Several years ago, I started a daily gratitude practice. Each day seated in sacred space or foot on trail, I would reflect heart wide open on the blessings of my life. People, security, animals, freedom, flowers, health, big skies, challenges… The whole mess of it – big and small, eternal and fleeting.
This practice transformed me. I learned to see opportunity in challenge, to create peace in conflict, and to live contently and joyfully on the inside without needing external circumstances to align with perfection. Not always but mostly. And when I rolled off the wagon in the midst of an inner temper tantrum, I more easily witnessed myself and regained my footing. Equanimity.
The greatest gift was a melting away of stress. It wasn’t an elimination of it – effortful and intentional. It just seemed to evaporate like it never existed to begin. Again, not always. You may still find me from time to time full tilt, but generally, stress debilitates my life less. I shirk from the fear of failure less, and because I take more chances, my life is blossoming in fascinating ways that lights me up.
As I continued my gratitude practice on January 1st, I had this sudden flash of awareness. My gratitude practice, while altruistic, was about me. I viewed it through a lens of how it impacted my life. And while this is all well, I sat curiously staring at this reality as a gap.
The gap in our life can be a source of frustration or a question mark of potential.
So in 2017, I’m shifting my gratitude practice to be about the subject of my gratitude practice. Each morning since January 2nd, I have written my gratitude for the day in my journal and then taken connected deeply. What does this look like? For me, it looks like hands on heart, looking upward with a giant goofy grin as I radiate my joy, love, support, and appreciation into the world.
For the balance of the day, I repeat that outward pouring of my light and love several times; with intention to land my joy bomb on the heart of someone or something.
I love finding a gap; this question mark of potential. It is the portal of what’s next in our life, and for me, 2017 is an exploration of deeper gratefulness. What is your question mark of potential? Will you play with it?