What is gratitude
I was watching the Friends reunion thing and I was like, “Can you be any more grateful?” Being grateful doesn’t take a lot of work. I saw this one video from Doctor Wayne Dyer, he gave an example of the triangle effect. When you share gratefulness, it generates more gratitude. It perpetually expands kind of like compounding interest. Expressing gratitude gives more opportunity for it to grow and it spreads like wildfire (like in a good way). So being grateful has its benefits, has its perks. We’re giving it that space and giving gratitude away. I’m not practicing gratitude. If I’m not living a gratitude first life, I’m stifling it before it even has a chance to begin. It’s a very weird place to be. I’m trying to think of these negative words to take the place of gratitude. If I’m occupying that same space with gratitude, I’m able to cultivate more, I’m able to share more. I’m able to give more gratitude away. When I ask if you can be grateful in 2021? Yes, yes the answer is yes, you can be grateful.
Well, maybe. I mean everyone is different. Everyone’s got their own opportunities.
I was going to listen to a gratitude type meditation on my way home. This is way better.My friend Meghan
That’s awesome you (Meghan) use a gratitude type meditation. Which meditation app do you use to help keep you center? I’m more familiar with the Calm.com, but there’s also another one called Headspace. They both have free versions of their app, but they also have paid versions. I like being part of Calm.com and joined the Facebook group. I didn’t think there would be anything to it, but as soon as I removed my – once I relinquished my inhibitions, I was like, “You know what? These are a group of like-minded people. Just join the group already.” I’m so glad I did. It’s a community of other people who are interested in gratitude and express empathy towards each other. They support each other when they need help. I’m really enjoying this Facebook group. It’s nothing but positive support. (In the group) People will share not just what their struggles are, but also what they celebrate. There’s way more celebrating in this Facebook group (than struggles). I find it uplifting when someone can share their small win. They’re open, transparent, and their heart & their soul is on their sleeve. They’re putting it out there saying, “Hey, I just got the small win.”
An attitude of gratitude
I want to call it a connection and a Return to Source. I want to call it a supportive mentality. I’m surrounding myself with other grateful people, starting my day with a gratitude first mentality. Starting my day with gratitude. Then there’s also the practice of gratitude, finding the time to be grateful. Maybe you’re taking a bus and you’re taking time to be grateful. You are setting a good example for others. Great habits can come from practicing gratitude. There’s challenges out there (for sure) but there’s also opportunity for getting in the right headspace by making small, tiny micro adjustments. A gratitude life is a micro-commitment to yourself, and to others. It paves the way to a more supportive lifestyle. Gratitude drives positivity where there wasn’t any before. This is an interesting approach, it’s not an easy one. At first when I first signed up to Calm.com, it was at the height of 2020 and things were going all sorts of crazy. My headspace probably wasn’t in the best place & I was feeling a little anxious. I was nervous & feeling a little wound up. I didn’t have a way of winding down. I didn’t have that supportive community. I do have friends, and I do have family, but there’s there’s also a connection & release separate than that.
Meghan is saying, “I usually use Calm but I got started with Headspace after Neil Pasricha came and did that book launch for us.” Is the 10% happier guy? I think it’s the blue book. I really enjoy Calm.com every day adds up, everyday is important.My friend Meghan
Can you be grateful in 2021, the answer is yes through micro-commitments. You can help achieve that micro-commitment is through taking time every day to be grateful, to celebrate gratitude, to share their gratitude with someone else. This helps calm ourselves. It helps calm our turbulent minds. It gives us something else to focus on other than the external world. Because if we only focus on the external world that’s a recipe to go zero to sixty.
