Gratitude can be a hard word to write. If you’re like me, you’re never confident that you have put the right number of Ts in it. It can also be a tough feeling to express when you’re feeling your overwhelmed by your personal responsibilities, the insanity of our political reality, the state of the world, and the stress of your holiday schedule. But gratitude is actually one of our best resources for coping with all that shit, so let’s try an exercise to help ourselves really feel it.
Take a deep breath - and let it out. That was a practice breath. You’re doing great!
This breath, focus on the word “love” as you inhale, then “gratitude” as you exhale. Repeat this until you start to replace the word “love” with actual things that you love, like your friends, your coffee, your art, your pets, your siblings, sparkling wine, PTO, yoga, wool socks, watching your daughters lose their shit over zoo animals, seeing your mom after her surgery, your husband’s recent improvement in baking, texts from the people who love you… I could go on, but I’m quite confident that you get the idea.
Keep focusing your exhale on gratitude. You may switch it up to “thank you,” but the point is to balance what you love in your life with appreciation for it. If we are to believe science and that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, then gratitude is the reaction to the force of love. Perhaps even acknowledging the presence of gratitude can help us recognize the feeling of love?
So good luck next week with your family time, feasts and complete lack of structure. May every breath help you feel love and give thanks.