Gratitude, something that we often overlook in our daily lives. Frequently we only feel grateful for the more obvious, grandiose moments and dismiss the simple smile of a stranger, or the invite for a coffee from a friend.
Many of us do little to cultivate gratitude in our lives.
I know that in our family before starting on this journey of minimalism we spent very little time actively cultivating gratitude. We would often be rushing through our day trying to achieve all the goals a family of six needed to achieve before bedtime, leaving little, to no time to stop and think about how great our lives are. This is one of the key reasons that we ultimately decided to commit to minimalism.
‘The things we owned had begun to own us.’
We as a family spent all of our time maintaining things, leaving no time to actually appreciate what and who we did have in our lives. Minimising our possessions aided in this, but it could not, and does not, end with decluttering.
A shift in mind set was necessary and we knew it. But this kind of purposeful thinking left us with a burning question.
How do we learn to appreciate the things we have, more, and how could we not only teach our children, but show them, how to do it?
This is where the importance of gratitude became apparent and necessary to us. The path of self-betterment is challenging and uncomfortable at its best, but being able to find gratitude in moments of true pain has allowed us to take stock of the things, relationships and opportunities we have in our lives and truly appreciate them.
Each night we sit as a family before bed and ask each other the following questions;
- What are 3 things you are grateful for/happy about, today?
- Is there someone in your life who might be having a tough time at the moment, and is there something you could do to ease some of that suffering?
And then we meditate (See our post Take a deep breath https://sixonpurpose.com/2020/02/17/take-a-deep-breath/).
This daily practice has not only brought our family closer together but has also aided in the emotional development of everyone under our roof, even our 3-year-old son. It can be quite enlightening to see what your significant others, especially children, are grateful for!
(See https://theresilienceproject.com.au for more information on the practice of gratitude)
Try it, who knows you might find something there.