How to practice gratitude
Can I be grateful even when things are challenging? Yes, when we practice gratitude even when things are challenging. Even in my day to day 9-5, I take time to practice gratitude. I’ll take a minute & breathe if I’m in a spicy moment, I can catch myself before I wrecked myself. I’ve started to map out some of my emotions and map out some of my patterns. I identify I’m filled with anxiety, or feeling wound up. scrunched up and not sure what’s going on. I can stop, and identify that emotion, by taking a few steps back. I start to appreciate what part of me is feeling that we’ve talked before about mapping our emotions. But one of the salad, one of the benefits with the things that we can celebrate, identifying when things are challenging what part of us is feeling challenged, you know, my feeling, you know, as my my echo being broke, is my temper, is my anger, frustration, or is it my or is it part of something else? You know, maybe it’s maybe it’s the loneliness, you know, maybe if I’m I’m being poked and it’s sparking an emotion in me and I’m feeling very challenged. Can I feel grateful? I can feel grateful because it’s helping me identify that sore spot. If there’s a raw emotion that I’m failing and it’s connected to loneliness, or if it’s connected to resentment, maybe this positivity there’s focus that I can walk away with this gratitude first life if I’m taking a minute to appreciate soaking in that loneliness, soaking in that resentfulness, you know, giving it that three seconds to live with me to breathe with me, but then I don’t let it make decisions for me. So when things are challenging, Yes, I can recognize that these are challenging moments. Or this is a challenging uh interaction, but it doesn’t make it a challenging day, it doesn’t make it a challenging our it might mean a challenging 10 minutes, but it doesn’t need to be a challenging 10 years. Yes, there’s a response that I’m giving, but there’s also like a choice I’m giving to, I’m giving it more life force where I’m focusing more on it beyond the initial interaction.
There’s a label I’m going to give and there’s an opportunity where I can paint it with a new label. Yes, things can be challenging, but I also have the opportunity of shaping that into the direction of progress where I can give it a new meaning and new label and I can add to it rather than the context that I’ve given things up to this point. Because if I only experience things as I remember them, I’ve had a salty interaction, a spicy resentment. These are the only interactions that I remember and encounter something similar, you know, that’s not really healthy. That’s not really supportive. That’s not really exclusive to living an outstanding life. Yes, these are things that can happen in Yes, challenges are going to happen, but it doesn’t mean that I have to wallow in that challenging moment. It doesn’t mean I have to let that challenging moment make decisions for me have the opportunity where I can make it into something more, maybe I can take this opportunity where if it’s pointed out loneliness as an example, or if it’s pointed out this sore spot that it shines a line that I myself have work the work on. There’s a shining light on. Yes, there is something that’s become, you know, if I’m shining a light and it’s only ever been on this area over here for like a long time and then I take that light and I shine it barely over to the corner here and there’s something else that comes to light here. This gives me an opportunity to shine the light over here where it’s been nothing but shadows up to this point. And if I need to go into those shadows and do some work, Yes, that can be challenging, but it’s also shining light on. There’s opportunity for me to grow. There’s something for me to learn. There’s something more for me to do. And yes, there’s anger, present negativity. These are things that are out there, but these are things that don’t need to live in my life in for a long period of time? I don’t know, I’m probably saying a row.
Expression of gratitude
What are some things I can do to get started with Gratitude? Megan’s got an idea and it’s using the headspace app or using the calm dot com app, these are at a high level, just a Kickstarter, focus on building good, healthy habits, we can start in inducing calm dot calm and headspace into a regular spiel, I’ll make a gratitude list. It’s almost like a journal, some of my friends journal creativity things while they do painting or they do art, cursive writing or they’ll do creative writing and those are ways to express yourself. One thing I’ll do is I’ll make a list of three things I’m grateful for right now at first, but I start making this list and it’s a regular list at first these this list I’m making is super simple, I am thankful it’s not snowing right now. I’m thankful I have food in my stomach from thankful for my cat was sleeping in the corner, you know, these are things that I’m thankful for, but as I start habitually making that list and going back to it and focusing on it, I’m no longer giving surface level, high level topic ideas to be thankful for. After a while, I’m going to start to move beyond those surface level things and I’ll start making into way more specific things like, you know, I’m thankful I have the opportunity to grow and I’m thankful I have the chance who see past these challenging moments and look at them as they truly are, find out the things I don’t like to focus more on the things I do and when I start separating things no longer in good or bad, I’m able to move beyond those service level things and yes, I can feel an emotion when I can start mapping what part of me is feeling the emotion if I apply that same concept now to gratitude. If part of me is feeling grateful right now for this one thing, what part of me is feeling grateful and as I start to reveal who I am the core to myself and I start looking at the patterns of things that are bringing me joy and I started looking at the patterns of things that are driving my success through celebration through gratefulness, through gratitude, through thankfulness. I can start to appreciate the kind of person that I truly am underneath and I can start building more of those things through choice.
