I recently discovered I had two new relatives! Cousins I call them – they appeared in my life at just about the same time a few years ago and now they travel everywhere with me. They are Mindfulness and Gratitude.
These relatives are great house guests, no trouble at all. In fact, I have found they have brought me more joy and blessings than I ever expected. You can have these cousins come to stay at your house, anytime you want. They’re so quiet and respectful, you hardly know they’re there. Let me tell you how I found them.
Growing Into Gratitude
I was visited first by Gratitude, the gregarious cousin, the one that likes to be among people. It happened after a rather low time in my life and I found myself inspired to start a gratitude practice one day.
The idea came to me out of the blue, and it was to send a thank you note a day. Seemed odd at first, but I got out my pen and slowly warmed up to the idea. It felt great to write and send those first few thank you notes and within only a few short days, this long-lost relative became my daily companion.
I would sit with Gratitude to write out a personal note card early each morning, to thank someone from the day before for a kindness they had done for me. Sitting and feeling the thankfulness felt wonderful and each time, it lightened my mood for the day, even if the clouds were dark and rumbling. It didn’t matter! Gratitude helped me write out the card and then the envelope. Together we attached the stamp and then we put on our coats to drop the card out to the post box, usually on my way to work.
Then, sure enough, I was introduced to the second cousin, Mindfulness, the quieter one. This cousin was always elusive in my life. I could never seem to make a solid connection. Other friends could seem to meditate easily and practice mindfulness but it just didn’t click with me, I never knew why. I tried it many different ways but I couldn’t really seem to get in the zone.
I was so surprised how I actually ended up discovering the beauty of this cousin, Mindfulness! The connection came to me as I went about my daily travels through work and life. It was because once I had Gratitude in my life, and I was doing my daily thank you note practice, I then had to identify someone to thank each day. I had to suddenly pay attention to my daily activities, instead of barreling through life at 100 miles an hour.
I came to realize that everyone who served me or helped me or encouraged me was special! All I had to do was slow down to notice this, I just had to be mindful. It was truly an “aha” moment. Each person was so good at their job, making coffee, working at the DMV, or in the office beside me, whatever their profession, or if they were a friend, I began to really pay attention to everyone I met up with. And sure enough, each time they came to my aid or went over and above the call of duty.
It was magical, miraculous and I loved it! I still love it. I smile before every transaction and I have no trouble at all finding someone to thank the next day. I am now mindful and present in my daily life and it has transformed me into a kinder, gentler, happier and more prosperous person than before.
So this is why I’m singing the praises of my two new cousins: Mindfulness and Gratitude! Invite them over, there are lots of them to go around. I would love to hear how your relationship with them grows, as you embrace Gratitude and welcome Mindfulness into your daily life.
Elena Anguita is a change agent, speaker, and author of Spread Thanks! Create Miracles Through The Power of Ink who supports education and passionately believes in the transformative power of gratitude. You can connect with Elena on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SpreadThanks.com.
Image courtesy of Nycolle Suabya.