The power of gratitude is so profoundly transformative. By cultivating a mindset rooted in gratitude, you can truly shape-shift your life into the most magical of adventures. When you fully feel and express appreciation for all of the wonderful things already happening in your life, you automatically open yourself up to experience even more. More days propelled by love, by creative fire, by inspiration, by energy, and by happiness. Shift your mindset and you can radically shift your experience.
A few years ago, I tried an experiment with gratitude. For three full days, I concentrated solely on expressing gratitude for everything. All day long, I kept a running list in my head of all of the things that I was grateful to have or experience in my life. I identified and listed them as I went about my day. I would literally think in my head, I am so grateful to wake up today… I am so grateful for this sunny day… I am so grateful for this clean water to brush my teeth…I am so grateful for these clothes I get to wear… I am so grateful to have fresh fruit for breakfast…and on and on and on.
It was a long three days, but at the end of it, I felt as though I had experienced a dynamic change in mindset. Something had happened internally. I felt such joy and happiness as I realized how amazingly blessed I am in my life as it is now. Not as I wish it might be in five years. Or in ten years. Just as it is, without wishing for more. And these were the simplest luxuries! But I had repeatedly taken them for granted. When I made a concentrated effort to focus my gratitude on the many simple but amazing blessings that I already had, I felt content. Anything more was just a bonus.
You are not selfish for wanting more in your life. By all means, dream BIG and dream often! Your life is spilling over with mind-blowing possibilities and creative explorations. BUT— you waste irreplaceable time when you spend your days lamenting about what you do not have. We all have things that we want to change in our lives. Dwelling on the lack is such an energy drain. Figure out what you want to change, stop complaining about it, take inspired action on it, and then express tremendous gratitude for the millions of other things that are already here. Regardless of how small. Maybe you have clean laundry to wear. Be thankful for it! Good food for breakfast. Be thankful for it. A job. Reliable transportation. A healthy new baby. A brilliant creative idea. A fantastic relationship. A career that you love. A spectacular garden that is the envy of the neighborhood. Great hair on a consistent basis. Anything. Be thankful! Show your gratitude. You can bet that somewhere, someone is wishing for that very thing.
Stay in the present moment and make peace with the past. Be here now and express gratitude for what already is. What can you be thankful for today? Let’s make some magic together.
Anna Doogan is a therapist, dancer, and writer in Portland, Oregon. She has a BFA in Dance, an MA in Clinical Psychology, and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Consciousness and Spirituality and a certificate in Dream Studies. Through her private practice SoulWakening, Anna uplifts and inspires women with soul-centered sessions, workshops, and courses. When she is not exploring the expression of human emotions, Anna enjoys life with her husband and three beautiful children. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.