Breath of Thanks: Day 4

Breath of Thanks: Day 4.
21 Days of Gratitude: Awakening the Heart.

I can sense a slight shift in me as I commit to a conscious gratitude practice.  What are you noticing in yourself? Yet to be honest, I am also noticing my resistance, which is part of the journey.

I am enjoying Angeles Arrien’s book, Living in Gratitude, and utilizing it as the core text for this gratitude series. It’s a real treasure!

For November, the focus is on Grateful Seeing, which is a powerful and practical theme. This is a rich theme, which I started to write about yesterday, and will continue to allow this concept to unfold.

Yesterday, I reminded myself to engage in grateful seeing, and as I did, I felt my heart grow in love for the people around me–a child’s smile relaxed me; the children’s laughter encouraged me; my husband’s warm hug comforted me.

I really encourage you to take this notion of grateful seeing into your daily life, and notice what happens.

Another simple and effective gratitude practice I’m discovering is “Breath of Thanks,” which was developed by Fred Lankin. It goes like this:

  1. Two or three times every day when you are not fully occupied, slow down and bring your attention to your breathing.
  2. Notice how your breath flows in and out without your having to do anything.
  3. Continue breathing this way for about three to five slow, deep breaths.
  4. For each of the next five to eight inhalations, say the words thank you silently to remind yourself of the gift of your breath and how lucky you are to be alive.

—from Angeles Arrien’s, Living in Gratitude, pg. 209.

This practice invites us to embody gratitude, allowing the gift of the breath in our bodies to awaken our hearts to gratitude.

You might want to try the “Breath of Thanks” as you prepare to write in your gratitude journal today.

Gratitude Journal for Day 4:

  • Pause. Settle into the moment.
  • Open your heart in gratitude.
  • List 5 or more moments, experiences, or things you are grateful for today.
  • Amen.

I am finding that thanking myself is very encouraging–so in my gratitude journal, I will write: I am thankful to myself for having a quiet lunch; I’m thankful to myself for being patient and present to those around me; I’m thankful to myself for going swimming after a tiring day at work.

Cover of my Gratitude Journal

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