The Gratitude Game
by Mary Lyn Miller
As Thanksgiving approaches, we often think about gratitude, and while I have published this before, I am often asked to do it again. And as we are looking forward to a new year and new visions and goals, it's important to be grateful for what we have first before we race to move on!
While your probably view yourself as thankful for your blessings, we determine what we believe to be a "blessing" and what is not. However, some of your greatest blessings may not initially look all that positive in the beginning. For instance, my experiencing Cancer is what turned my life around and opened the door to a good health consciousness and rewarding life work. Today I always give thanks for the gift of Cancer, but at the time it was fearful and overwhelming. The first thing to understand about gratitude is that it is not a selective process.
The Gratitude Game begins with the premise that genuine thankfulness begins with being grateful for everything..yes, absolutely EVERYTHING in your life.
These are the steps to the Game:
1. Make a list of anything you perceive as positive in your life. The people who love you are a good start. Anything good about your work, your relationships, special advantages or support you've received, anything nice someone else has done for you. Just write down everything you can think of that is good about your life. Be truly grateful for it.
2. Next write down everything ordinary that you take for granted: the roof over your head, your sight, your hearing, the ability to chew, your health, the warm
California climate (you can tell I'm from the Midwest) and so forth. When you really think about it, there are so many small, inconsequential conditions that conspire to create a good lifestyle. This is a good time to recognize them.
3. Finally, write down any painful, uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and events, some of which may feel uncomfortable or difficult right now…and get grateful for them. Why? This is how we learn the lessons of life. No one said it was all going to be easy. But, gratitude opens you up. It helps you release the resistance (oh, why did this have to happen to me?) and embrace your difficult circumstances and allow the most good to come from them. What creates your reality is not what happens to you, but how you RESPOND to what happens to you. Life does have challenges, but there is a positive side for each and every one of them. Be grateful for the gift inside of every heartache even if you can’t see it right now.
4. Give thanks for those blessings that are on the way. Feel them coming. Expect success. Expect the best and be grateful for it.
After completing this little game, how do you feel?
Everyone who plays is a winner because I'll tell you a secret, gratitude allows you to receive more; it is the foundation of all abundance. An open, gracious heart is a powerful magnet for good. Money, opportunity, and joy flows toward gratitude. Try it and see.
It will prepare you for a glorious Thanksgiving!