Pathways to Gratitude -- By Sharon Burch and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Sharon Burch, ARPN, NP:
Journaling, dancing, or speaking even small bits of gratitude literally build new pathways in our minds! New pathways of healthy, empowered thinking allow for "what is also true" thoughts that open and nourish our minds instead of limiting them.
Gratitude might sound like this: “I'm feeling burdened by my family's needs, and at this moment, I'm grateful for this cup of coffee.” Gratitude allows grace to enter, and with it, relief. Practicing gratitude is just one of the many things you can do to improve the quality of your life.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, writer:
Sharon's excellent comments speak to how we can acknowledge the story we're living and also focus on what brings us greater spaciousness, calm, and overall gratitude for what we hold in our hands right now.
You can also aim yourself toward gratitude -- and all its health benefits -- through writing. One great way to write yourself toward a deeper appreciation and sense of peace is to make up your own writing prompts about gratitude. You can add to the list over time, and you can pluck something from the list to write about when you have 10 minutes to open a journal or laptop and see what you have to say to yourself.
To get started, list of all the people, places, things, and experiences that you're grateful for in your life, from the very small (a tiny square of dark chocolate) to the all-encompassing (the air you breathe) to the best beloveds (your best friend). Then, whenever you have 10 minutes, write the story of something or someone on your list, such as when you came to treasure them or what you value most of about them in your life.
Atma Clinic is a holistic family practice that offers integrative and functional medicine and holistic nursing in Lawrence, KS. www.AtmaClinic.com. First appointment is free.
Sharon Burch offers holistic mental health and wellness services. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, former Kansas Poet Laureate, edits the Atma blog.