just sure I wouldn’t be able to list that many things but when I realized I could even get as simple as being grateful for breathing and my heart beating, then I realized that I had this gratitude game covered. Try it.

What’s on your gratitude list today?