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Want to transform your life? Do this every day!

The power of daily gratitude

Photo: Barbara Stafford

Count your blessings. There is magic in it!

We can’t focus on what’s good about our lives and feel bad. We just can’t. Not if we’re really appreciating what’s good.

Here’s the magic of gratitude. Whatever we vibrate, the Universe responds to. So not only do we feel better in the moment, we are also creating a happier future, with more things to be grateful for in it! Our feelings in this very moment are the most powerful tool for creating our tomorrow.

Creating a daily gratitude practice is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I believe so strongly in it, I want to share some ideas to get you started (or restarted).

Gratitude practice takes only minutes a day

Feeling gratitude doesn’t require expensive equipment. You don’t need to read tons of books about it. Or sit on a mountain top at the feet of a guru. And it doesn’t require hours of sweat, concentration and effort.

Quite the contrary.

Only a few minutes a day devoted to a simple practice can get you powerful results. And, once you get into it (which doesn’t take long), it feels really good!

What’s the best gratitude practice? The one that works for you. Experiment until you find what that is. Here are some possibilities:

  • Write down 10 things you’re grateful for every night before you go to sleep. Really let yourself feel gratitude, appreciation and positive emotion.
  • Find a gratitude partner. Make a daily date to share 10 things you are grateful for with each other. A 5-minute phone call or email is all it takes!
  • Start your day by writing out 10 things you’re grateful for. Or say them to yourself in the mirror. You’ll start vibrating a nicer day for yourself!
  • Sing and dance your gratitude! Sing to your pet or spouse (or yourself in the mirror) about how grateful you are that they are there. The sillier the better!
  • Do your practice at the same time every day. Whether you’re at home, in  line at the store or driving in traffic, speak your appreciation, silently or out loud.

“But what if I don’t feel grateful?”

I don’t always feel gratitude when I start my practice. Sometimes I feel pouty or cranky or stuck in victim mode. Other times I literally cannot think of anything I am grateful for. With my awesome life, this is quite something!

In those times, I start by saying or writing, “I am grateful for….,” and then wait to see what comes. Something always does!

Sometimes all I can be grateful for in the beginning is that I’ve made it through a difficult day! But once I start, there’s always more. There are always at least 10 things I can be thankful for. And poof – like magic, really – I FEEL grateful.

The benefits are cumulative

One of the wonderful things I’ve found as I’ve had a daily gratitude practice is that, more and more, I find myself looking for what I can be grateful for during the day. I’ve developed the habit of being grateful!

The more we practice gratitude, the more grateful we get. And our lives change in wonderful ways as a result.

What my gratitude practice is like today

When I first got clean and sober 21 years ago (today is my 21st Sobriety Birthday!), my sponsor had me write down 10 things I was grateful for every night before I went to sleep. She wanted me to find different things every day.

I continued that practice for many years. 18 months ago, I started it again in a new and beautiful way. Every night, at about 9:15 p.m., my sweetheart and I tell each other at least 10 things we’re grateful for.

This is a sweet time to celebrate each other’s days and connect. But it’s much more than that. It’s a powerful way to turn our attention to what’s good in life. It’s a practice we are committed to and do, without fail, every night.

What’s your gratitude practice? (Or what’s stopping you from having one?) Please share your wisdom and questions below! Blessings!


 
 

4 Responses to “Want to transform your life? Do this every day!”

  1. Trina Whitney
    August 1, 2010 at 06:17

    The first time I heard Melissa sing, life gave me a giant gift. I love her music and meditations but it is her Spirit that resonates with me. She is a down to earth and practical spiritual teacher. She offers genuine warmth, hope and healing not only through her work but through her willingness to show up on the planet each day, living her Dreams out-loud.

  2. Melissa Phillippe
    August 18, 2010 at 18:49

    Trina! This is so SWEET! And, may I say, every one of us is a hero in my eyes – just waking up each day and living life as we do it – doing our best and growing and transforming…all of what it takes. I think we are all amazing! But thank you for your sweet note too!

  3. Randi Aldrich
    April 4, 2011 at 16:51

    I have really enjoyed your posts. I stumbled onto your website while trying to find contemporary spiritual music (I am a singer). Now, I have been sitting here for a couple of hours reading and listening to you and your music. The message above regarding gratitude is powerful. I do this a little, but not nearly enough. I may see if I can get my husband to share evening gratitude time with me. I know he realizes how important gratitude is; but we have never talked about our list together. Great idea. I will let you know how it goes…..Randi

  4. Melissa Phillippe
    April 4, 2011 at 19:03

    Hi Randi!
    Thanks for your post! AND for your listening and appreciation…I am very grateful to know this has served you! I will be looking forward to hearing back from you about your increased gratitude practice…and today I will be doing extra gratitudes, in honor of you… Blessings & Gratitude for your touching in,
    Melissa

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