Gratitude Rituals are about setting an intention to be thankful for what is in your moment, your day, your life.
Gratitude has become a bit of a buzz word, but it is one of the simplest and most effective practices you can engage in to live a happier, healthier and more joyful life. By engaging in Gratitude Rituals you not only become conscious of just what is positive in your world, you actually create more and more positive experiences to be grateful for.
Rituals (1) are not based on necessity but rather a choice to invoke a certain result; a tea ritual for a Zen moment (2)… a bath ritual for total serenity… a bedtime ritual to take you to dreamland; they have the ability to turn an ordinary moment into something magickal.
A Gratitude Ritual at its simplest, is nothing more than appreciating what is good in life. I suppose in a way that makes it a little strange ~ why should any of us need a ritual to focus on what is good?
The fact is we are a village species, now being bombarded with global news, much of it sad, violent, and tragic. Along with this, we live in a time, where many people feel disconnected; from self, each other, animals, and Mother Earth. The coupling of these two has made it way too easy to be overcome with the negative; Gratitude Rituals switch our focus back to the positive.
Let your own personality and imagination guide you, but some suggestions to get you started:
- Wear a gratitude talisman (3) ~ a favourite piece of jewellery for example, and teach yourself to associate a moment of thanks with your talisman every time you look at or touch, it.
- Time for you ~ whether it’s a ten minute moment to watch the sunset or moonrise, or an hour for a walk, yoga, or reading, have some time out every day to be with self, savour every moment, and thank the universe for all you are enjoying.
- A gratitude journal ~ find yourself a lovely writing book, pick a time (morning, evening, whenever works for you) and write what you are grateful for each day. You may want to choose three things to write about each time, or just jot down everything you think of, or write in detail about one major thing. It really doesn’t matter, as long as it feels good to you. It is quite astonishing the results you get, in terms of starting to feel happier, when you journal in this way.
- Tell someone you are grateful for them and why ~ it can be a loved one, someone in your social media circle, a co-worker, a person who holds a door open for you, or someone doing it hard who just needs to hear some encouragement. Letting others know they are appreciated helps you to appreciate self as well.
- Have a gratitude coin jar ~ every time you feel a moment of thanks throw a coin in your jar. When you have enough, use the money to do something for someone who has less to be thankful for than you do.
- An evening conversation or reflection ~ when you sit down for your evening meal (or any other time), if you are with company, take it in turns of saying what you are grateful for in your day. If you are eating on your own, you can do it as an inner reflection, run through all that felt beautiful in your day and give thanks.
Gratitude Rituals are a way of re-connecting with self and the world around us. Like many things they are self-fulfilling prophecies ~ the more you engage, the more they work; not surprising really when you remember that everything is energy and everything is connected.
Creativity and your own personal stamp are the only keys needed for Gratitude Rituals.
Journalling, time out, smelling the flowers, play, music, being around trees, connecting to the sacredness of all life, will bring great joy and spiritual peace into your everyday life.
May you have much to be thankful for every day. ~ GreenWitch Tea
A Zen parable: Rengetsu was a female mystic travelling on a pilgrimage. She arrived at a village just before nightfall. She asked the villagers for lodging for the night and was refused by everyone, forcing her to spend the night outside under the stars. She was awakened in the middle of the night by the cold. In the light of the full moon she saw the fully opened cherry blossoms. She was so overcome by their beauty, she wrote this poem:
Through their kindness in refusing me lodging, I found myself beneath the blossoms on the night of this misty moon.