Gratitude Fasts are becoming very popular recently. Have you seen gratitude posts on facebook?
I have several friends who list at lease five things they’re grateful for everyday. What a powerful practice!
And that pretty describes a gratitude fast. It is the practice of focusing on what you have and what you’re grateful for every day for at least 5 minutes. The best way to focus is to keep a journal and write it down.
This is a simple routine, but it can be life changing. Instead of saying thank you for what we have, most of us use our mental energy to think two dominating, negative thoughts. One, we complain about what we do have. We spend so much time complaining about the clothes, cars, jobs, houses, and relationships we have. We judge and criticize them without acknowledging the value that they bring to our lives.
The second thing we do is constantly want something different. This is a very natural state of humanity. We are constantly striving and pushing for better. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. It’s how we’ve evolved so quickly. However, it becomes problematic when that’s all we do. We stop taking time to enjoy the moment and saying thank you for what we’ve achieved because we’re too busy achieving more. This leads to a perpetual state of unhappiness. We don’t need to be unhappy to want more. In fact, happiness leads to the desire for greater happiness.
So we can take the time to say thank you and appreciate where we are at right now. This is a major step toward creating a life of peace and contentment, and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you embark on a 30 day gratitude fast.
Who should do the Gratitude Fast
Everybody can do the gratitude fast. I’ve seen it change people’s lives and heal people who find themselves in difficult situations. Here are a few things it’s been know to help improve. It can help you if you’re
- suffering from an illness or debilitating disease.
- shifting or in transition in your life.
- trying to accomplish something BIG.
- experienced lost of something you love, including the transition of a loved one or a divorce.
- currently struggling in your life.
- in the process of making a major life decision and need some guidance.
You may be wondering, “How the heck does this simple process help with all of this?”
Well, when we focus on what we have and how grateful and thankful we are, we realize we have more than we thought we did. With this realization comes the feeling of being blessed and abundant, which cancels out the feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety.
When we’re grateful, we open the door for more happiness and greater peace in our lives.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
To “love God,”we must love the artistic beauty of our own lives. Where we are, God is. Loving God doesn’t involve just showing up on Sunday and saying a few prayers and tithing a few dollars. God is life and to love God is to appreciate and be in awe of your life.
Within this state of gratitude, miracles happen and just as we’re seeing the plenitude we’ve never seen before, we begin to see solutions and resources we’ve never seen before. We become more open to life and in return, life shows up in ways it couldn’t before because of our own self-imposed limitations.
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is
generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. ~ Johannes A. Gaertner
How to do a Gratitude Fast
Let me explain the details of this fast.
Here’s what you will need:
- a notebook
- 5 minutes a day (preferably first thing in the morning or last thing at night)
Here’s what you do.
1. Choose a time to do this every day. This is important because you want to create a habit of consistency. You will undertake this task for 30 days straight, every day, no skipping days!
Are you going to choose the morning or the evening?
Once you select a time to practice gratitude and you have your notebook, you’re ready to begin.
2. During your chosen time, sit down in a quiet place and think about five things you’re grateful for. It can be anything, as long as it gives you that feeling of thankfulness, it counts.
The first time you do this, it may be difficult to think of 5 things. But as you continue, it will get easier and easier. The 5 things can include:
- people (my mom)
- experiences (having lunch with my coworker)
- situations (finding $1 in my jeans this morning)
- things (my reliable car for getting me to work this morning)
- health (for waking up and feeling energetic throughout the day)
Anything that you’re truly grateful for can go on the list.
3. Write down in your journal the following information:
- the date
- what you’re grateful for
- a brief description of why.
Feel gratitude as you do this and really enjoy the process.
4. Write down “thank you for all of the abundance I have in my life.”
5. Close your journal.
6. Silently repeat “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you” 3 times to yourself.
You’re all done for the day. Continue this exact same process for 30 days. It helps establish the habit if you do it at the same time and in the same place everyday.
And most importantly, don’t skip a day! Gratitude is a cumulative experience. Everyday builds on the next to bring you greater feelings of thankfulness, happiness, and peace.
Once you complete the 30 day cycle, hopefully, you’ll have a habit you will continue throughout your life.
Still your mind in me, still yourself in me, and without a doubt you shall be united with me, Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart. ~Bhagavad Gita