Cultivating gratitude by saying grace at every meal
Sometimes life presents us with so many daily challenges that we become distracted and forget about all the good things we have in our lives. These are the things that seem ordinary, unimportant, or even worse yet, the things that we take for granted. By cultivating gratitude and staying in the present we allow ourselves to get past these daily complications, live in the now, and experience life in all it’s beauty and amazingness.
Having gratitude is something that you need to practice at to be good at. It is the same thing as practicing an art or sport to be good at it. To be really good at something (aka: to be an expert) you need to spend about 10,000 hours of mindfully working on it. Being thankful and having gratitude for your life is the same way. You need to practice it to have it.
To cultivate gratitude I start each day by saying grace at breakfast. Grace is different for everyone — for me it is all about being thankful for the things that are important to me, and asking for things that will make my life more complete.
An example of a breakfast grace would be: “Thank you, universe, for providing the food before us here, and for the opportunity to have another day with those we love. Thank you for the Vitamix that has changed the way we eat fruits and vegetables, thank you for walnut based cat litter that makes the bedroom smell so much better and prevents momma from peeing on the floor, thank you for earplugs so that no one is bothered by snores or loud people, thank you for the love and health of our family and friends, and thank you for all of the opportunities you bring to us so we may achieve the things that we aspire to.”
Yes, thankful for litter and earplugs, along with the other beatitudes that are expected. Why not? It’s my grace, and they are the things that make my life better, and the lives of those around me better.
By being honest and real, and staying in the moment, it becomes easy to be thankful of the good things we have, and be able to live a life that is full of love and happiness. By making grace fun it turns what could be a boring mindless ritual into something that is inspiring and looked forward to.
I try to say grace at every meal that I share with someone, and will often say it silently to myself when eating with a group. And I am always thankful for the food itself.