Can you believe it’s already Day 7?! That means the Gratitude Project is almost here! I can’t wait to spend the top of each hour with you learn, teaching, and crafting a new way to be grateful! Want to spread the word? I’d love the help! Still on the fence? Take a look at the schedule I’ve set up to help us all experience different waves of gratitude here! I hope to hear you on the call!
Our first guest writer today is one of my favorite advocates of joy, Jennifer Zwiebel. She is an Intuitive Organizer, author, speaker and founder of A Place of Joy™: Inspired Organizing and Business Strategies for Creative Entrepreneurs. Jennifer guides clients to clear out both their inner and outer space, release chaos, and design systems that bring ease, joy and prosperity to their businesses and lives. Join the Place of Joy™ community at www.aplaceofjoy.com, and get started on your own path to clarity and joy with Jennifer’s powerful gift to you at www.aplaceofjoy.com/10minutemiracle. You can also connect with Jennifer via Facebook and Twitter!
How to Be Grateful When Things Piss You Off
by Jennifer Zwiebel
I’ve been consciously practicing gratitude for the last few years and I can see the difference in the way I feel, what I focus on and what I attract. I now walk down the street grateful for the shining sun, for the fact that I get to walk my son to school, for the miraculous baby I hold in my arms. I start my mornings being grateful for the gift of the day that lies ahead of me and end my day listing at least three things for which I am thankful.
This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of things for which I am not so grateful. There are the dirty dishes, the piles of paper, the loads of laundry… I’ve discovered, however, that while it’s less easy to appreciate the things that make you cranky, scared, or pissed off, that’s where the gratitude actually gets more rewarding.
You see, your mind can’t do two things at the same time. Your first instinct may be to get frustrated when something pisses you off, but when you choose to find a reason to be grateful instead, you refocus your mind and veer off in a new direction.
Let me give you an example. One morning I pulled aside the shower curtain and discovered that our bathtub was carpeted in hair. My husband had given himself a haircut and neglected to clean the tub. My first thought was, “Ewwww!” My second thought was, “Why didn’t he clean it up?? Did he not SEE the hair???”
I realized I was quickly heading into a morning full of frustration, and decided to redirect my thoughts. I latched onto the first one that came into my head: “I’m grateful he still has hair.” That worked for about 60 seconds, but then I started cleaning the tub and got all pissed off again.
So I worked harder to pull my mind back onto another track, and this time started thinking about how grateful I was that he’d stayed up the night before with our son who’d developed a fever. This led me to be grateful that he was such a good father, that I had him as a partner, that we were working together to raise our children in a loving, respectful way. By now the thoughts were flowing naturally, and both my mind and heart were in a grounded, grateful place.
This didn’t mean that I forgot about the hair in the tub, but it meant that I could (1) get past the anger and do what needed to be done so I could move forward, (2) tell my husband what I didn’t like and what I needed in the future in a calm way that enabled him to hear me, and (3) regain perspective and spend time being amazed at my real good fortune.
This practice may feel forced in the beginning, and your mind will likely revert quickly back to the initial not-so-grateful feeling. But if you’re willing to keep searching for something else to be grateful for, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your mind expands and fills with reasons to rejoice.