What is Gratitude?
Luckily, there is nothing mystical or metaphysical about gratitude. In the most simple terms, it's just an awareness and acknowledgement of situations that benefit our well-being.
But most importantly, gratitude is a CHOICE.
It is a muscle that we must first recognize as having, then choose to exercise so that it may grow stronger. If we take the time to simply acknowledge that in which we already have, it becomes stronger, and more adept. Thereby "creating" even more things to be grateful for. It's an infinite loop that creates more and more abundance.
The sooner we discover and integrate gratitude in our daily lives, the sooner we can awaken to a happier, more resilient life.
I don't know about you, but when I look back, I see a lot of gaps in happiness, that gratitude could have easily filled. That's why I want my son Noble, and all children for that matter, to learn this valuable skill as early as possible. Think of how much suffering, striving, and malcontent we can save them from by simply offering them the simple practice of gratitude.
It's A Muscle. Got it. Now How Do I Work It Out?
While gratitude is like a muscle that we must use, it does not require us to drive to the gym to slog through a grueling workout. It's cool like that.
The only practice gratitude requires is that we just stop for a moment, it doesn't matter where we are or what we're doing, and just think of what we have going for us. That's it.
Let's take getting a snack as an example:
Your child walks over to the fridge to grab a snack (and if your household is anything like ours, that's like 60 times a day).
Ask your child how they got to the fridge?
Clearly, their legs carried them there with ease. How wonderful that they have that ability.
Ask your child if there was food in the fridge when they opened it?
Yes? That's something that many people of this world cannot say.
Ask your child how the fridge keeps the food cool, and safe to eat?
Electricity. How awesome that they live in a household that can afford such a luxury.
Ask your child if everyone else has electricity?
No, many countries do not even have the ability to offer electricity to their citizens - how wonderful that they DO live in a country that supports it.
So what was once a mindless, instinctual task, has become one in which they can walk away with more than a simple yogurt, but a feeling of gratefulness and appreciation.
Each moment offers us a tremendous opportunity to awaken to so much that we already have. We want to teach our children that they do not have to live in a constant mindset of lack and striving; right now, in this very moment, they can have everything.
The more we practice, the better we become. The better we become, the more we practice.
I hope that your household swells and fills with grateful hearts. Namaste friends!
If you'd like to get FREE daily gratitude cues like the example listed above, just follow Zen Pig on Instagram! Starting July 1st, he'll be releasing his first wave of gratitude cues that will extend for 21 consecutive days! Make it a habit to go grab a Zen Pig gratitude cue right before you tuck your little in each night and watch it become a staple in your child's skill set!