Last month we were inspired to practice gratitude for our physical selves, to better ourselves from the inside out. This month, after diving deep into John Kralik’s “A Simple Act of Gratitude : How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life”, we’re taking gratitude a step further, using it to improve our relationship with the worlds around us-- our families, friends, loved ones, nature, work, etc.
Once we establish a gratitude-relationship with our physical body, we recognize the power of gratitude in the relationship with all that surrounds us. In his book, Kralik explored writing thank-you cards as a way of expressing gratitude, for anything and everything. These notes were his tool to take suffering relationships and revive them, not taking any relationship for granted, while also finding the positive in those he never before valued.
So how do we use this tool? Here’s what we’ve got so far:
Thank you, roommate, for sharing your dinner with me last night,
...I was so exhausted, you made my day.
Thank you, doctor, for giving me a thoughtful diagnosis last week,
...I was so scared, but you made me feel like it is going to be okay.
Thank you, mom, for calling me once a week,
...I can get too caught up in my busy schedule, but you remind me of the important things in life.
Thank you, to my ex, for keeping our dog’s best interest in mind, and letting my walk him once a week,
...He is so special to my life, and I don’t want to lose him, although our parting was for the best.
Thank you, boss, for the constructive feedback on my latest project,
...I worked really hard, and although you suggested I make changes, I appreciate your perspective and commitment to my success.
To you, barista, for never forgetting my order,
...You help me start every day feeling cared for.
Wow, that felt good. Now let us remember that the timing of these thank-you cards is of the essence. The hardest time to express gratitude is when we don’t feel it at all. So, make a conscious effort. Take out a pen and paper exactly in those moments of self-pity, of frustration, and of anger. Gratitude is exactly the tool to get rid of invasive negativity. Through this exercise, we remember that there is never a lack of good things in this world, it is all a matter of perspective.
Let us all set an intention today, and every day, to find gratitude, even in the toughest of times.
What are you grateful for? Let’s spread the positivity.
With gratitude, be well.