“It’s not what you have but how you respond to what you have that invites happiness into your life.” (Yvette Durham)
There is a strikingly stunning yellow tree that announces springtime in Florida called the Tabebuia tree. I think of it as my gratitude tree because it reminds me of not only the beauty of life, but its impermanence. See, it only blooms for a matter of weeks in March. Everything, likewise, we hold dear in the world of form will eventually wilt and fall. Let us this day relish with every sense all we love, let’s absorb it into our hearts and consciously soak our minds in thanks for it.
It’s been my experience that people do believe in the power of gratitude. It’s hard not to feel the immediate positive effect of giving thanks. Just spending a few moments marinating in what you are grateful for is such an instantaneous access point to a more joy-filled feeling experience. So we often don’t need convincing, but maybe a gentle reminder to invite a gratitude practice into our life.
1) Wear a hairband on our wrist, every time we catch sight of it fuse our mind with something we feel grateful for.
2) At nighttime smile sleepily into 3 things that the day gifted you with; sunshine, a friendly bank clerk, a delicious new recipe.
3) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, a time of reflective thanks. How about kick-starting your family dinner conversation with what you are feeling most grateful for.
4) Rhonda Byrne is arguably one of the happiest human beings gracing the planet today. She works for her joy though:-) Gratitude, she says, is the hallmark of happiness.
“Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for. You have to make a start, and then the law of attraction will receive those grateful thoughts and give you more just like them.” ― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret
So for a feel-good read, treat yourself to the books that have swept incredible success around the globe ‘The Secret,’ ‘The Power’ or her later book solely dedicated to gratitude, ‘The Magic.’
5) Your mind is like an unstable rock climber; it will grab onto any rock (thought) it possibly can. If you don’t bring more consciousness into your thoughts, they will cling onto any ill-footing, sharp, jagged rock, perhaps veering you off to the left and the right, round in circles but rarely upwards, to the summit of what you say it is you want. Latch onto grateful thoughts, allow them to pull you feelings up, up, up the scaling heights of Life.
Practice gratitude walking to the bathroom, driving to work, running with the dog. Make giving thanks your mind’s default switch.
One thing being in the war-torn impoverished country of Sierra Leone taught me is that happiness equates to exulting life’s simple gifts; a meal that leaves you satisfied (not poorly), clear, crisp water, playtime outside with friends, blessed by abundant, life-supporting sheets of rain.
To quote Mr. Stacks in the brilliant new movie ‘Annie,’ “Sometimes what you’re looking for is right in front of your face.”
We get so busy looking to amass more and more that we forget to stop and embrace what we already have. And what we already have are the things that we oftentimes used to think would make us happy. Yet still the never-ending cycle of wanting more and more continues.
We all have things that light up our life right here, right now. The million dollar happiness question is, do you see them?