This year for lent I decided I would do something different. Instead of giving up sweets, processed foods, or shopping like I’ve done in the past, I decided that this year I would practice gratitude for the 40 days of Lent between Ash Wednesday and Easter. I got the idea from a friend who had done something similar for a whole year, every time she was grateful or happy she would write down what had made her feel that way and put it in a jar.
So I created a gratitude jar and promised that everyday I would put in the jar something that I was grateful for. On Easter, I read each piece of paper. It was an amazing experience and here’s what I discovered:
This simple task was a game changer and mood shifter. I’m going to be honest. There were days that I woke up and I was in a bad mood and I had to sit and think about what I was grateful for. I’m a happy person, but sometimes you just can’t help it! The act of writing down that little piece of gratitude totally shifted my mood and made me feel lucky and grateful for more than what I just wrote down.
I became more mindful. When I was having a hard time putting something in the jar, I really had to think about what I was worried or unhappy about. What was really stopping me from feeling grateful. It gave me the ability to separate the two, what I was grateful for and what was making me unhappy. It also helped me to remember that I didn’t have to let that one thing ruin my mood. Now, whether I have the gratitude jar or not I am able to step away from my situation and look at what is bothering me and I can choose what mood I want to be in.
I discovered that there are a few things that I am beyond grateful for in my life and they showed up many times throughout the 40 days. Every other day I felt grateful for one of these things: My family, where I live, and having amazing friends who believe in me and contribute to me.
Having gratitude really gets you present to the amazing things you have in your life. It has you appreciate the little things, it shifts your mindset and mood and it opens you up to take bigger things on in your life. Let’s think about it when you’re having a good week and everything seems to be going your way, doesn’t it feel like you can do anything?!?! It does, even though your personal circumstances might not have changed, but that feeling actually has you take different actions. The same thing happens when you connect to what you’re grateful for.
Take it on beautiful! Try it for a month and let us know what you discover about yourself and what miracles you create!