Awareness can be cultivated in many ways. One strong exercise I practice is my daily gratefulness list. Everyday I write down 10 things that I am grateful for. I started doing this on the 1st of June of this year and am glad to say that I haven’t skipped a day unless it was really impossible.
First thing every morning morning I lock myself up in the bathroom with my laptop on my lap. I open a Word document, write the date on top, preceded by an X (latin for ‘10’), like this:
Then I select the numbered list tool and start thinking of 10 things I am grateful for. This can be anything: sleeping well, having seen someone, having had a certain dream, having certain people in your life, feeling happy, a delicious meal, a good book,…
Some days it’s easier to find 10 things than others. I’ve also noticed that there are things that I repeat often, like having slept well.
There’s good in your life
The idea behind this is to build awareness of the many good things that are present in our lives, no matter our situation. I have written 114 gratefulnes lists since I have started in June. That’s 1.140 things I am grateful for. And even though there is some repetition, there are also many original lines and I am aware that many more are left out because I consider them too obvious.
The gratefulness list is a clear example of how you drip your bucket with positive thoughts. The effect is twofold. Not only do you increase your awareness of the good in your life, you also strenghten a mindset that is looking for those good things. And it’s your mindset that determines what you will find in the outside world.
In my case, the gratefulness list has had a huge impact. After a while, I found myself sticking mental post-its to things that happened during the day: ‘this must go on my list tomorrow, and that too,..’ Of course, on some other days I really have to wring it out. But even then I have never been unable to come up with 10 things to be grateful for.
Gratefulness exercises are old techniques to train your awareness. Personally, I found my inspiration in Rhonda Byrne’s book The Magic, which has many other exercises to offer. While I don’t believe in magic, I do believe in people inspiring each other.
A very personal exercise
Feel free to try it out for yourself. All you need is pen and paper and a save place to keep it. You will learn that your grateful list is something very personal, you could end up writing down things you don’t want others to see. Nothing to be ashamed of, but probably something to keep in mind.
I’ll go first and share my gratefulness list of today, 4th of October 2017.
Let me know how it works out for you, here or on Facebook!