Like any good student of self care, stress management, or wellness, I have a daily gratitude practice. Every morning or early afternoon (because, really, there’s no wrong time to be grateful), I write down a few things in my life that I’m thankful for.
I’m not going to lie, for months it’s read like a Gratitude Greatest Hits. Notable, good, sometimes even authentic, but also overplayed and lacking in meaning the more I cycle through the usual list. The list has become automatic. My home. My dogs. Schweetie. My friends. My neighbors. My family. New opportunities (a wonderfully vague way to be grateful without actually having to come up with anything). Now, I am actually grateful that these things are in my life. My world is bigger, happier, brighter, and more filled with love because of all them. However, I was just parroting these same few things back to myself every day. Anything overdone loses its power and its intended effect. I realized that there must be more. There must be some finer points of gratitude…Gratitude B Sides or Deep Cuts (to continue the album analogy), if you will.
And so, I’ve spent the last two mornings looking for the lesser appreciated moments in my life. The smaller things. The little instances that are bright and beautiful and perfect. Taking the time to zero in on new and less obvious things has helped me to feel more connected and truly appreciative.
I noticed how delightful the sun is when it shines brightly through my bathroom window. I’m thankful for the stranger on the street that wished me a hearty “Happy New Year!” in a moment where I was feeling a bit out of sorts. I am grateful for a relatively healthy body that allows me to take a walk each day.
It feels good to try being more specific with my gratitude practice and I am thankful that I feel renewed and reconnected to it.
First Resolution of the New Year: No more robotic gratitude lists.