All through my teenage years and early twenties I worked in a number of different shops and restaurants.
One of the tasks that had to be done in all of them was a stock take.
This involved going into the storage room out the back somewhere and counting all the goods so that the business had an up to date record of what it had in stock.
The practise of gratitude is a bit like a stock take.
It’s a conscious setting aside of time to remind yourself of what you've got.
Some of our goods will be at eye level, obvious for us to see, but inevitably there will be items that have been shoved to the back, maybe even covered by something else.
There’s a bit of digging involved with gratitude, to bring to the fore what’s hidden from view.
If abundance was a fire, gratitude would be the wood that keeps it burning.
Knowing what you’ve got is an antidote to the default of striving for more, the sense that if we just had that thing we’d be happy, we’d have enough, we’d finally reach where we’re aiming for.
Gratitude is seeing the wealth in what has already been accumulated, accomplished and bestowed.
I’m a big believer in the seismic shift in perspective that a regular gratitude practise is capable of causing.
In the past I’ve definitely been caught in the trap of associating abundance with money and luxury, but a big life event showed me that my stock comes in many forms.
Health, peace of mind, sense of home, the health of family members, creativity, support, love, friendship, space, freedom and access to good coffee are all riches.
Of course at times some of these may be thin on the ground, but to let the ones that are over flowing go unnoticed is a missed opportunity for a deeper sense of abundance.
Our blessings are worth counting.
How to start a gratitude practise?
Every week, every day, every moment is an opportunity to take stock.
Try writing three things you’re grateful for each day – go with whatever comes to mind in that moment. They can be as seemingly obscure as you like.
If your list carries on, let it.
The more the merrier.
Sceptical? Treat it as an experiment and do it for a month; what have you got to lose?
Today I am grateful for:
the granola bar and black coffee I just enjoyed in Gail’s while writing this
the fact I’ll be by the sea this weekend
that I have time to get to a yoga class today
You know the old saying ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’; gratitude is knowing what you’ve got before it’s gone, so that you can soak it up, appreciate it in all it’s glory and live a life in full knowledge of your riches.
I’ll be sharing more potentially perspective shifting writing practises in my upcoming yoga and journaling workshop ‘move, sit, write’ on Sun 30 Sep.
Writing as a personal practise has so many benefits, from boosting your creativity and bringing a sense of mental release, to developing a deeper connection to your intuition.
See the events page for more info.