I have now done the all-inclusive gratitude lists for 32 days, so here is a brief update.
These lists include whatever comes up for me – situations, my own reactions (thoughts, emotions), and what appears as either desirable or undesirable. And while the format is I am grateful for…. it is really a question – how would it be to be grateful for….? How would it be to find an attitude of gratitude for this too?
The main thing I notice is a shift into an easier and more inclusive self-acceptance. I make a point of including situations, thoughts, emotions and impulses I feel some embarrassment about, and by putting it down on paper and asking myself how it would be to find gratitude for it, there is a gradual shift into self-acceptance. Melody Beattie talks about miracles, and self-acceptance is perhaps the greatest miracle.
This practice is also good for finding where I hesitate and what’s still taboo for me, which helps me find and then inquire into the belief(s) behind it.
I am especially grateful for my gratitude partner. I appreciate the mutual trust that’s there when we share our lists, how my own lists seem more real when I know she reads them, and also the mirror her lists are for me.
P.S. I am adding this short list of changes I have made to the practice, copied from the Gratitude for all post.
So here is a brief summary of what I have found works for me that’s a little different from what MB recommends or how she talks about it: (1) When I write I am grateful for…. I keep it as a question in my own mind: how would it be to be grateful for….? (2) When I find a taboo in myself against including a situation, thought, emotion or action in my gratitude list, I use this as an invitation to find the belief behind it, and then inquire into that belief to find what’s more true for me. (3) Right now, it seems that adding to the list throughout the day, or writing it in the evening, works best for me. There is more material to include in the evening, and I am more receptive and vulnerable (after being humbled a whole day!).
– situations + my own reactions (thoughts, emotions) – and what appears desirable and undesirable
– more a question, how would it be to find gratitude for this? (attitude of gratitude)
– self-acceptance, bring more into the light
– if hesitate, then notice belief and take to inquiry