It is said that gratitude is the music of the heart – a kind and soft music that brings a smile to the face and warmth to the soul. Being that today is Thanksgiving and full of pumpkin pie and turkey, friends and family, let’s cultivate an attitude of gratitude that we can carry with us not just today, but everyday. Often in our hectic lives we focus more on the things that go wrong or the really big stuff that brings us joy or sorrow. Below is a meditation about finding three things you are grateful for – the small events that often get lost in the busyness of daily life.
The happiness of life…is made up of minute factions of the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Don’t worry about how long you meditate. The important thing is that you try, even if it is only for a few moments. It’s not about emptying your mind of all thoughts, it’s about focusing on one thought at a time. Feel free to play music and you may want to use a timer so you’re not worried about time (make sure the tone is soft for your ears and low in volume).
Find a quiet place and come into a comfortable seated position. You may want to sit on a bolster with your legs crossed or with your back against the wall. It is important to maintain a straight spine so the hips can sink down and breath can flow smoothly. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly.
Take a nice big inhale and a long letting go exhale. Repeat a few times until you feel your breathing even out. Close your eyes. Notice the beat of your heart.
As your breathing settles in to an easy and comfortable rhythm, think of something you are grateful for. Remember to focus on a small event; it could be a smile from a friend or the opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee uninterrupted. Let that thought gently roll around in your mind. Notice any feelings that arise. Maybe it brings a smile to your face and allows your shoulders to relax just a little. Allow these sensations to wash over you.
While that thought is floating around in your mind, bring another thing forward you are grateful for. Again, it softly meanders around in your mind and you may feel your jaw release.
Repeat the process one more time.
When you are finished with the meditation, release your hands to your lap and allow your chin to fall towards your chest. You may want to bring gentle movement into your neck by tracing the chin along one collarbone toward the shoulder then down across centre to the other side a few times.
As you are ready, gently blink your eyes open and bring your arms down by your sides. Inhaling, lift your arms overhead, gathering up all the positive energy you created. Exhaling, join palms together, lowering the hands down and bringing all that energy into your heart centre. As you carry on with your day, radiate that gratitude back out into the world.