Gratitude is one of the most beautiful and healing practices that I know, which is why I make sure that it is part of my my daily rituals. As you probably know by now, I do not consider that it is an easy one. As Thanksgiving is approaching, I receive as many emails of individuals grateful for the miracles they have been experiencing as requests for help as so many are struggling with all kinds of hardship. And what is true individually is also true collectively. Yet, our capacity to feel gratitude even in the most troubled times and circumstances is probably what has saved many of us.
Thanksgiving season in the United States is the perfect time to take in the good and cultivate it, in other words, to rewire your brain’s neural pathways for good. Here is a simple practice that you can start now and continue over the holiday season. It is inspired by the work of neuropsychologist Rick Hanson as well as mindfulness practices. It will anchor gratitude in your brain, having a durable impact on your life.
Several times throughout your holiday, pause. Look around. And let your eyes find the most pleasant thing you can find.
It may be the kids running around the backyard. Or your favorite pet napping in the corner. Or a table filled with food fit for a queen.
As soon as your eyes land on something you love, close them. And let your other senses take over.
Listen to the chatter of family and friends reconnecting over a meal. The laughter of little ones weaving through the room. The sounds of people cooking and breaking bread together.
As you listen, allow a smile to light you up from the inside. Then savor that experience for 20 seconds … to anchor it your body.
Later, as you move through your meal, taste each bite of food with a sense of reverence.
Notice how it feels in your mouth. Let the texture and the quality of the food roll over your tongue. Savor the flavor and abundance of the day.
Then take a deep breath. And allow the amazing aromas of your meal to fill your nostrils.
See if you can pick out the specific scents …
A golden-brown turkey roasting in the oven. Homemade pumpkin pies cooling on the counter. Fresh bread being served.
Then, throughout the day and into the night, use the intention of your healing energy with everyone you touch.
Hug your friends and family members with your entire being. Feel the warmth of their skin next to yours. Allow your proximity to deepen your spiritual connection with that person.
Then silently give thanks for what they’ve brought to your life. Both the joy and the lessons.
Got it so far?
Now here’s the key to permanently changing your brain for the better …
For three consecutive days after your holiday, set aside just 20 seconds a day. And call to mind the memories you anchored in your body.
Bring them alive again through your senses … taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. Then release them with pleasure.
And enjoy a brain that is progressively being re-wired!
Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to you!
Béatrice | Contemporary Shamanic Healer
Allowing The Light