Replace Your Wish List with a Gratitude ListDec 15, 2023
"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
This holiday, we are focusing on turning our wish lists into gratitude lists. During this time of year, it is all too easy to place our attention on the things we desire, or the things we would like to improve in our homes and lives. But each time we find ourselves in this mindset, we remind ourselves to consider what we already have and who we already are. Can we, as Dr. Michael Beckwith often says, “cultivate an attitude of gratitude?”
As the New Year approaches, we often make resolutions about what we would like to change about ourselves or our lives. In truth, we are all–and will continue to be–a work in progress. So we may as well be grateful for who we are today and every day on our journey! We can even strive to be grateful for the challenges or seeming misfortunes in our lives. While we may not be able to recognize it at the moment—often these challenges are filled with opportunities. Brene Brown’s saying “this is happening for me not to me,” is a mantra for us in challenging times.
We can also be grateful for our homes. We may find ourselves distracted by images of picture-perfect homes decorated for the holidays or ads for all the things we could buy, yet this only leads to focusing on what isn’t working in your home. And the truth is… to fully be at peace in your home requires a certain mindset. You could live in a beautiful, clutter-free home and still be unsatisfied. So why wait to love and appreciate your home, even if it’s still a work in progress?
Try this exercise:
The moment you wake up, look for things you appreciate about your home and continue this exercise throughout your day. Do you love your soft sheets, the way the light shines through your window in the morning, or the color of your walls? Whatever you find, take a moment to appreciate the usefulness, beauty, or good feelings it inspires.
You will see your relationship with your home and life transform! Living from a place of gratitude not only makes us feel better, but ironically the things we wish for, may come to us sooner. By placing attention on the positive things in our lives, we tend to seek and draw in more of the positive, so what we are thankful for, will multiply in our lives.
It has been said that the highest form of prayer is giving thanks. Instead of praying “for” things, give thanks for what you already have. And have faith that what you still desire is already within you—that on some level, what you desire is already manifesting in your life, you just may not see it yet. But you can still be grateful that it is all unfolding right here and right now.
"So it is not happiness that makes us grateful. It's gratefulness that makes us happy," monk David Steindl-Rast
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