31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 17 {Gratitude}

Day 17

Earlier this month, I participated in an activity with my friends at Friends in Bloom surrounding gratitude. We wrote down things we were grateful for each day for 14 days, adding new things every day and ending with a list over 200. Whew! It was a lot!

{Gratitude} has a beautiful way of changing your mindset and challenging your way of thinking. It is the only thing that can immediately counteract a pity party and it does it purely by praise.

It seems to be so easy to find the broken things in our lives. The things we want to improve or the things we want to change. We look for those things both inside and outside of ourselves. What’s worse is that we find them everywhere. But what about the good stuff? What about the great stuff we already have right now?

Whatever you are thankful for and in whatever way you choose to express it, I would challenge you to consider gratitude as your new super power. Sure, we’d all like to fly or be invisible or have x-ray vision, but let’s just face the facts that our comic book heroes have those avenues covered already. I want my super power to be gratitude.

Nothing will change your attitude like gratitude will. Nothing can harness your inner power like gratitude can. And nothing will inspire a call to action in the way that merely counting your blessings will. It is truly magical.

I was somewhat surprised at my list as I reflected on the things I was grateful for.

Sometimes it was people and sometimes it was feelings. I am deeply thankful for my sweet husband and I am also thankful for love.

Sometimes it was belongings and sometimes it was concepts. I am ever so grateful for my home, car, and coffee maker but I am also grateful for freedom of speech and the sharing of ideas.

And sometimes I was thankful for such random things. One day I was thankful for huckleberry pie and puppy kisses!

It is surprising what your heart settles on when you quiet the complaints and begin to ponder the amazing blessings in your life.

What are you thankful for in your life?

How are you currently expressing your gratitude?

When you recognize “it” as a blessing, then what?

It is the “then what’s” that I want to focus my attention toward. I am thankful and I appreciate my blessings, but so what? What then?

The “what then” is as individual as each of us I believe, but it should certainly be part of the gratitude equation. The feeling of gratitude that can turn your day around is really only a “super power” if you use it for the greater good.

What if we are so inspired by our gratitude that we spread it around within our families and social circles? What if that motivates us to give kindness and love to everyone we meet? And what if we even take it steps farther by doing nice things for people we don’t even know who will never even know we did them? What then?

Well, we have then effectively turned that gratitude into action and multiplied the results in an infinite way. Just as we can save one negative thought at a time with the practice of gratitude, maybe we can begin to save the world. Lofty dreams, but why bother dreaming small?

Start by recognizing what you are grateful for. Actively express appreciation for those blessings. Then move on to sharing your blessings within your circle. I hope you will begin honing your new super power today!

 

*This is the 17th post in a 31 day series on Soul Searching. To follow the series from the beginning, simply click here and you will be directed to the introductory post which contains links to each day’s topic.

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