Gratitude can be more powerful than any resolution! It helps us cleanse our hearts of unwanted resentment, anger and malice. And keeps us looking forward with positivity and zest. So, pledge to carry it in your heart this new year. And let it envelop you in everlasting peace and calm.
Nelson Mandela made a touching comment about the day he left prison, he said – “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
Holding on to past grudges makes us weak. It defeats our spirit. And makes us hollow and frail. We need the fortification of gratitude to uplift us. To make us better people. And to strengthen our relationships – with ourselves as well as with others.
We have stepped into a new year. A year brimming full of possibilities and opportunities. Even so, open the doors to your soul with gratitude and thankfulness, and welcome them wholeheartedly into your life. Let this be a new and refreshing beginning.
Try these activities
- Find a clean mason jar and ready it up. Make a note when something ‘happy’ happens to you and pop it in the jar. Open and read all your notes at the end of the week.
- Maintain a gratitude journal. Start your day with a positive thought. Make a conscious effort to follow it during the day, even when things get difficult. Write your experience down in your journal.
- Thank others as often as you can. Especially when someone goes out of their way to make you happy. Acknowledge and accept every gesture. Don’t worry if it feels a little awkward in the beginning, things will progress as you put in more practice.
- Do you have people in your life who make your life worthwhile? Pets and plants also count. Click some pictures with them. Make a big collage of these treasured pictures and hang it on a wall in your room.
- Forgive others. Forgive yourself. And learn to let go. Read my blog (from a couple of weeks back) on the Art of Letting Go.
- Do something kind for another person. Give to the poor and homeless out of your paycheck. Buy something meaningful for someone important.
- Leave an anonymous note for a person at your workplace sharing a heartfelt thought or compliment. You can leave the note on their desk, or under the viper of their car. Leave it somewhere they are sure to find it.
- Rinse your heart of expectations. Try to be more open. People mean well and have good intentions for us. Believe that.
- Give others a second chance. Keep your slate clean.
- Reserve some time for your spiritual practice. During this time participate in meditation. Or, read something positive, motivating and inspiring, and share this with others who are in a similar position as you.
- Give generously to a charity. Volunteer for a good cause. Make a habit of it.
- Listen to others when they open up and talk to you. By listening to others, you are giving them your time and undivided attention. This is the best gift to give another. Similarly, share your innermost thoughts and feelings with trusted friends. Cultivate good friendships and surround yourself with giving relationships.
I sincerely hope that the new year brings you great happiness and unlimited joy. And I wish that the gratitude you carry in your heart blunts the sad moments and makes them more bearable.
In health and calm,