February 3rd - Welcome to day 3 of the Myrrhmade Love Where You Are Challenge!
Come on in and join us!
Day 8: Gratitude
Just as there's always something to celebrate, there are always things for which to be grateful.
Our brains are wired to search for what's wrong and it's helped us survive as a species. Today however, most of us don't have to use much of our brain power to keep an eye out for snakes, predators, or even other threats to our lives.
In order to harness the power of our brains, we have to outsmart some of the unconscious processes that shape many of our actions but don't necessarily lead to the type of enjoyment we each want.
Write a gratitude list. Actively think of things you feel gratitude for in your life: ten things, twenty things, however long you'd like. Leave behind the shoulds and focus on where you're feeling grateful at the moment. Tuning our mind to gratitude helps us notice things that contribute to our ease and ability to be happy.
For an extra challenge, try a week of writing at least five different things each day.
It's so easy to focus on what we don't have or the things that still aren't the way we'd like them. Focusing on what we do have, particularly things for which we longed, can help us shift our lives to an abundant mindset and make it much easier to love where we are.
I've kept a gratitude journal on and off over the years. I find doing it too often (or to many each day) gets repetitive and I let the practice fall away. When I pick the practice up again it's fresh and helpful and new.
It's interesting to look back at years past and see what I was focused on and grateful for and see both the differences and the similarities.
Daily Mindset Mantra: Happiness is available right now, focus on how great it is to have what you have.
We like to play a gratitude game where we think of all the people involved in something like our meal. Similar to a family tree, the list gets broader and broader the farther back you go and it helps to remember how many people are really connected to each thing we have or eat.
It goes something like this, being grateful for:
The person who bought the ingredients and cooked this soup.
The person who earned the money to buy the ingredients.
The people who harvested and packaged and transported these to the store.
The people at the store who unpacked the produce and put it out on the shelves.
The cashiers who ring out the sale and the people who delivery our food.
The people who grew the carrots, celery, lentils, and the herbs.
The people who make it possible for us to turn on the faucet and have potable water come out.
The people who make it possible for us to turn a knob and cook our food.
The people who designed and manufactured and packaged and sold and transported the faucets, the pipes, and our stove.
The people who designed and made and sold and transported the bowls and spoons.
The people who grew the linen and those who wove and those who packaged and sold and transported our napkins.
The people who grew the fibers and made the cloth and cut and sewed the pieces and sold and transported our clothes (because we wouldn't want to eat hot soup naked!)
The cows and the farmers who made the butter and wrapped it and packaged it and transported it and sold it.
The people who grew the grain and ground it into flour and bagged it and transported it and sold it.
All the people that love and support the people who do all these things that make it possible for us to eat this delicious soup.
It goes on and on until there are hundreds if not thousands of people we are grateful for because they made this simple meal of lentil soup and toast possible.
I really enjoyed reading back through some entries in my gratitude journal. The earlier entries are more than two years before I became a mom, shortly after my husband returned from his first deployment.
While the entries are intermittant, there are many from before I even knew I was pregnant with our second child.
It felt like visiting with an old friend to take up my gratitude practice again. Here are 48 things from the last couple of days for which I am grateful.
Make sure to check back here tomorrow for the next challenge, the next tips, and the next dose of the Myrrhmade Love Where You Are Challenge.