The greatest and simplest thing we can do for our own health and well-being is to be grateful. To be grateful for what we have right now.
Grateful for the many gifts that have come into our lives, whether they are family, friends, opportunities, or activities.
Grateful for Mother Earth and all living beings in the world.
Grateful that we have yet another day to live upon this earth and share our purpose.
Do you have a regular gratitude practice?
There are many scientific studies now that have found that people who focus on gratitude regularly experience a greater sense of health and well-being.
And yet so many of us are feeling sad, fearful and overwhelmed these days.
“It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”
by Brother David Steindl-RastOften we know this in our minds, but it’s harder to put into a regular practice.There are many ways for us to practice gratefulness, but one of my favorite ways is in movement.
I invite you to join me right now! Let’s practice gratitude in movement together. First, take a moment to read through the steps before you get started. Then, let’s dive in together.
A Gratitude Practice in Movement
1. Stand with your feet firmly on the ground in a place you feel comfortable and won’t worry about being interrupted or watched. This will help you to be expressive in your movement without being self-conscious. If you’d like to play some soft, soothing music, without lyrics, in the background, you’re welcome to. But it’s not necessary.
2. Focus on your breathing. Once you’ve settled into your body with feet firmly on the ground, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Don’t change your breath, just focus on your breathing. In and out. For 1-2 minutes.
3. Center yourself. Continue focusing on your breath and say to yourself, I am grateful for the inner guidance and wisdom that I always have within me, and I return to that now.
4. Ask a question. Continue breathing normally and now ask yourself the question, what am I grateful for? Don’t try to force answers or make a list in your mind. Simply ask the question. Allow images or thoughts or words to come to you.
5. Be open to what arises. Then ask the question again, what am I grateful for? Take one image or thought and imagine how it might move. Maybe it flows, maybe it reaches out, maybe it folds in slowly. Holding that image in your mind, create a simple movement that embodies this one thing that you’re grateful for. As you hold gratitude for this in your mind and heart, repeat that simple movement expressing your gratitude for it with your whole body, your whole being.
6. Center yourself once again. After a couple minutes, come back to stillness, cross your arms over your chest and place your feet firmly on the ground. Allow your breath to settle once again.
7. Repeat this exercise 2 more times, if you’d like. Ask the question again, what am I grateful for? Allow an image or thought to arise. Consider how that idea might move and begin to move it. As you hold gratitude for this in your mind and heart, repeat that simple movement expressing your gratitude for it with your whole body.
8. Close with gratitude. When you have completed this 3 times, come back to your center. Ground your feet and allow your breathing to slow down. Hold gratitude in your heart and mind for the inner guidance that you have accessed during this practice.
Don’t worry if you forget a part once you get started or only want to do it one time today! What’s most important is that you embodied your feeling of gratitude within your whole being – mind, heart and body.
Gratitude in movement can bring your practice of gratefulness to a new level as you embrace and express it within your whole being in motion.
And it’s so much fun too!
Want to continue to explore how to embody feelings of gratitude with your whole being? Check out my upcoming course Master Your Creativity, starting again on November 3rd.