I recently explored hosting Gratitude Walks here where I live. I knew that coordinating a time for maximum participation would be a challenge. But the premise for the walk was to bring awareness to the participant and to draw them out of their “thinking” mind.
Anyone can create their own gratitude walk experience as there is no need to make any extra time. Simply use the time that’s already there. When you are sitting/standing on bus or Metro/subway or walking on foot, look up to the sky, look up to the tops of the buildings, take note of details around and above you.
Often we are in deep thought about work or something personal, at home with family or relationship, finances and health that is stressing us. We are playing and replaying the stories in our mind over and over and they escalate negative emotion and anxieties. But when we walk away and look outside our circumstances and drama, this brings us back to who we really are. It brings us back into the present.
Another way to be present is to simply stop and breathe, focusing on bringing in air, filling your core, then your lungs, push breath out and repeat. Many times we are just holding our breath. The process is good, but even the physiological benefits of oxygen aren’t bad either!
I mentioned that we are often deep into our story and judging what we are thinking about: judging ourselves, judging the participants in our drama/story. We have drawn conclusions and now we are locked into judgement. It’s my way or the highway.
But gratitude changes everything, because where there is gratitude, nothing that is less can come into existence. Gratitude changes everything for the better, and it takes you out of judgement. Once you give gratitude, you are no longer in judgement or dissatisfaction.
With my client, whether it’s the athlete, the professional, the executive, the entrepreneur, the student, anyone, once they are locked into judgement or a specific solution there can be a lot of chaos. Removing judgement, self-doubt, self-persecution, frees up solutions, frees up opportunities, frees up our vision to see other possibilities.
Why would you bring forth gratitude for what we feel is not working in our lives as it showing us dissatisfaction, frustration; this is good, that’s bad? But what if that dissatisfaction is a gift and it means you have expanded into a realm you want to go to? So drop the judgement and labeling it, as you are only using it as a step to your next positioning in your life. You are not the circumstances or events happening around you.
Many times I will have a stressful situation, and I will go walk or head to a museum for a brief break. I’m breathing, taking in the “now”, bringing my focus to something outside myself: the nature, architecture, or work of art. During or shortly after, a solution will come to me or I will receive a call messaging me that a solution was found and everything is moving forward. Surprise!
So even though you can’t make my walks, use the time you do have during your daily transit to breathe, look outside yourself, and look up. Give thanks. Gratitude…