Co Creating Gratitude
Like I can start creating and cultivating more of it as it happens, I’m not just randomly aimlessly bumping into gratitude, but I have a way of co creating gratefulness through my choices, through my engagements, through my friendships and my celebrations when I start documenting it. Making those habits through surrounding myself with a community of like minded individuals, like taking the time, like not just downloading the app, but actually committing every day from 8, 10 to 10, 15 for that 10 minutes I’m just going to write or for that one bus ride home, kind of like Megan, I’m going to go and just do this because as soon as I get on the bus, this is something I’m going to do, even if the time changes every day, every time I’m on the bus, I’m going to go do this, start building those habits start getting into that circle of writing it down, even if it doesn’t make sense now,
Gratitude in Sobriety
it can make sense later when I go back and I look at younger Jason and what focuses I had in my early sobriety before a sobriety in the heat of my addiction, the things I was grateful for nowhere near of celebration that I do today, you know, I was just celebrating just surviving the weekend at a certain part of my addiction where I was focused on family and friends or even responsibility or relationships. These were never things that I would celebrate, but I look back now and I wasn’t practicing gratitude and when I look at my life now, one of the stark changes is coming from setting it up from making time from committing to follow through from surrounding myself with others that are also like minded, you know, one of these by themselves isn’t going to move me into gratitude, but that 5% that 10% that shift, a tiny little shift added on top of the other tiny shift, it’s enough to curve of rounded negative day into a positive one. And rather than that let things live with me or let resentment build up in me, I’m able to move through it and navigate it and shape it into something more. One of these things by themselves isn’t enough to solve all that, but it’s good practice for me to help focus on revealing parts of me that I want to work on, help celebrate the things I want to create more of, I hope that makes sense. So our friend Megan Megan is saying, I’ve started to write things down for what I’m grateful for, even the little things that’s awesome, the little things matter most, but also try and write down the things that I’m hopeful to be grateful for in the future, kind of like goals, but then it can be anything that I find likely to happen that could bring me joy. That’s amazing future. Megan will be thankful for your efforts today. That’s huge. Good for you Megan. That’s awesome. Not many people can zone in on that, that laser focus make it a real thing, It’s too easy to like not want to do something like that, you’ve created that opportunity for growth and I think that’s awesome. I think that’s huge Megan, this is a question,
Are there any side effects of gratitude?
There is an impact when I express gratitude to another person. I’ll say to my friend Megan, “Thank you for being here, I really appreciate that. I really, really, appreciate you as a person, as a friend, as a shining light. As a pillar of the community, for the hard work that you do.” I share that genuinely, and the people observing me say this to Megan, also see this reflect inside them as well. Through observation they bring this into their life. It sparks something in the observer, even if it moves the needle just a tiny bit. Maybe it doesn’t move them 10%, maybe it moves them only 2 or 3%. But when you compound that on a few more gratitude steps. This could boost someone’s gratitude meter into a 20% range.
I find this topic, incredibly interesting. When I live a gratitude first life, I deprive other areas of my life. And what do I mean by that? I’m not giving room for negativity to grow, I’m not giving room for anxiety to flourish. Anxiety still is going to be present, resentment is still going to show up, but the difference is it’s not going to have a hold on me. It’s not going to have a grip on me. Yes there’s times where I’m genuinely afraid of something, but if I’m living a gratitude life first, I’m not putting blinders on (as if I’m avoiding all realism). I’m still grounded in reality. I still take a focus on gratitude. I’ll still take a minute to appreciate that, yes, these are things that are happening (things are crazy). But I also have an opportunity to put my own label on things. I’m able to use that craziness to move forward rather than held captive, or limited through fear, anger, or resentment. We’ve talked before about limiting beliefs. An impact of living a gratitude first life, on a long term basis can shift my perception of how I’m showing up every day. It can shift who I’m surrounding myself every day with. It can move me away from feeling anxious all the time. You know, that can be a very cool thing to not have to stress about. Stress is the last thing we need, especially now.