Lesson 47: On Giving Thanks

I feel like I’ve been running a marathon and can finally see the finish line! Today’s chapter had me think about gratitude and how I give thanks in my life and to what. According to Katherine Woodward, we tend to let ourselves overwhelm by thoughts of what we don’t have. As a result, we constantly focus on our deficiencies and create a life of more deficiencies as a result. True gratitude though should shift our perception from what we don’t have to what we do in order to create our abundance and appreciation.

“What I learned about gratitude is this. When we give thanks for everything in our lives, specifically and exactly for the way they are, regardless of our preference for them to be different, our lives become lit up with joy.”

 Now, for today’s practice exercise , I had to write 5 pages full of things I am thankful for. Let me tell you guys, five pages is a LOT. But I did it. It started off pretty easy: “I am grateful for the beautiful apartment I live in with the pretty hardwood floors and the great amount of light. I am grateful for all the friends I have in Berlin and (way) beyond that welcomed me back with open arms and support me in all my endeavors and challenges.” And after that was done, I had to stretch myself a little bit: “I am thankful for the sunshine this past weekend because it gave me so much energy and let me smile. I am thankful that the woman who lives above me is older, so me singing and practicing the guitar is probably not bothering her all too much.” But after that, I still had pages left and my writing got a little bigger and wider and I really had to stretch myself thin: “I am grateful that I gained five pounds during my period because it reminded me how many things can impact body weight and some are really temporary. I am grateful that I am not where I want to be because it can only go uphill from here. I am grateful that I am so young and yet have such a clear vision of where I want to be for the rest of my life. I am grateful I was born in a country that others risk their lives for to get to.” and so on. Once you fill your five pages, you realize you have a ton of stuff to be thankful for and, yes, most of this I already knew deep down. Yet, I never really let it count because I always always focus on the one or two things that I don’t have. Woodward mentioned how she made it a habit to get up a half hour earlier than necessary for 30 days straight and dedicated that half hour to write 5 pages full of gratitude each morning. I don’t know if I could commit to that but I do suggest doing this simple exercise to get started!