The day has arrived, it’s time to give thanks, practice gratitude, and manifest abundance.
And because this is a yoga community, the best way I know how to do that is through guided meditation, journaling, and sharing my love and thanks for others. And ’tis the season, right?
….. did you land here and it’s not the holidays, no worries, this meditation practice is really for every.damn.day.
So what’s the deal with gratitude, why is everyone always harping on it? After five years of being in the self-help, personal development space, gratitude continues to be talked about at length, making it apparent that there is substance behind the practice.
But how do we practice it? What is the secret ingredient behind this free, simple, and effective method?
Well like most things in life, there’s an abundance of different methods, but below are a few to spark your gratitude practice.
And don’t forget, once you’re done reading through this blog post, hit that play button and come meditate with me. I promise, the 25 minutes of getting quiet will be worth it!
This is one of the most popular gratitude practices and one I’ve done religiously and not so religiously. The principle of it is VERY SIMPLE.
Grab yourself an inspiring notebook, journal, what have you, and every morning open that baby up and write what you’re grateful for. I like to list out three things at minimum, but sometimes my list covers an entire page, depending on life circumstances, yeah.
Your entry can be SUPER DEEP or SUPER SURFACE, and guess what, neither entry is right or wrong. Some mornings I found myself recognizing my warm cup of coffee, the outfit I was wearing, and the delicious breakfast I ate. And other mornings, I wrote down things like being intimate with my husband, the conversation I had with my mom, and this incredible community right here (shoutout to the JJ Tribe, love you people).
Now, where to put this inspiring notebook/journal is the final piece to the puzzle.
Put it in a place where you’ll actually open it and write in it.
When I used to work at an office, I kept it at my desk and filled it out before my computer booted up. Now since I’m not in a cubicle (thank you lord), I keep it on my nightstand.
You choose, but just remember, make it a practice, okay?
I learned about this gratitude practice through Sheryl Sandberg, a mega girl boss in the tech industry (she’s the COO of Facebook). In her recent book, Option B, she talks about closing your day by listing out your contributions and how this supersedes the morning practice of gratitude.
While gratitude is a wonderful grounding practice, it’s often times focused on the external and not so much the internal. So this practice is all about YOU and what you contributed to your world on that day.
….. and don’t you dare tell me you didn’t contribute, because the smallest acts of living are considered a contribution, okay?
To give you an example, here’s what I would write:
- I supported my friend/business partner by giving her a few weeks off to enjoy her wedding experirence
- I did my physical therapy work and went to physical therapy, therefore contributing to my overall wellbeing
- I recorded a yoga class for sciatica to help others in discomfort/pain
I know, I know, there’s not thattttt much of a difference between the morning list and the evening list, but there’s a mental shift between recognizing “things” that you’re grateful for and contributions that you’ve given to both yourself and those who surround you.
And remember, do this one in the evening after your day is complete!
Next up and expected, meditation and hence why today’s weekly yoga class is a guided meditation (versus a movement practice).
So meditation, it’s definitely a popular topic in the wellness world and a practice that is widely encouraged, used, and benefited from. And while there are many different methods to meditate, for today we’re focusing on cultivating gratitude and abundance through visualizations and mantra work.
Here’s how we’ll do that.
First, we ground ourselves in the present moment by releasing stored/stuck tension from both the body and mind. Then, we say hello to our breath and invite it to remain present throughout the meditation.
From here, I walk us through three different visualizations in hopes that one will cultivate a sense of gratitude and abundance, and that you’ll carry this feeling throughout the rest of the meditation.
I also offer you a mantra to remain rooted in the present moment because lord knows, the monkey mind will do everything in it’s power to not remain in the present. I’m a big proponent of mantras for myself and whether you choose to use it or not, just know that it’s available to you.
We then transition into 10 minutes of silent meditation, repeating the mantra or not, and close the experience by me welcoming you back into your physical space.
Now I can’t give anymore away, so don’t even try it.
Hit that play button up above, welcome silence and stillness, and come practice gratitude and abundance with me!
Write Gratitude Letters
I loveeeeee this practice and admittedly, got it from the book I recommend below.
Essentially, the author of the book shares evidence that when we write people gratitude/love letters, we (the writer or giver) experience the biggest dose of gratitude. You would think the person receiving the letter would get the highest dosage, but in actuality, it’s the person who writes it in the first place.
How interesting is that?
And because this fact has always stuck with me, below are gratitude + love letter templates for you to start this practice. You can fill these gratitude letters out electronically, print them and handwrite into them, or copy the templates and re-create your own version whether it be through email or writing on a piece of notebook paper.
You choose how to use them, but please, use them!
Click the box below to download your gratitude letters today.
Read this Book
And last on the list for gratitude practices, and then for real, it’s time to sit our butts down and meditate.
I encourage you to read this book – The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life
This is an awesome read that highlights the many gratitude methods, benefits, and the science behind practicing gratitude. And it’s an easy, enjoyable read too.
And now the time has come.
Please find yourself a comfortable seat, remove any distractions, take a deep breath, and let’s practice meditation to cultivate gratitude and abundance this holiday season.
I’l meet you there, xoxo.