This morning I was sitting down to work at my desk with a steaming hot cup of almond chai I had just made and realized that I was filled with gratitude and joy at this little cup of warm goodness in front of me.
This made me reflect back on something I heard in a ‘Happiness’ workshop I attended recently, lead by a good friend of mine, Celeste DiMilla (stay tuned for more from her!).
One of the things she talked about was not only the happiness benefits of cultivating gratitude in one’s life, but of the importance of really reveling in the FEELINGS of gratitude and how those feelings are what carries the deep healing benefits.
I LOVE this.
And have noticed this so often in the work I do.
As you know, I have spoken about how gratitude can be so supportive on your healing journey with food and your body, and so I really resonated with what Celeste had to share.
I have noticed that often people start a gratitude practice that then becomes habit and loses its meaning. I, myself, have been guilty of this.
In order to really tap into the healing benefits, it is so important to actually deeply FEEL the gratitude of an experience (or whatever it is we are grateful for).
Let’s put this into practice: think about an experience that has really brought a lot of meaning and gratitude in your life. It doesn’t have to be an earth shattering experience – just something that really touched you deeply.
For example: my husband hates gardening. But we have a large front yard vegetable garden that it really MY project. He likes the idea of it, and enjoys the benefits of it but really dislikes yard work of any kinds. BUT – he so often spends a part of his day off working in it – weeding, fixing the watering systems, mulching, building a trellis – or some other project that needs attending in it. He does it because it needs to be done but also because he knows how much I appreciate it and can’t do it all by myself.
When I see him out there, I feel sooooo appreciative and filled with gratitude – especially know that he is spending some of his precious time off doing something he really does not enjoy.
It provides me with deep feelings of warmth and gratitude. This is just a small thing but it really means a lot to me and also makes me feel very cared for.
These are healing feelings – that warmth you feel deep inside.
These are the feelings we need to cultivate.
We all have experiences that are large that bring joy and gratitude but we have many more little instances that we may often overlook – and it’s those little things that make a life.
Like this morning when I felt so grateful for this little cup of warm goodness that had followed my morning yoga. I had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude just being able to nourish my body and warm my soul with such a small gesture of love to myself.
When we bring these experiences (and future experiences can count too – looking forward to something can bring forth these feelings too) to mind, Celeste called this SAVORING.
I love that.
Yes – savoring those precious moments of joy and gratitude are so healing.
Start creating a little store of those so you can call those forth to create those feelings.
And be on the lookout for spontaneous feelings of gratitude that show up.
This is where the true healing is. And where happiness and joy abounds.
One big tip that really rang true to me that Celeste mentioned was instead of practicing gratitude daily by journaling, etc. there seems to be MORE benefit if we just do it once a week. When we really sit down and SAVOR experiences, people, things that we are truly grateful for, those feelings are so powerful and healing.
So designate a time each week to gratitude. Really dive into the FEELINGS that come up. You will be amazed at how refreshed and joyful you feel afterwards – and for how long this lasts.
These little moments are the key to lasting joy.