CAT | Exercises
Each Thanksgiving in the United States, we give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. It’s a splendid practice for everyone to do! However, some of you may be feeling a bit stressed right now and somewhat challenged around being able to get into it. Maybe a few pointers about how to move into more gratitude could be helpful. Let’s start with this. Get out a piece of paper and write “I am so happy and grateful that…” across the top. Now write the following questions, leaving space in between for your answers:
- What is around me right now that I’m grateful for?
- Who am I being that I’m grateful for?
- What will I be grateful for?
What is around me right now that I’m grateful for?
The key here is to shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. Shift from focusing on scarcity to focusing on the abundance in your life. Start small. Look around you. Don’t take anything for granted. What’s in front of you? What’s in the room you’re in? What’s outside the window? Make a list of whatever you see that you can say “Yes. I’m grateful for that” even if it is just a pen or a plant or a cup or a chair. Once you get going, this list could be endless!
Who am I being that I’m grateful for?
This one has a different twist. The key here is to shift from the physical “stuff” in your life to the positive “essence” inside of you.Look back on your day, your week, or your month. Where did you act from kindness, appreciation, generosity and/or love? When were you really present in the moment? When do you listen to your heart for answers? When did you learn a valuable lesson? When did you experience peace of mind? When did you really laugh? When did you feel good? When did you feel joy? Who were you being? Make a list of things like: I smiled at 3 strangers, today. I took a walk by the ocean and breathed in the salt air. I really laughed out loud twice. The love I felt while looking at my son that took my breath away. It’s so important to recognize these moments of being your most divine self.
What will I be grateful for?
Have you ever heard of “future gratitude”? This is where you are grateful now for things in your life that haven’t happened yet. How do you do that? Think about what would make you happy to have, be or do in your life. What would make your heart sing? What are your dreams? Now write it down in the present tense as if it has already happened. Here are some examples: People all over the world are buying my best-selling book! I am married to my perfect soulmate! I am enjoying my incredible vacation in Paris! At the end of this list, write “This or something better!” Keep reading this list and really feeling what it feels like for these dreams to be true right now.
How are you feeling now that you have completed this exercise in being thankful? I hope that you have experienced the power of gratitude to shift you into a higher, more positive vibration. Remember that feeling, and know that you can come back there at any moment by choosing to focus on what you are grateful for. This is especially important when the chaos of the Holidays starts to overwhelm you.
Remember that life is a gift, and you are responsible for receiving it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, this week and every day of your life!
With love and gratitude!
P.S. My Holiday Gift to YOU!
If something in this article resonated with you and/or you would like some support to help change your Holiday experience for the better, I am offering a limited number of complimentary 30-minute, phone strategy sessions between now and December 31st. To schedule your free phone session, all you have to do is email me, and write “Strategy Session Request” in the subject line at email@example.com. Do this for yourself! You’ll be glad you did…
As we approach the New Year, it is a valuable practice to set aside some personal time to look back on 2010 and assess where we have been, and to look ahead at 2011 and lay out where we are going. I have created the following exercises to help you walk through this reflective process, and hope you make the commitment to yourself to complete it. Enjoy!
What are your disappointments, failures, and breakdowns?
Let’s acknowledge what these items are. All failures are feedback. This is an opportunity to learn from them and let them go, or carry them forward and make a new promise or commitment. Reverend Michael Beckwith offers three strategies for change to keep in mind:
- Accept what is
- Harvest the good
- Forgive all the rest
What are your successes, wins, and accomplishments?
This is a chance to celebrate and own who you have become this year. Where did you step into your power and greatness? Please don’t skimp on these. The little stuff counts. No modesty allowed. Let’s validate all your accomplishments. You might want to look through your organizer and any of your files to help remind you. Remember to looks at your accomplishments in all the aspects of your life, such as:
- Career/Creative expression
What have you learned about yourself and your life? What insights have you gained?
True insights have the transformational capability of shifting us into a new, more alive place. As we are blessed with insights, it is important to nurture and deepen these new understandings. Inventory your learnings in the last year in the following categories:
- Growth in understanding
- New perspectives
- Letting go
- Shifts in beliefs
What are you grateful for?
This list might include some of the above, as well as things you truly appreciate about the people, the things, and the circumstances in your life last year. And don’t forget to include the things you appreciate about yourself. There is a basic principle: whatever you appreciate and give thanks for will increase in your life.
How will you celebrate and honor 2010?
This is an opportunity to do something that honors all you have done, been through, and grown this past year. What’s something special that you would like to do for yourself? What would be a powerful way to celebrate? What would be fun? Celebrating is a way to bring completion, and there are countless ways to do it. The key is to choose something, plan it, and do it.
2011 New Year Creation
This is your vision or dream for 2011. Picture yourself one year from today, one year into the future, having had an incredible year. Think about what kinds of things might have happened during the past year, and what it was like for you. Now write a short story about who you were and what you accomplished in 2011, as if you were writing it at the end of 2011.
Some things you might include:
- What was the year like for you?
- What did you feel energy and excitement around?
- What did you accomplish? What did you get? What did you do? Who were you being?
- Who was in your life and who was not?
- Where are you financially?
- Where are you spiritually?
- What has changed in your physical environment?
- What were the big fun things you did?
- What is the condition of your career?
- How is your love life?
- What’s one outrageous or wacky element to your vision?
- What did you let go of?
- What did you take less seriously?
- What old rules or limiting beliefs did you eliminate?
Include anything else you might think of that stands out for the year. When finished, print a copy, seal it in an envelope, and file it somewhere in your home or office for you to read in one year. Mark down on your calendar one year from today where you have filed this envelope, so you can find it and read it on that day. And have fun with this.
As always, I’m here to support you in your journey, and would enjoy knowing how you’re doing and get any feedback you may have (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To a transformational 2011,
While replacing a family photo in one of the little plastic frames that stick on my refrigerator, I found the original item I had displayed in that frame many years ago. It was a yellowed newspaper clipping of the “Ten Secrets That Can Transform Your Life”. I love it when you find an opportunity to compare yourself now to who you were in the past, and to celebrate how far you have grown. As I read down the list, I was smiling broadly, and so pleased to know that all of these “secrets” are now how I am living my life. I’m not saying I live by them all the time and never slip up, but that they represent my core beliefs and the results of years of conscious spiritual study, practice, and growth. They show me the current depth of my inner peace. They connect me with my joy.
So, here is the list for your review. As you read each secret, be honest with yourself. How much have you embraced this belief? How is it showing up in your life? What ones can you celebrate? Where are the opportunities to transform your life even more? Where is the most important place to start?
- Everything you need to be happy is INSIDE of you.
- The purpose of life is for you to GROW into the best human being you can be.
- Change is inevitable, so stop resisting and SURRENDER to life’s flow.
- All obstacles are lessons in disguise – HONOR them and learn from them.
- Your mind creates your EXPERIENCE of reality, so make your mind your friend.
- Fear will steal your aliveness – make your COURAGE bigger than your fear.
- You must love YOURSELF before you can give or receive love from anyone else.
- All relationships are your mirrors and all people are your TEACHERS.
- True FREEDOM comes from how you respond to life and not what life does to you.
- Whatever the question, LOVE is the answer.
I hope this wonderful list has inspired you on your life path. Maybe you want to cut it out and hang in on your frig…
With so much joy and gratitude,