Sometimes I get annoyed by practices involving making gratitude lists. And then I feel like a bad person for getting annoyed by a gratitude practice. I think the reason is that it sometimes feels contrived, like I “should” feel grateful and I’m just making a list of thoughts instead of really feeling it.
But when true gratitude occurs spontaneously, that reverence for life is like nothing else. It cracks my heart open to beauty and to a simple availability to all the gifts life is giving. And at the same time I know that gratitude is like a muscle—the more I work it out, the stronger it will become and the more it will come naturally. So how to do this without it feeling like a “should”?
This practice is the simplest way I’ve found to connect directly to gratitude for what’s right in front of me. I invite you to try this out right now, in this moment, and any time throughout your day.
- Say “thank you” out loud (or silently in your head if you’re in public and don’t want to seem like a weirdo) to anything that you see around you: the sky, a glass of water, a plant, your food, the sun, your own hands. Say it directly.
- Feel free to elaborate, like: “Thank you water for being cool and refreshing and giving me life.”
- Repeat throughout your day, any time it feels authentic.
That’s it! Enjoy.