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As we contemplate teachings and tools on how to help not only our clients but also myself to live a more fulfilling life, I always seem to find my way back to gratitude. Gratitude in its simplest form is a mindset.  A choice to see the positive that surrounds us every single day. There is always a choice and we are blessed to be able to choose. We can find so many reasons to support either side of the argument. There is no lack of supporting evidence as to why our lives are terrible, or why our lives are amazing. The only thing that really changes, is our relation to it.

Gratitude often starts with learning to love ourselves and appreciate our contributions. How we view ourselves is in direct relation to how we view the world. I know this to be true from my own experiences. The less appreciation and value I place on myself, the less I place on others. The harder I am on myself, the harder I am on those around me. The world, or how we view it, is merely an extension of us. We are the first relationship or first house per se, that needs to be put into order.

As we pursue our dreams and discover our passions, we are almost guaranteed to face challenges and struggles. We can choose to embrace these moments and see the value in them, or we can view them as setbacks and negativity.

Let me ask you a question; when was the last time you heard a story about someone that moved you that didn’t involve struggle and challenges? The answer is probably never.

Yet, when it comes to our lives, we react negatively at the first sign of trouble. Complaining that nothing is ever right, and we can’t catch a break. I know this to be true because this is personally one of my biggest struggles. I want everything to just flow and be perfect.

Obviously, this is not reality, in fact, we all face similar challenges. We can choose to view the world from a place of positivity and abundance, living in gratitude. We can also choose to view the world from a place of negativity and scarcity. Ultimately, the choice is ours. The silver lining is always there. It’s up to each of us to pay attention to it. 

As for me, I believe that anything can be cultivated through consistent, intentional practice. Little by little, our minds begin to rewire in the direction of whatever we decide to train and teach it. This is the beauty of neuroplasticity, which gives us the ability to choose how we want to live. Here are a few tools I use to rewire my brain towards a mindset of abundance and gratitude.

  • Mindfulness Training: Keeping ourselves in the moment truly helps us stay present. This presence keeps us out of the gratitude traps for living in the past or the future.
  • Gratitude Prayer: I express gratitude to my higher power/universe every morning during my bowing routine.
  • Gratitude Journal: I keep an evening journal of all the things I am grateful for. Nothing is too small. I often like to record what I am grateful for that day as it keeps me focused on the present.
  • Daily Intention: Obviously this can be anything related to our attention on gratitude. Two of my favorites are finding at least one thing that’s good in every person I meet that day. As well as paying attention to the positive moments throughout the day and taking the time to recognize and pay tribute to them.

These are just a few tools that help me create the mindset I want in order to live the fulfilled life I desire. Once you get going down the path of abundance there really is no turning back. You begin to see the beauty in everything, thus finding gratitude for things you never thought possible!