Earlier in the week I came across this quote from Oprah Winfrey: "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never have enough." I think that the more gratitude and appreciation we can bring into our lives the happier we become. That extends to being grateful for the people we have in our lives. I see gratefulness and appreciation as a habit - something you need to consciously practice every day to become good at it and make it part of the way that you see your life.
To help you develop the gratitude and appreciation habit, I am going to share with you an exercise in Gratitude and Appreciation I have adapted from a book by Joyce and Barry Vissel called The Heart's Wisdom. Joyce and Barry have a beautiful and loving perspective on relationships that shines through in their work and the many books they have written about their own successes and at times struggles in creating a loving relationship.
Gratitude and appreciation can open the door of your heart to any person or situation in your life.
For a loved one:
For one week focus all your gratitude and appreciation upon someone close to you. Pay attention to the little, and usually unnoticed, things as well as the big things this person does for you. Whenever you can, thank them for something they have done no matter how small. At the end of the week reflect on the good things they have done and think about all the reasons you are grateful that you have this person in your life. Share this with them with the intention that you never take them for granted.
For a situation:
When you feel grateful for all the situations in our lives you can better let go of the past and be less concerned about the future, dwelling more in the present moment. In a quiet space reflect on all the situations in your life that bring you happiness. Feel the gratefulness that these situations are in your life. Now reflect on a situation that it is hard to be grateful for. Look for the way that this situation has brought you a valuable lesson and an opportunity for growth. As you can embrace this situation with gratitude and appreciation, the gift and the growth will be more fully in your life. If you cannot be grateful now, leave it open that you will in time find the gift and the growth.
It can take as little as 5 minutes a day to make a huge shift in the way you see your life and bring you more happiness.
photo acknowledgement: http://www.onestopwebmasters.com/top-10-spring-season-wallpapers/