When I was a kid and didn't feel well, one of the activities my mom encouraged me to do was write down a list of 25 things for which I was grateful. I remember being reluctant at first, treating the suggestion like she had asked me to take out the garbage. Inevitably, I'd return 15 minutes later with a big smile on my face and bound off to the next activity, mostly forgetting that I hadn't been feeling well. This is a practice I continued with my kids as well as during my own difficult periods when making a dedicated commitment to a daily practice made a big difference.
I recently watched Shawn Achor's talk, the "Happiness Advantage" and was intrigued to hear the research behind why gratitude, especially when practiced regularly, has a healing effect. On the same day, I received an email inviting me to take the "21 Day Gratitude Challenge" beginning November 4 (see www.mentorschannel.com). No coincidence here - an emotional soreness within me has been asking for healing rather loudly lately.
So, I'm in for the opportunity to focus wholeheartedly on gratitude for the next three weeks - especially as we head into late autumn and the approach of traditional holidays. The 21 days look to be filled with great stuff. Each day features inspirational thoughts on different aspects of gratitude, beginning with inner strengths such as purpose, passion and focus. The second week will be spent on deepening and expressing gratitude for our families and extended families. The last week will expand our love and gratitude for the world we inhabit and all its wonders. Sounds like a wave is getting started… will you join me?