It seems lately that people are tossing the words grateful and gratitude around willy-nilly. They’ve become key phrases for marketing campaigns, as jargon in yoga classes, and are being used mindlessly. Now, we’re not trying to harp on anyone here for their (word) choices – we’re just trying to point out that this whole idea of being grateful for our lives has become a little mainstream. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. It’s great that companies, teachers and coaches are able to reach new audiences, people who would have never before thought to write a gratitude journal or reflect on all the amazing aspects of their lives. And maybe some of them still don’t have a clue what that looks like. This is where we come in.
We’ve put together a short guided meditation that is designed to pull your awareness towards the people and things in your life you’re grateful for. Seems easy enough, right? Meditation isn’t for everyone, and we get that. So if you’re not into meditating, then that’s cool. Send this along to a friend or your mom if you think she’ll enjoy it. Or maybe you want to give it a shot and see if you can, in fact, sit for ten minutes and focus on all the amazing parts of your life. Doesn’t sound so bad, eh?
Alright, let’s get started.
Start by finding a comfortable seat, whatever that looks like to you. You can sit cross-legged on the floor, be upright in bed, or sit against a wall or in a chair. You do you. Get comfortable (but not nap time comfortable). Close your eyes if you like, or if you prefer to keep your eyes open, focus your gaze on one spot on the floor in front of you.
Now imagine you’re in front of a body of water. This could mean a lake, an ocean, a pond, puddle or your bathtub. Once you know where you are, start to notice other things in this moment, like the weather, if there are other people around, or any noises. Really feel like you’re there, like you’re right in it.
Beside you are a bunch of beautifully folded origami paper cranes. You pick one up and sit with it resting in your palms. Think of someone in your life who you’re grateful for. Send all the love, gratitude and warm feelings down into your palms, into the crane. When you’re ready, set that crane into the water. You may choose to sit with your hands in your lap here or pick up another crane right away and repeat the process. Add as many cranes as you like to the water. Take your time, it’s not a race.
When you feel as though you are done with the cranes, rest with your hands in your lap. Look out into your body of water. Soak up how abundant your life is, how much you have to be grateful for. You may sit here for as long as you like, taking steady breaths. When you are ready to open your eyes, you will have completed the meditation. You are welcome to journal, sit in silence, flow through a yoga practice, or do anything else for that matter to complete the process.