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Old 08-19-2015, 09:05 AM
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Gratitude

I have become such a big fan of spending my first minutes of each day mentally reviewing & giving thanks for the blessings in my life. What started out as an exercise for me in my recovery - a way to make sure that I make time for gratitude every single day - became an enjoyable habit.

Now I wake earlier & propel myself out of bed to make sure that I get the daily exercise I need in order to sustain the life changes I am making in my body, diet, self-image. If I don't launch myself out of bed in the first 60 seconds after waking, it creates a domino effect that wrinkles the rest of my day.... but I'm sacrificing that dedicated time when I used to saturate myself in gratitude.

After a couple of weeks I could feel the difference internally & realized I don't have to follow that old routine in order to feel my gratitude. Instead I'm bringing it into the Now - stopping & expressing gratitude in the moment that I feel it naturally.

Maybe it means just an extra second of my time that morning, taking in the beautiful sunrise & being thankful that I am physically fit enough to be out walking under those first morning rays. Or maybe it means taking an extra minute in a conversation to share with another person how they have helped/impacted me in some way because something they said reminded me of how much I've gotten out of their support. Or having gratitude that running late inadvertently helped me avoid huge traffic accidents & delays yesterday, twice!

The beautiful thing is that this is showing me that I have so much more to be grateful for than I could ever realize from my comfy bed every morning.... I was missing a lot of the "small" stuff that makes a BIG difference. Coming up with 3 things used to seem like work but now I'm easily touching base with my gratitude 8, 10, 12+ times each day instead.

I shifted my perspective by a small degree but I gained a tremendous amount of clarity in doing so!
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:15 AM
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love this ~

An attitude of gratitude helps me be a more PINKful person.

I have a wonderful group of recovery ladies that share their gratitude via text messages on a daily basis - even if it is just gratitude for their fav food ~ it helps all of us keep our recovery going!

Enjoy the blessings!
Pink Hugs
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:20 AM
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:13 AM
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..... instead of starting a new thread.

Gratitude is a cornerstone tool in most recovery methods. It's also free & readily available anytime, anywhere.

In my darkest moments when all I saw was my life in shambles & all I could think to do was to spend every minute trying to keep those plates spinning, I couldn't imagine even having TIME to consider gratitude. And when I did, it seemed so generic - isn't everyone on the planet grateful for their children, their job, their blah-blah?

Then I heard an example of basic gratitude that became a light-bulb moment: First thing in the morning, my alarm clock goes off & I slap at it until it quiets. Then I stop & have gratitude for the people that made it possible for me to wake on time for my Life today. The engineers who designed the clock, those that supplied the pieces, those that assembled, packaged & sold it. Those that stocked it on the shelves for me to choose from. Those that keep the software package running & bug-free so that I can count on that little buzzer to wake me every day that I ASK it to.

That's a lot of people getting me out of bed in the morning. Least I could do is TRY to put a smile on for a while & show a little gratitude. From there, it got easier & easier to shift my perspective in a gratitude-friendly way.

Go ahead - take an extra minute to thank someone, genuinely, for something random & completely unexpected today & then try telling me it didn't make any difference in their world. I'll bet anything their surprised reaction is VERY receptive to your positivity AND that the rebound effect beings YOU a positive reaction as well. Good things like love & gratitude don't divide when we share them appropriately*, they multiply & spread. (*read: not in Codie ways)

How else do you put gratitude to work in your Life?
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:16 AM
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Thank you for posting this friend. I am going to have a day full of gratitude today!

I will start with the BEAUTIFUL weather we are having. Even though I had to come to work, this morning when I went outside to get the pups I spent an extra few mins just enjoying the breeze and sunshine.

I am going to work on this in every aspect of my life today!
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:29 AM
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Thanks for this post - I agree completely! I have moments, especially
being outdoors, of feeling very present. It's a great
feeling that I am able to experience because of gratitude.

For anyone interested, I found a really cool website about
mindfulness. Its a free 8 week course online that I am
about to start.

https://palousemindfulness.com/MBSR/ataglance.html
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:32 AM
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So I have moments where I think about how grateful I am, but I never list it. Have you found a difference in writing them out?
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:07 AM
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Yes - definitely. But not fast, easy to recognize kind of differences. The kind that sort of work in the background to slowly work on reprogramming from the subconscious level out.

Why You Should Write a Letter to Yourself Tonight

How Writing Heals Wounds ? Of Both the Mind and Body | TIME.com

Writing forces you to slow down & process the information differently than just recalling the memory/events/things. Our words are powerful!
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:25 PM
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the only time i was able to "propel" myself out of bed with regularity was when i was doing the Power 90 Bootcamp workouts - it probably looked more like a roll, but i'd get up, stumble to the TV, push play and work out. i always felt better afterwards. i was never really conscious enough to THINK about gratitude or anything but how much i hated Power Yoga............
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:43 PM
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I made a small sign for my desk, right in my eye line, that says "today I am grateful for....." and whenever I glance at it, I stop to think of 3 things to say thanks for.

I love gratitude and I have found that the more I train myself to go there, the more natural and frequent it becomes.

