Getting in touch with the memories of your heart:
When Oprah attended a Tony Robbins seminar in 2011, she says, he led an exercise that brought her to tears and reawakened memories she hadn’t thought about for 20 years. As we begin this course I’ve chosen, via Oprah’s YouTube clip, to let Tony lead us in this exercise. Hopefullly you are alone in the room and can fully enter into the exercise. If not, you might want to save it until you can be alone and really enter into it. Tony calls the exercise the Emotional Flood, an exercise where we flood ourselves with positive memories, memories for which we are truly grateful. Let yourself really enter into the video clip, don’t just “Look at it.” Allow yourself to “FEEL IT” by participating fully.
Why we need to focus on Gratitude?
What is Gratitude?
Stop, Look, Go – A Framework for Gratitude
Brother David offers a process to help us remember to be grateful: Stop, Look, Go.
- Stop – take a moment or put up stop signs around the house as a reminder to express gratitude. — I use what I call a a gratitude stone. It’s an ordinary stone that I keep in my pocket. When I put my hand in my pocket, it reminds me to look for things for which I’m grateful and then to express gratitude.
- Look – be present and aware of the moment; that is essential. See, smell and experience what is going on. Take in all that is there. You want it to be ingrained in your memory. If I’m not noticing anything, I always ask God “what am I missing?” and before you know it something comes into my mine for which I’m very grateful or I see something that I didn’t notice a few minutes ago. Try it you’ll like it! But really take the time (even just 30 seconds) to really look and feel your gratefulness
- Go – take action — Express gratitude or share your gratefulness with others. — If there’s someone right next to you, share it right away, so that you can share the joy of articulating your gratefulness. If no one is there remember it for your gratitude journal that day. If the gratitude involves a person who you were reminded of — call them or write them or make some contact. If they are deceased then journal about them that evening in your gratitude journal. If gratitude is the memory of the heart. You can choose to make nice memories every day!
These are simple steps but during this week if you focus on them you will notice a difference in your life.
Some optional homework to consider for an Attitude of Gratitude
(I know I can only cover so much in a session before I overwhelm or bore you so I put little practices or segments into the week. They are important because they are all a part of helping you develop that Attitude of Gratitude. But there is nothing magical about the sequencing. Life may make it impossible to do all of them or one may really appeal to you and the others not touch you at all so just let happen what happens. It is an offering and that’s all.)
Day 1 of week 1
(LINK: gratitude journal)
Day 2 of week 1
Day 3 of week 1
Day 4 of week 1
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today; have you used one to say Thank You” (Dr. William Arthur Ward) . Here is a habit I have tried to develop over the past 20 years. I don’t know who introduced it to me but I am grateful for whoever that was. As soon as I get out of bed in the morning, as I place each foot on the ground, I say the two syllables “Thank You”. It is a simple gesture but always sets me off on the right path for my journey that day. If this wouldn’t help you then think of something else that you would want to develop as a “one second” moment of gratitude to your Creator. Also at some point today allow yourself time to sit in stillness and remember all that has been given to you by your Creator who loves you extravagantly. (Don’t forget your gratitude journal)
Day 5 of week 1
Here is a link to a poem by Mary Oliver that says it all: The Messenger by Mary Oliver I would invite you to sit with it. Read it through a few times and allow your heart to swell with gratitude the way she did. You might even want to try your own hand at a poem. If you do, please share it with us, we would be so grateful. (Write in your gratitude journal)
Day 6 of week 2
Here is a simple closing prayer to the week. It is some good quotes on gratitude arranged in the beauty of nature.