Simple Self care No.2 – Gratitude, takes approx 4 mins to read, plus there is a 2 minute video to watch.

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.”

Dalai Lama

Need I say more!

Negative feelings

For many years I woke each morning with an assortment of negative feelings. These could range from acute anxiety to down right dread. Now I have the pleasure of waking, most mornings, feeling glad to be alive and delighted to have another crack at this thing called life.

I can’t credit a gratitude practice with all of this transformation, but it definitely played a part. 

Self care suggestion

So, my second self care suggestion is to try practicing gratitude. On waking, giving yourself a hug, see Simple Self Care No.1 – hug and then, as you do so, think about three things you feel grateful for.

I often begin with deep appreciation for my warm and comfortable bed. Any dissenting thoughts are seen off with a reminder of the refugees in Paris who had their tents taken away, or those in Lesbos whose whole camp burned to the ground. 

 

How fortunate

Next I may think about how fortunate I am to have my children. I faced infertility and IVF treatment so it is a miracle I ever become a mother. You can read more about that in my blog The Agony of Trying to Get pregnant.

I think about what a privilege it has been to watch them develop and grow in to the fascinating young adults they now are. What an incredible roller-coaster ride parenting has been, but punctuating the challenges there have been many many wonderful moments.

Soon after birth I remember looking at my son lying next to me and saying “hello you”, as I experienced the strange feeling that we’d met before.

I have a cracking memory of watching my daughter dance around the living room in my Grandmother’s old nylon negligee. Gran bought it for a Town Women’s Guild trip to Paris in the early 70’s. At the time I thought it was the most magical and glamours thing I’d ever seen. It still swells my heart to remember my daughter so unaware and in the moment.

Intention

Try setting an intention to remember some of the wonderful moments in your life. Then allow yourself to gently glide back over your timeline, as if you are floating back in time.  Drop into something wonderful that happened to you. Re-visit how it felt, give thanks for having had that experience in your life.

Or go forward in time, connect with what bounty is to come. I know that I have warm water to bathe in and the pleasure of scented soap and soft towels, followed by a healthy breakfast to nourish my body.

Seeking out the good

When we set our intention on seeking out the good, the positive, the rewarding and satisfying we send a conscious command to our unconscious minds. 

It is a wonderful gift to ourself, especially at the start of our day, to drop into the feeling of appreciation that accompanies grateful thoughts. 

Try it.

It may require some discipline.  Our minds try to wander back to well worn neural pathways, so persevere, it’s worth it. We literally start to rewire our neurology. 

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.

A. A. Milne

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