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Old 06-09-2017, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
So I have moments where I think about how grateful I am, but I never list it. Have you found a difference in writing them out?
I have made "gratitude" scrapbook pages where I write out my gratitude, with and without pictures. I find them very gratifying
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:16 PM
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Thank you for reminding me what a powerful tool gratitude is. While my mind is in gratitude it can't be in self-pity and negative thinking.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
After a couple of weeks I could feel the difference internally & realized I don't have to follow that old routine in order to feel my gratitude. Instead I'm bringing it into the Now - stopping & expressing gratitude in the moment that I feel it naturally.
This is very much where I am these days. Sometimes, in the AM, I will look over at my little meditation spot and feel bad that I'm not using it more, but then I realize how that practice has spread so much into my daily life. I may not light my candle and sit at my altar every day for a specified period of time, but I breathe consciously and deeply while walking the dogs. When I'm at Olsen's Piggly Wiggly to deliver and Receiving isn't open yet, I shut off my van, move the seat back so I can sit comfortably, and close my eyes to pay attention to the moment--what do I hear, smell, feel, while waiting?

Same with gratitude. I would dutifully write down my 10 things each evening. It was never hard to think of 10 things, but sometimes it felt like I was doing it by rote, saying the same things over and over. In the last few months, though, although I've stopped the writing, I find I am constantly thinking THANKS in the course of the day. Thanks for letting the rain stop while I load my van, thanks for the music the bakers are playing this AM. I've reached my hands over my head and pressed them against the wall of my house during storms and thanked it for keeping me dry, warm and safe. I go to sleep each night w/one hand on each dog's body, saying thank you, my little friends, for being with me all these years.

I resisted doing these practices at first b/c they felt artificial and forced (and stupid!). Once I did them for a while, though, they began to feel a lot more comfortable and real. And eventually the scheduled practice becomes somewhat unnecessary b/c I find I'm doing those things w/o conscious effort during the course of my day, naturally, like breathing.

Two things came out of this for me, one being the more obvious benefit of feeling present and grateful way more often and the other being the lesson I learned that it's worth it to go through the awkward initial stages of learning something. Even if it seems stupid. Even if it seems forced and artificial. Given time and repetition, the new behavior/thought pattern WILL become ingrained and the benefits WILL be realized. No matter whether I believed it would work at the beginning or not.

And I'm grateful that it works that way!
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 2ndhandrose View Post
I have made "gratitude" scrapbook pages where I write out my gratitude, with and without pictures. I find them very gratifying
I thought vision boards were a silly waste of time.... until I made one & then within the year it had almost exactly come to fruition. This type of stuff is surprisingly powerful as a tool for reprogramming ourselves for the positive in life.

Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr
While my mind is in gratitude it can't be in self-pity and negative thinking.
Yes!! LOVE this, so true, great way to think of it.

Originally Posted by honeypig
Two things came out of this for me, one being the more obvious benefit of feeling present and grateful way more often and the other being the lesson I learned that it's worth it to go through the awkward initial stages of learning something. Even if it seems stupid. Even if it seems forced and artificial. Given time and repetition, the new behavior/thought pattern WILL become ingrained and the benefits WILL be realized. No matter whether I believed it would work at the beginning or not.
What a great point hp - that initial discomfort can be so off-putting. It definitely didn't feel natural & "normal" to put these kinds of behaviors into practice. It felt silly & vulnerable.

But like you said -- all of a sudden, it IS my normal. It IS comfortable. This morning I've been thankful & openly grateful for the most mundane things - people that are considerate enough to use their blinkers when driving, the sweet, sweet lady at the bank that always makes time for chit-chat when I'm there, the wild iguanas that have adopted our office & live in our tree/yard (one is huge!!), the simple & irreplaceable fun & bonding of spending hours with DD last night, baking off cakes and whipping up batches of homemade buttercream for her birthday later this week.

Thank you all for these great shares!
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 2ndhandrose View Post
I have made "gratitude" scrapbook pages where I write out my gratitude, with and without pictures. I find them very gratifying
2ndhandrose, I think I need to start doing something like this. I've had a very strong urge to start moving/changing/doing something different w/my physical surroundings lately. I've painted 2 rooms, have 2 or 3 more to go, depending on whether or not I do the "office." I have some more cleaning that needs to be done (blinds, etc.). This seems really mundane, but as I move things for painting/cleaning, I'm doing a lot of pruning of excess stuff. Feeling like I need more space, more air, less constraints. Two years since XAH and I divorced, and I'm trying to go w/the flow of whatever is moving me now, no need to remain "stuck."

At the time, I wanted things that would make me feel better, give me some security and let me know that someone cared about me (me!). Feeling so much stronger and steadier now, I am ready to streamline in many areas.

For instance, I'm feeling like I have too many houseplants, and it's becoming annoying to care for them all. How this is being handled is new for me, too. Old Me: "Suck it up, don't be so lazy, just do it, you slacker." New Me: "Well, they're nice plants, and I'm sure some of the people at work would like to have them." And I took them to work, and they were snapped up in an instant! Good deal for everyone, right? And I didn't waste any time (well, not much!) beating myself up about letting go of something that wasn't bringing me joy any more.

I'm just going to close this ramble w/a big, big shout-out of gratitude for Alanon, SR, and all the good folks in both places who've helped me get to where I am now. THANKS!
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