I know that this topic has been covered by most inspirational authors and in hundreds (maybe thousands) of books and magazine articles. Alas, I have my own take on it, and I wanted to share my belief about one of the strongest subjects I know about… Gratitude.
As you may know, I have thousands of things to be grateful for. All of us do. But, we rarely take the time during the day to think about those things, let alone focus and be thankful for them. About four years ago I discovered a way that I could make sure that I concentrate on the things most important to me on a daily basis. This powerful tool is actually just a simple rock. That’s right… I carefully selected a nice small stone from beside a creek and use it as my reminder of the things I should be thankful for. I call this tool my gratitude stone.
There’s not really anything special about my gratitude stone. I did want it to be fairly smooth, so it doesn’t snag on my pants pocket. It was also important to have it be small, to avoid huge bulges in my pants (I have enough of those already – HA!). This stone also happens to be one of the things that I am grateful for.
You might be asking yourself how I use the stone… Well, let me enlighten you to my usage.
First off, I put the stone on my dresser at night with my wallet and Chap Stick. This way I remember to bring it with me every day. When I finish getting dressed in the morning, I pick up the rock and start my daily ritual. Before slipping it into my pocket, I spend about two minutes holding it, rubbing it, and thinking about the things I am grateful for. Some things (e.g. wife, kids, work, friends, and so on) come quickly and easily to me, so I focus on them first. After thinking about each of those things, I dig deeper into my imagination and try to come up with five more things that I might not have thought of without prying a little. And, I do more than simply say, I am grateful for yada… After choosing the topic to be thankful for, I then take it one step further and ask, “Why am I thankful for yada?”
This morning ritual is not the only time I thank the universe for the things I am so fortunate to have in my life. The reason I have the stone in my pocket is so that I will feel it throughout the day. Anytime I reach into my pocket to pull out keys, Chap Stick, or money I also find that wonderful trinket. Once I touch it, I spend a moment and rub it. During that time I quickly pop through my list of things I’m thankful for. It’s only for a moment, but I do this a dozen or more times each day. Then, at the end of my day, while I’m emptying my pockets, I do it again. So I probably spend ten to fifteen minutes (at a minimum) of every day focusing solely on the things that matter most to me.
Since you guys are all probably wondering what I think about when I rub my stone, I thought I would list out some of the things:
- My wife
- My kids
- My brothers and sisters
- My moms and dads (yes, that is plural… HA!)
- My longevity and ability to outlive everyone’s expectations
- Work (yep… I love it, and am grateful for it)
- My hobbies and fun stuff
- My home (shelter)
- Food on my dining room table (and in the fridge)
After I finish with the easy list, I move on to the tougher to think of things like:
- My five senses (fortunately I have all five at my disposal)
- My arms and legs (not everyone is as lucky as me)
- The sun (and the moon)
- The snow
- Four seasons
- Social networks
- My gift of writing
- Internet access
- Life coaches and mentors
- Challenges (yes sir… Very grateful for these, because they help me grow!)
You get the picture. And, hopefully I have helped you realize that there are lots of wonderful things for you to be thankful for too.
Do you believe in gratitude? Please comment and let us know what you are thankful for. And, tell us if you use something like a gratitude stone to remind you of them.
Hopefully this was a post to remember… And, maybe even be grateful for.
I’m more grateful for you readers than you can imagine!
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