My husband and I have been trying our best to practice gratitude at night time. With time we have noted how been grateful influences our day to day thoughts and feelings. From being grateful for the big things (the health of our kids) to be grateful for the more ordinary things (My new recipe worked). As the night sets in and we are resting in our bed we name two things for which we are grateful, it makes us smile and sometimes laugh, it makes us feel the complicity of knowing that we are lucky, that we have enough, that we have what we need. We are grateful.
A few weeks ago we started including the kids. They are 12 and 9 and we thought they were up to the challenge. We work hard to try to have a “dinner time” every day, the four of us, with a home-cooked meal and a mandatory conversation, so we decided this was the right time to do it and it has been surprising to see what our kids can be grateful once they feel comfortable enough to open up to us.
They are grateful because we took them to soccer practice or swimming clinics, grateful because the dinner tastes good or because they had good dreams the night before, they are grateful because they got good grades or did well in a school assignment, they are grateful for cold weather, and rainy weather, they are grateful we give them extra 15 minutes in the Ipads or we left them to watch a TV show. They are grateful because we do nice things for them and because we love them. Every time they say they are grateful out loud it becomes real to them and it becomes real to us.
As the new year starts I challenge you to practice gratitude. To practice it with your family, with your loved ones, with your close friends. Practice gratitude so that your mind can remind your soul of the great things around you.