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Mindful : April 2018
can keep our hearts open to the tenderness in our daily experiences. There are so many things to be grateful for. Take trees, for example. Trees freely provide fruit and shelter and even offer themselves as climbing gyms for the young, the old, and what-the-heck-are- you-thinking-get-down- from-there Nana! The wild kingdoms of plants and animals are exuberant, col- orful, and extravagant. We are surrounded by abun- dance and yet mindlessly whirl into automatic pilot, losing sight of life’s nour- ishing wonders. The same is true of peo- ple. Have you ever picked up someone else’s socks, or stayed late at the office to help out, or held a door open for a stranger, or let someone else have the remote? When no one bothers to thank you, how does it feel? And who do you fail to thank? Re- member: Offering our appre- ciation to one another is a powerful way to strengthen and even repair emotional bonds. Try it. It’s free. As we cultivate greater appreciation for what is around us, we can include being thankful for what’s inside of us. We can delight in and feel grateful for our own unique talents and strengths. Perhaps you have a knack for making people laugh, or for being an astute listener. Or maybe you can thank yourself for just getting out of bed and making it through the day. We can be grateful that we have a heart, a mind, and the wisdom to know how to live with kindness and compassion. Here are some simple gratitude tips that you can try starting right now: 1. Say “thank you!” Who doesn’t want to be appreci- ated for their efforts? Saying thanks can be a gift, and one that feels pretty good, too! 2. When you’re feeling low, take a moment and write down some things that spark gratitude in you, like: • The pleasure of the spring sun • A stirring piece of music or art • A delicious or nutritious meal • A child’s laughter, a stranger’s sweet smile, a shared moment of joy 3. Describe in as much detail as possible how your body feels when you express gratitude. Which emotions accompany these bubbly feelings? What kind of thoughts do you notice? When you begin to turn more frequently toward the things you appreciate, the world increasingly opens to reveal that there is always some small thing for which you can be grateful. ● REMEMBER: OFFERING OUR APPRECIATION TO ONE ANOTHER IS A POWERFUL WAY TO STRENGTHEN AND EVEN REPAIR EMOTIONAL BONDS. TRY IT. IT’S FREE. 32 mindful April 2018 inner wisdom