Gratefulness is a practice that I know is important, but which I find a struggle. It’s too easy to get caught up in the stresses and busyness of the ordinary and the everyday. I’m hoping to embed it a lot more in my life over the course of 2017.
“Happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy. Gratefulness is the key to happiness. Unless you are grateful for the gift, it won’t make you happy.”
“Gratefulness (which Br David Steindl-Rast) describes as being the same as mindfulness and prayerfulness) is like any other spiritual practice – it must be practiced!
Practice giving thanks for first things, for beginnings. When you wake in the morning, before you even open your eyes, give thanks for the gift of sight. (Br David makes a practice of praying at this moment for those who have no sight or who have impaired sight.) Give thanks for your first cup of tea or coffee – let all your senses come alive or wake up. Continue to mark out the little beginnings of each day – as you open your bedroom door and move into the rest of your house or as you open your front door and walk outside or as you put the key in your car ignition to begin your commute to work.
But also mark the endings of your day – when you arrive home and close your front door behind you or when you shut down your computer. (Too many people do not shut down their computer or log off from work – it tends to go on and on with no end or renewed beginning!)…”
Excerpted from here (PDF).
See also this earlier 2015 post.