Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! I have been reflecting on the importance of gratitude for transformation.
Then, over the weekend I was talking with my daughter, she was having a hard day and also a disagreement with a friend. She lamented, “No one is ever there for me.” Immediately, I said, “I am always here for you.” Her comment back, “You are my mother, you are a given.” Then, I responded, “There are bad mothers out there, I am one of the great ones.”
Yes, I tooted my horn for a minute. I admit that I was surprised that she so casually dismissed our close relationship as a “given” in her life. It felt like I didn’t count because I was always there. I quickly dismissed this thought by remembering what I was like in my early twenties. I am not sure if I recognized everything that my parents did for me. Then I moved from that thought to deep gratitude that I raised my daughter with confidence and security so that support from mom seems like a “no brainer.” I started thinking about how many things that I think are “givens’ in my life. What was I taking for granted?
As I reflected on this dialogue, I thought about how easy it is to dismiss the “givens” in our life.
Whatever seems readily available is taken for granted. Whatever we feel we lack in our lives becomes a primary and sometimes all-consuming focus.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” —Oprah WinfreyClick to tweet
This tendency is normal.
This tendency is why it is important to deliberately focus on gratitude. Focusing on gratitude keeps us in a place of wonder and deep appreciation.
That’s why I make gratitude a part of my daily practice and I especially love that we have a holiday devoted to the topic of Thanksgiving.
When we focus on being thankful, we see all the good that is happening. When we focus on gratitude, we are happier.Click to tweet
A daily gratitude practice is as simple as taking a few minutes to write down a list of things and people we are thankful for. Do this every day.
Once, during a class that I was teaching on abundance, I had each person reflect on the abundance of everything they were wearing at that moment. Were they wearing shoes? What clothes? Eyeglasses? A nice smile (dental care)? Handbag? Jewelry? Makeup? Wallet with cash, credit cards, checkbook, drivers license, insurance card?
Most people easily reached several thousands of dollars without even counting designer brands. How would that look?
Let’s look at a conservative estimate for someone in Europe, Canada, Australia or the U.S. (Do your own numbers- these amounts could easily be quadrupled or more)
However, these amounts might be less depending on your country. By doing this simple exercise, though, you will get the abundance message:
- Shoes $50
- Socks $5
- Pants $50
- Top $65
- Undergarments (women) $50
- Jacket $75
- Glasses $300
- Nice smile (braces) $5500
- Handbag $40
- Wedding Rings $3500
- Rings (Other) $200
- Bracelet $60
- Earrings $35
- Necklace $90
- Cosmetics $150
- Skincare $75
- Wallet $50
- Insurance (health- priceless) $500 (month)
- Insurance (car priceless) $200 (month)
- Cash $200
- Credit cards $2000 open credit
- Debit cards $1000 balance
This exercise is an example of how each day you are probably wearing a representation of thousands of dollars of financial abundance and you don’t even think much about it.
Then when you look around and see a car, an apartment or home, furniture, etc., you could easily have a daily gratitude list of 50 to 100 or more things.
Then when you think about the people who have influenced you, your family, your pets, your job, your community and more; your list could be endless.
For a daily gratitude practice, choose five to ten items to write on a list and open up to a flood of gratitude. Let yourself feel so thankful and in awe of your truly awesome life.
This practice is the most important to do when you don’t feel like doing it. When you face a let-down, let this practice remind you that you are indeed blessed.
Gratitude also is a great state of mind for problem-solving.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” —Gilbert K. Chesterton
Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D.
Coach, Trainer, and Author, Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D. is a Business and Life Coach known for inspiring massive action and a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to the do work they love and make more money. Sheri helps business owners and professionals to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and inner game expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her life mission to discover the keys to happiness and success and then share them with her clients and community.