The Power of Gratitude
When I am coaching, a question I often ask is, “what is the one thing, that if you did it consistently, would have the greatest positive impact on your life”? I hear answers like exercise more, drink less coffee, lose weight. While all of these activities no doubt will be positive, I’m reminded, as women how we are so busy, “doing”, feeling like we need to change ourselves and seldom stop to just be more of who we are.
I recently had occasion to ponder “the question” and my “year in review”. I sank into the stillness of my home and began listing what I was thankful for. What I realized was that it is the very small, simple things in life that bring me the greatest joy and sense of fulfillment, not tasks and certainly not “self-improvement projects. I get a sense of fulfillment from hings like hearing my children laughing, the mist over the water, the depth and comfort of a longstanding friendship.
As I sat that early morning, I was reminded that the positive impact was a result, not of doing but of being, of allowing myself reflective time to sink into the “beingness” of me and open to the power of thanksgiving, gratitude and blessings. For me, using gratitude and blessing brings a feeling of putting on the “rose coloured glasses”, a feeling of objectivity, a sense of expansiveness.
I was challenged recently in my commitment to this belief when faced with an unexpected and painful loss. I found myself slipping into a place of hurt, blame and criticism. The word “blessing” popped into my mind and I quickly said a blessing for the situation. It went something like this; “blessings on this situation as I know that it is all for the best and that through the pain and sadness, a greater good will come.” By saying those words I was able to set aside the “righteous victim voice” of “poor me” and had the sense of an easing and softening of my emotions.
So, ask yourself, the earlier question, “what is the one thing if integrated into your life regularly, would have the greatest positive impact”? Experiment with using blessings, gratitude and thanksgiving and feel yourself open into a deeper sense of your “beingness”. Start by making a list of at least 20 things that you are thankful for. Every day, give yourself time to sink into your “beingness” and feel gratitude. Send out blessings to your friends, family, all people and situations and imagine the world taking on a rosy glow!
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
– Melody Beattie, Author
In peace & mindfulness,
Zoey Ryan BSc., PCC
executive ~ leadership ~ life coach for wise women
values based leadership & life coaching to set your heart on fire and soothe your soul!
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
~ Mary Oliver from the poem A Summers Day