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Gratitude Practice

Before you get some idea that I am a super disciplined person, I am not. I generally start something and two weeks later I'm over it. Don't get me wrong, I believe in it - but if I get bored, yeah, I have a hard time keeping at it.

For example, I started reading Crazy Rich Asians over Christmas. I love the book but I literally have about two chapters left and it's sitting on my night stand collecting dust. Caveat: I wound up watching the movie before I was done so "I'm bored" because I think I know the ending - and I keep falling asleep while I read it. I digress...

But... I found myself at the end of last year feeling a bit out of control - you know, like everything felt out of wack. My emotions, homelife, my contentment, my health - I just wasn't feeling, well, centered. What's funny is that there is a lot of talk about work/life balance or having a well balanced life and I kind of feel like this is a farce. I mean, seasons ebb and flow and sometimes balance just isn't attainable. Rachel Hollis challenges this belief and she challenged me to think about living a more centered life. Doesn't that make more sense?

In my head, I see a balancing scale. That scale could be teetering, spinning or weighted all the way over to side, but the center is still there, grounded, calm and strong. Big, huh? So... let me guess, you probably don't feel balanced or centered. Yep, me neither until I stopped striving for balance and started working toward being more centered. And this is what I did:

I've wrapped several practices into one activity (remember I said I'm not very disciplined. Gotta make it easy) - and I'm going to tell you - I've actually been surprised at how it is effecting me. Rachel Hollis also talks about 5 to Thrive and I took it upon myself to create my own 5 to Thrive Journal. It's basically:

5 things I'm grateful for

1 Daily Intention (usually comes from what I am reading that morning)

5 goals/dreams I am going to accomplish

5 prayers

And this is one of the practices that helps me stay centered. But today, I want to focus on my gratitude list. The reason I'm breaking it down is that this is the one thing - that if I don't get to all the others - I write down. Why? Because when life feels out of control I need to be reminded just how great life is. It's also easy, quick and its hard to have an excuse not to do it. I'll tell you in 68 days I have only missed it twice (remember, I'm not disciplined).

Why this has worked for me:

- It reminds me daily just how blessed I am because, regardless of what is going on I AM.

- It does point me back to how God loves me. Everything I am grateful for is a gift from above.

- It has sharpened my ability to see other things throughout the day that I am grateful for.

- On those days that I'm struggling to see the positives, it reminds me that the simplest of things are reasons to be grateful

- And lastly, it just makes me feel more centered.

What do you do to live a more centered life? If you haven't found something, try this. I challenge you to give this a try for 30 days and let me know what you think. My guess, you will be surprised at the difference it can make in your topsy, turvy world. ;)

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