The Holiday season brings 'gratitude' to the forefront of our minds. It seems every time you turn around, someone is talking about gratitude -- TV, radio, commercials, promotions, events all contain a message of gratitude. Oprah has openly built her life and empire with an "attitude of gratitude" -- mindset, journals, books, TV, film, interviews, meditations. So what does gratitude really mean? And how do we get there?
It all begins with each of us -- Our commitment. Our focus. Our ability to surrender.
Yes, surrender. This is not about ego, it's about getting real -- cards face up on the table -- accepting what has been given to us, be it life supporting or life challenging, with an open heart and open mind. They are all "gifts", and it's our responsibility to see the growth opportunities which present themselves, especially in the most challenging times.
It's helpful to start by making a list of agreements, a 'contract' of sorts, with yourself. Gather family and friends to share and grow the gratitude --- and creating a circle of like-minded people could be helpful to keep on track if this is new to you.
Side effect: The more you share your circle, the more the gratitude grows.
Your contract could be the first page of your journal. Here are some examples from World Gratitude of agreements you could integrate into your own Gratitude Contract:
• I agree that a world of Love and Gratitude begins with me. I choose to be a conscious mirror and model of the change I wish to see in the world.
• I agree to consciously set an intention for manifesting something miraculous in my life throughout this process.
• I agree to tap into Gratitude on a daily basis and as much as possible in every waking moment. I know that the rewards of doing so flow through and extend beyond me, strengthening the collective field of Gratitude from which we may all derive benefit.
• I agree to be a consistently uplifting inspiration in all my interactions. I commit to see and mirror back the greatness of each soul who crosses my path. I choose to discover and nurture the light within so that it may shine forth to others and magnify their lives.
• I agree to honor each individual's right to choose their own belief system and life path.
• I agree to be open to both give and receive within this community. In all my dealings, I seek win-win, mutually edifying interactions and transactions.
• I agree to be my word in my exchanges with others. I realize that my personal influence is magnified to the degree I am able to keep my word with myself and others. If something comes up and I decide to change what I had agreed upon, then I agree to make that communication as soon as possible to the affected party.
• I agree to love and enjoy my life.
• I agree to be Grateful for myself.
These agreements set the stage to begin your path to living in greater gratitude. Feel free to add more.
We will continue to explore gratitude in depth now through January. So grab a journal and make some notes. Include details of events and experiences, and how they make you feel...whatever that may be. Be candid. Write freely. The more honest the notes, the more you will uncover about yourself.
Side effect: Breakthroughs. Getting over life hurdles that have held you back. Elevating your quality of life.
Eventually, you'll grow to a point where you automatically give thanks as events occur (in the moment), no matter the circumstances. It's humbling. It's revealing. It's gratitude.
Wishing you a truly blessed and Merry Christmas!