Lately I have really been noticing how practicing gratitude daily makes my life better.
More peaceful. More joyful. More balanced.
I recently went through a bit of a rough patch and one of the things that really helped me move through it with at least a modicum of ease were my daily gratitude practices.
Every year at the beginning of November, I facilitate a women's gratitude retreat. (This year’s is coming up soon - and the early bird rates are ending soon. Please scroll down to learn more! Or click here for complete info.)
Last year after the retreat, I decided to continue two of the practices we explored. I continue to practice them daily.
One of them is a daily gratitude calendar. At the end of every day right before retiring to bed, I sit in my ‘contemplation chair’ and think of one thing from the day for which I am most grateful and write it down in the little pocket calendar each person received at the retreat. Then at the end of the month, I read through all that month’s gratitudes. Without fail, my heart fills to the brim with these memories, these moments of delight, this endless gratitude for all the gifts of my life.
The other practice I have created for myself is a weekly ritual. At the retreat, we did a little mutual appreciation exercise where each of us wrote a note to each other participant listing the things about them for which we were grateful. These note cards were placed in an envelope for each of us to take home. Each week, I draw one to read, a way of remembering our final closing circle and all the love and appreciation contained there - but also a way of reminding myself, through the words of others, the many beautiful qualities I possess, the gifts I hold within. When I lose touch with just what those are, it is so incredibly uplifting and heartening to receive this reflection through those with whom I spent those sacred days on retreat.
This is why I offer this retreat. To help us all remember the bounty and beauty of the world in which we live - as well as that of the world we hold within.
This is why and how gratitude brings us joy and peace and light.
This is why it is so very important to our wellbeing - and truly is the gateway to grace.
So simple - and yet so very, very profoundly transformational.
If you are a woman, I hope you will consider joining me this year on this sacred gratitude retreat. Tell your friends. Invite the beloved women in your life. Share this opportunity with those you know who could use a little extra self-nourishment, a little extra love, a little lifting up. And, most importantly, seriously consider offering this time and replenishment to yourself.
You are worth it. You so deserve it!
If you are not a woman, perhaps as an expression of your gratitude for the beloved women in your life, you can share this opportunity with them - or maybe even offer it as a gift! This gesture of your gratitude is guaranteed to uplift you, too.
This retreat is an absolutely beautiful way to step into the holiday season and beyond - and will provide you with the tools you need to enjoy the busy days to come in a much more calm, peaceful, joyful way than you otherwise might.
Early bird rates are available through Sept. 30.
For complete details and to register, click here.
I hope you will join me on the path.
With deepest love and appreciation for you,
“The Power of Gratitude” image by Lydie Baudry (Maui, Hawaii)
Musings cover photo by Cindy Novelo (Medina River, Texas Hill Country)