Gratitude is part of a natural evolution. When we truly embrace the concept that there is treasure in everything, when we fully trust ourselves to always be at the right place at the right time, when we accept that we are in charge of our lives-then being grateful in all circumstances and to everyone, including ourselves, is easy. Then you learn how to show your gratitude, to others and also toward yourself to improve your life.

Gratitude is not just an attitude; it is a stance, a way of being and thinking that requires practice. A metaphor for gratitude is the old proverb, “stop and smell the roses,” which, considering the fall timing of this article, I have adapted to “stop and smell the pumpkin pie.” How perfect, thinking to show your gratitude with Thanksgiving around the corner. When we slow down and smell the pumpkin pie, we are taking the time to appreciate who and what is on our path, who we are and what we do. What if, instead of forgetting to “smell the pie” in our busy plan, we made it a priority on our life journey to move at a pace where the details-the smell of pie, the smell of the roses-could be appreciated to support our personal growth?

Practice Makes Perfect (practice how to honor yourself!):
To improve your life learn the good habit of slowing down, and make it a conscious practice to show your gratitude and appreciation to others until it becomes natural. By this time in your life, you will no doubt acknowledge that relationships are the most enriching way to personal growth. Taking the time to let people know how much you value them for who they are and what they do has great rewards. It opens your heart and theirs and deepens your connections-all of which has a ripple effect.

Make the decision that being grateful and appreciative will improve your life and you will also honor yourself, and then design a ritual-a precise, regularly repeated activity-to support you as you slow down and continue to smell the roses when pie season is over.

Every Friday, for example, you might take a few minutes to sum up the week:

  • What worked for you and what didn’t?
  • What do you want to carry over to next week?
  • What do you need to complete?

By assessing the week, consciously acknowledging both the events that went well and those that were more challenging and then letting them go, you energetically become better prepared for the week to come. Reach out weekly to the people who have supported you-family, friends, colleagues-to let them know how important they have been to you and your world will expand your life experience both in the moment and beyond. And it will attract more to be grateful for, because … what you focus on grows!

To improve your life, you might want to buy flowers (even jut one flower!) on the way home every Friday to celebrate yourself and the end of another week and to symbolically shift to the relaxation and enjoyment of the weekend and show your gratitude toward yourself! What plans have you made to recharge and honor yourself and your loved ones?

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