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The Practice of Being Grateful

It has been a while since I have been able to sit down and just breathe on a Saturday!  I am grateful that I can do this today!  School started and I have been running, teaching, grading, observing, conferencing, cooking, painting, being a wife, being a mother, visiting my mom and dad, watching Clemson football, and today, I am just resting!  I am grateful for rest.  I feel I need to catch up on sleep, so I may even take a nap today; which is highly unusual for me!  However, as you might have already guessed, I am very much like many people: an overachiever.  I have known this for years.  It is really difficult for me to just sitor take a break because there is always something I want to do, or have to get accomplished.  What does this have to do with gratefulness?  I have a practice of gratefulness.  

Having a practice of gratefulness, is a practice of well-being.  I used to keep a journal for a year, and I would write at least ten things that I was grateful for each day.  I really enjoyed having this practice, but I realized that you do not need to write it down to practice gratefulness, you can simply speak it into the world each day.  I find myself being grateful even more just by speaking it into my daily routines.  I find myself practicing this as I am getting ready for my day, driving, cooking, washing dishes, painting, and before I go off to sleep.  Just whispering the simple words in your mind, "I am grateful for ______________" makes me feel happy.  So what is the benefit of being grateful?  There are many benefits.  First, I have a feeling of belonging when I am grateful, I feel happy, I feel the world brings you more to be grateful for in your daily living.  It is a place of peace, prayer, and reality.  Many good things happen.  Even being grateful for things that do not go our way, brings acceptance.  Try this: for the next month, just whisper the phrase above and see what happens to you.  Maybe you already have a practice of gratefulness.  

So I will end by whispering out loud: " I am grateful for just being."  "I am grateful for everything I need."  "I am grateful for stillness."  "I am grateful for my strong faith."  "I am grateful that I still have my parents." "I am grateful for my husband."   "I am grateful for a beautiful daughter and son in law."  "I am grateful for my dog, Roxy."  "I am grateful for Mr. Kisser."  "I am grateful for my teaching career."  " I am grateful for ALL students past and present who have touched my life in so many ways."  "I am grateful to parents of these past and present students who have become my friend and touched me in so many ways."  "I am grateful for ............................................................it never ends!  

So, when we are grateful, we do not have time to think about negative things!  Just try it for yourself!

 

Deborah Barrineau