One morning in a yoga class a few years ago, our teacher read some verses about the power of gratitude. They were timely words for me, because just that week, I had started to keep a very simple gratitude journal. It’s something I hadn’t really done before—not because I’m ungrateful, but because I was always distracted with other things. Several days before that yoga class, the seventh in a ten-day series of emails about stress management arrived in my inbox. It suggested that gratitude was one way to manage stress.
Fast forward a few years to this morning. I saw a post in a yoga-related Facebook group I belong to about the habits of happy people. One of these habits, of course, was practicing gratitude.
No matter how many times I hear about the power of gratitude, it never gets old. Gratitude is without doubt one of the most important things to practice. And yes, it’s a practice!
I know I have a lot to be thankful for, even though it often seems like there is much room for improvement. You may feel the same way. Too often, the extent of my focus on gratitude is simply to acknowledge there are good things in my life, and I “should” pay more attention to them. Maybe it’s the same for you.
Back when I started that gratitude journal, I was surprised at how quickly I learned about the true power of gratitude. It only took a few days of writing down one or two sentences. If you make a commitment to focusing on something you are grateful for every day, you may be surprised by just how many blessings you have.
I am not exaggerating.
You’ve probably heard this idea of keeping a gratitude journal. You may even do it. But if you haven’t gotten around to trying it yet, maybe now is the time.
The Power of Gratitude Revealed
Poet Melody Beattie, whose words my yoga teacher read that morning a few years back, are magical. Read them, and see if you agree. There’s an excerpt below, but I highly recommend the entire poem, better yet, the entire book!
As I listened to my yoga teacher read these words, I realized that the power of gratitude power to turn lack into plenty is real—even while there are things I’d like to have, improve, or change.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie
You Have So Much More
Where do you feel lack? Are you hungry? Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast. Are you lonely? Gratitude can turn a stranger into a friend. Feel like a screw-up? Be thankful because your mistakes may be important events.
If there is anything missing for you right now, I invite you to read Melody’s words again. Try reading them slowly in a still, quiet place, and let them work their magic.
Thank you, Melody Beattie. And thank you, yoga teacher Michele for reading this in class and reminding once again to be grateful!