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It’s the simple things in life that often have the greatest impact.  Gratitude is something that’s so easy to overlook and take for granted as being ‘airy fairy’, especially in this modern world we live in where we have very high, and often unrealistic, expectations and very little patience.

Most people are never happy because they always want ‘more’.  More money, a bigger house, a faster car, more holidays, better clothes.  What they have is never enough.  So there’s always this feeling of discontentment with life which keeps us focused on what we don’t have rather than what we already have.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with wanting more and aiming high in life.  And Bloom is all about unleashing your full potential to do just that!  But I do also think that it’s important for us to stop to take stock of what we do actually have, which is often a lot more than we believe.  It’s the old adage about seeing your cup as half full instead of half empty.  I believe that what we focus on expands.  If you focus on lack, you’re likely to get more lack!  If you focus on your blessings, you’re welcoming more blessings into your life 😊

There’s a free Gratitude Sheet below where you can capture all the things you are grateful for and put up somewhere prominent as a reminder to yourself.  Be sure to click on the link below this blog post to start your own gratitude practice today!

So, what can you be grateful for?

Gratitude for the past

The past is sometimes a place we don’t want to go back to depending on what memories our past conjures up for us.  Sometimes it can be hard to feel anything but bitter and resentful.  The truth of the matter is we can’t change the past, no matter how hard we agonize over it.  We have no control over what happened in the past, but we do have control over what perception we choose to have about it right now, in the present.

What can you be grateful for in your past?  Good health?  Food on the table every day?  Love and support?  Maybe some life lessons (I think we all have a few of those!)?  Use my free Gratitude Sheet below and take a few moments to fill in the 5 things you’re most grateful for from your past.  Maybe it taught you to be the resilient, determined person you are today?  Maybe you had a wonderful childhood that you didn’t realise until now that you were so lucky to have, in comparison to many who didn’t?  Focusing on the things that you can be grateful for, even if you can only think of one or two, helps you to have a deeper sense of gratitude for the present and future.

Gratitude for the present

The past is gone and cannot be undone, while the future is waiting to be written and yet, is also not guaranteed for any of us.  All we really have is the present.  What are you grateful for in your life right now, in this present moment?  There are probably a multitude of things to be grateful for that you have always overlooked.  If you’re reading this right now, you have eyesight to be grateful for and the ability to access online information – already there are two things that many others in this world do not have right now.

I know I can make a long list of all the things I am grateful for.  Family, friends, my community, food on the table, my income, a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in at night, my health and wellbeing, the ability to see, smell, touch, hear, feel.  Happy moments with loved ones.  Every morning before I get out of bed, I think of 5 or more things that I am grateful for at that moment.  Thinking of these things puts my focus firmly on what I have in my life, puts a smile on my face, fills my heart with gratitude and sets me up for a great day ahead – one that will be filled with even more things to be grateful for.

Gratitude for the future

Looking to the future feeling gratitude for both your past and present is a powerful way to attract more things to be thankful for.  It’s impossible to feel grateful and be in a negative state of mind.  As Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, says ‘Gratitude is the great multiplier’ – be grateful for all you have and more will come.  I am big believer in the power of visualisation.  Visualising the future you want will bring it to fruition.  Like Napoleon Hill said ‘What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’  Believe that great things are coming to you in the future because they are!  Whether it’s great experiences, great people or great ‘things’.  Write down on your Gratitude Sheet the 5 things you are most grateful for that are coming to your life.  That perfect partner?  Your dream job, business or home?  Peace and joy?  Whatever it might be, write it into existence and feel thankful for it in advance!  It may not be visible to you as yet, but you can be sure that in the invisible realm, it exists and is making its way to you!

Keep a Gratitude Journal …

There is great power in the written word.  Keep a gratitude journal where every day you write a short paragraph about what you’re grateful for that day.  Maybe for someone you’re seeing that day.  Maybe for something in your past that popped into your mind and made you smile.  If you keep a journal anyway, be sure to write a couple of lines every day showing gratitude for something and see how a change of perspective can literally change the course of your life.

If you use my Born to Flourish® planner-journal, you will find that gratitude features on a daily basis.  Every morning as you spend a few minutes filling in your daily journal page, there is the prompt ‘what are you grateful for today?’  That means that every morning you get to write down at least one thing you are grateful for.  A great way to start your day!

Want to find out more about the Born to Flourish® planner-journal – head here!

… or Jar!

If daily paragraph writing is not quite your thing, a fun way of harnessing the power of gratitude is to keep a Gratitude Jar (or tin or whatever you like!)!  You could write down on bits of paper all the things you’re grateful for, one on each piece of paper, and put them in your jar, and then every day, take out a piece of paper and spend a minute or two just closing your eyes and feeling the gratitude deep down in your heart for that item.  Why are you grateful for it? What difference has it made to your life, how are you a better person today because of it?  Or every day you could write one thing down and pop it into your jar, filling it up as the days go by.  Eventually you’ll be able to open your Gratitude Jar when you’re feeling a little low and fish something out to remind you about what you have to be grateful for.  You may even get to the point of needing another (or bigger!) Gratitude Jar when the one you have starts to overflow!  Imagine overflowing with gratitude!

Even Harvard Medical School have written articles such as this one on the benefits of gratitude so there is science to back this practice up too!  What’s not to love?  If you haven’t already done so, begin your gratitude practice today – grab your FREE Gratitude Sheet by clicking on the link below!