Hello my Thankful Thursday dreamers!
The most common problem expressed to me by my audiences where I am invited to speak is being able to start any sort of practice that will bring them closer to what it is they want to change about their lives.
Whether it is a small daily exercise habit, studying for school, eating healthier, meditating, writing in a journal, learning a new language, or a following through on a commitment to write everyday, they struggle with the “getting started” part the most.
The easiest way to start is to initiate a daily habit for one week–nothing too big or too overwhelming–something that begins small that you can try out for a week (or 14 days). Pick a small period of time that doesn’t seem too difficult so that you will feel comfortable implementing it without too much resistance.
When readers, and people I mentor, are stuck in a place where they can’t see a way out, or they believe that nothing will ever change, or they don’t believe that they indeed have the power within them to change their lives, I look to start with a gratitude practice. Starting with gratitude moves a person’s thoughts away from the negative and a place where they feel nothing is working to a place of hope.
Being grateful is such a simple, easy place to start a dream journey.
It doesn’t have to cost anything and there are all kinds of ways to practice gratitude when life seems to be stuck in a difficult space.
A simple 7 day gratitude habit is a perfect way to begin to bring about change. You don’t have to keep a journal. Just apply this 7 day practice where it works into your day and it can serve as a platform for creating a daily habit. The habit of being grateful helps you check in with yourself and spend time enjoying the moment you are in right now–leaving enough space for creativity to whisper its sweet callings to your soul.
Days of Gratitude:
Day 1 – Today I am grateful for my eyes.
Look in the mirror and see your eyes. Thank them for opening up your mind to the world. Place your fingers on your eyelids and be grateful. As you go about your day thank your eyes for showing you something you haven’t seen before. So much of your day goes unnoticed as you rush through it. There are smiles from children, the look on a beloved’s face, a colorful scarf, a beautiful cloud in the sky–so much to see that is beautiful. Spend this day observing everything your eyes do for you throughout the day. See what your eyes are calling you to see.
Day 2 – Today I am grateful for my ears.
What is the first sound you hear when you awaken in the morning? Do you like it? Is it peaceful silence or a glaring alarm? Is what you are feeding your ears conducive to how you want to live your life? Spend this day noticing what sounds bring you joy. Be grateful for the sound of a fire that warms you, the sound of the car that safely carries you to work. Notice your favorite songs on the radio, the sound of a loved one’s voice. Listen to the silence as you drift off to sleep. Hear what the universe is telling you.
Day 3 – Today I am grateful for my mouth.
What is the first thing you put in your mouth in the morning? Is it nourishing? How does it taste? How do your lips feel? What about your teeth? Did you spend time in the morning brushing them a full two minutes? Do you have a voice? Be grateful that it can speak up for you. Spend this day paying attention to how you sound. Are your words positive and reaffirming to yourself and those around you? Listen to what comes out of your mouth as well as observing what you put into it. How does it all make you feel in your gut? Taste what the world is feeding you.
Day 4 – Today I am grateful for breathing.
Breathe in deeply and slowly. Breathe out deeply and slowly. Did you know that the average person breathes 20,000 times a day? Breathing is everything to us, yet we take it for granted every single day. How you breathe can impact your mental state as well as your physical well-being. We breathe in oxygen to assist our bodies in converting the food we ingest into create energy in our cells, and to rid our bodies of carbon dioxide. It’s an amazing process that we often go days without thinking about. Spend this day paying attention to your breath. Take the time to breathe in and out slowly and be grateful for this life-giving act. Inhale the energy of life.
Day 5 – Today I am grateful for my hands.
Your hands do so much for you every day. They hold the steering wheel as you drive, bring food to your mouth to eat, help you communicate through technology, and extend a loving gesture to anyone you wish to touch. Imagine a world without your hands or the ability to sign your name. Spend this day paying attention to all the ways your hands help you throughout the day. Use them for good and treat them with the respect they deserve. Feel what life hands you.
Day 6 – Today I am grateful for my body.
When was the last time you gave yourself a hug and told yourself that you love you? Be kind to your body today. Thank it for carrying your soul through life. Thank it for housing your brain and for making it possible to exist here on earth. Say kind things to your body when you see it in the mirror. There are so many people that have not made it to the age that you are right now. You are so lucky to be here with another opportunity to change the direction of your life! Spend today gently caring for your body. Make it your good friend. Hear what your body is trying to tell you.
Day 7 – Today I am grateful for love.
Love makes the world a better place. Be grateful for the love you have in your life. Be grateful for the possibility of new love in your life. We often put so many expectations on what love is supposed to look and feel like that we don’t see all the different ways that love shows up in our lives every single day. Kindness is its own form of love. Spend this day performing random acts of kindness. Send loving thoughts to everyone that comes into your mind today and bless everyone you meet. Wish everyone well in their lives. Send loving thoughts to those you feel have wronged you. Bless them and set them free from your heart. What you put out always comes back around. Send out love today knowing that it will come back around to you threefold. Love is the answer to everything.
Thank you for showing up today to read this article. Without you there wouldn’t be a place on 8 Women Dream to share wisdom, love and courage. I hope I have inspired you today.
With a grateful heart,
Sue Faith Levy
Just Pursue It!
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Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves.