Have you ever been in one of those ‘blue phases’? You know those time when you’re feeling a bit low, a tad flat, and even your favourite person has a hard time cheering you up. Well that was me. I was rushing too much, and spending way too little time on the things that brought me joy. Life became one fast-paced haze, and I lost my focus on the things that mattered.

I remember a friend saying that it was the little things that brought her joy. She loved flowers and even though she didn’t grow any she visited gardens at home and on her trips away. She explained how she loved to take time noticing each one, looking at the petals, their shape, colour and texture. She would become completely engrossed with the beauty before her and it bought her so much joy.

As I thought of her I remembered how much I loved watching clouds in they sky. Since I was a kid I would look up at the sky to notice if there were any clouds. I was mesmerised by their shapes and how they changed into fantastic creatures right before my eyes. I imagined I that could read their secret meaning meant just for me.

As time went on and life got so busy I forgot to make the time to stop and just enjoy watching the clouds. It’s funny, isn’t it, how we can all get caught up in the cycle of our busy lives that we forget to truly appreciate the ‘little things’ in life.

When was the last time you paused, and took a deep breath just because it felt good? When was the last time you looked up at the sky and genuinely enjoyed just watching the clouds, or feeling the sun on your skin? Have you ever watched the sunlight sparkling on the water enjoying the light playing on the waves?

It struck me that I had forgotten to appreciate the ‘little things’ in life that had once brought joy and magic into my life. I had let my ‘attitude of gratitude’ slip away, forgetting to savour the specialness of each and every moment life brings. I had forgotten to appreciate myself, my life’s achievements, and all the things I valued about being me. No wonder life felt flat, low and blue.

Gratitude is a feeling and an attitude that starts from within ourselves and radiates outwardly into our lives. The more we focus on appreciating and valuing ourselves, the people in our lives, and our life, our sense of gratitude grows. We appreciate and value ourselves, our life, others, instead of taking everything for granted.

Having been caught up in the hectic cycle for so long I realised that I had overlooked the fundamental starting point which was to appreciate myself. Have you ever had this experience where it’s so much easier to appreciate other people than to honestly appreciate who you are?

So I decide to make time each morning to write down at least three things I appreciated about myself. I would make time to contemplate and write these down. For example, “I am grateful that I am kind”, “I am grateful that I am honest”, “I am grateful that I am open minded”. I focused on all the good and positive things about me.

Yes there is always room for improvement however its so important to be grateful for who you are today. Be grateful for where you are in your life right now, knowing that you have the ability to improve, enhance and transform your life, setup by step.

I thought about my life and the many things I had to be grateful about. I lived in a beautiful place, I had clean water to drink, food to eat, a house to live in, series and facilities, opportunities for education and so much more. So many people in our world do not even have the basics of clean water and food and safe shelter.

I thought about the incredible design and intricacy of my body and how it sustains life. I was so grateful for my healthy, fit and strong body. I was so grateful for my ability to move, dance, walk, run, jump, and skip. I had trekked up mountains, climbed cliffs, scaled walls, camped in the bush, ridden on camels in deserts all with this amazing body. It really struck me how blessed I was.

At first I was writing these down from my headspace because I was determined to do the exercise. However what happened after a few weeks was amazing. I started to actually feel the feelings of what it was like to be those qualities. I started to feel caring, kind, and honest inside my heart. Then the feelings started to last throughout the day. After a while I noticed that I would unconsciously act more caring towards someone or about their situation. I would find myself offering random acts of kindness without any pre-planning. I began to be more honest with myself about what I liked and didn’t like, what I was prepared to do or not, and speaking up for myself more. It was like I was imbibing the qualities I appreciated about myself and they were growing. The more I focused on what I was grateful about myself the lighter and happier I felt.

I expanded my circle of gratitude to include my family, friends, all the people in my life who genuinely love and support me, people I work with and beyond. I started to see these people in a new way. Rather than focusing on what was ‘wrong’ with them in my eyes, I started to see their positive qualities, and what was ‘good’ and ‘right’ about them. I began to appreciate all they brought into my life and all they had taught me about myself. It was such an eye opener to view these people from a new light.

After several months my daily gratitude ritual became a habit. It became second nature in my thought process throughout the day. I found that my life force was stronger, my happy vibe increased and I began to attract all the gratitude I had put out. My life satisfaction increased and I felt happy with myself and with my life.

It was like I had built an internal reservoir of gratitude which generated feelings of joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, excitement and anticipation. It was like my life force was amped up and I was able to embrace life fully, lovingly, and with volition.

Gratitude meditation

So let’s create a quiet and peaceful place where you can fully immerse into building your inner reservoir of gratitude. You may like to sit up in bed, sit in a meditative position or in your favourite arm chair. Maybe you would like some background music or simple quiet. Begin by taking three slow breaths. Inhale slowly and steadily and then release slowly and steadily. Each time you breathe out feel yourself relaxing. Bring your awareness to your heartspace and allow yourself to gently connect with your inner self.

Reflect upon your yourself and contemplate all the things you are grateful for in this moment. Are you grateful for your healthy body, or your kind heart, or maybe its your caring nature? Maybe you are grateful that you have clean water to drink, healthy food to eat and a safe home to live in. Are you grateful that you have an education, a job, a career, and opportunities to improve your life? Make time to write down the things you are grateful about.

Return to your meditation and reconnect to your heartspace. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy being surrounded by the gratitude that is growing within you. Contemplate upon your life and consider the people you are grateful about. Are you grateful for your partner, family, friends, or neighbours? Are grateful for your co-workers, the people who do business with, or know professionally? Write down the people who pop into your mind you feel grateful towards.

Again, when you are ready return to your meditation and reconnect to your heart space. Expand your gratitude outwardly to your city, state, country, and out into the world. Are you grateful for all the beauty and wonder life brings to you? Are you grateful for the beauty of nature that surrounds you? Are you grateful for the rich culture, art, design, our world has to offer? Make time to write these down.

Review your notes and choose three things you are grateful about today. For example. “I am grateful for my healthy body”, “I am grateful for my loving family”, “I am grateful that I can walk in the forest”.

Now visualise yourself as experiencing the things you are grateful for in your life. See yourself being, doing and having these experiences as part of your daily life. As you practice this each day your attitude of gratitude will strengthen and become a natural part of your life.

After much soul searching, I developed these daily practices to inspire you to be the happiest, healthiest and most empowered woman you know. I would love for you to share these daily practices with those you love!

I believe in you. I believe in your brilliant LoveLight. Let it shine brightly for all to see.

copyright 2017 Illira Margaritis

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