Gratitude has become a practice in my life.  Something that I choose to take the time to pause and reflect on.  To often moments pass by, quickly without any recognition of the beautiful gifts they have just bestowed upon us.   A smile from a stranger lifting our mood.  The guy in front of you holding the door open, just for you.  The laughter that rings out when you gather with friends.  The love of family that holds you close in good times and in bad.  All of these moments are beautiful and deserve to be recognized.  When I take the time to show gratitude for them they become that much sweeter and get engrained even deeper into my heart.

belthoff 30 days of gratitude photo

In this moment I am grateful for:
* the warm cup of tea that is soothing my heart as I write these words
* the ones I hold dear who see me, really see me.  and embrace all of who i am
* the beautiful colors that nature shares with us to feast our eyes upon

My tips for practicing Gratitude:
Gratitude is something that I know I must practice daily.  There are moments that are so good I will literally pause, close my eyes, and say “I am so grateful for this moment.”  This helps me to slow down and stay present.  Sometimes the beautiful thing is as small as savoring a chai tea.  Other times it is bigger, like listening to stories from my four year old niece.

I work in an office building and find myself stretching my arms up every so often throughout the day.  I have began taking this moment to say in my head a few things I am grateful for as I stretch.  It is a nice addition to the day.

In order to practice gratitude you need to find a way that is easy and comfortable for you.  I had tried once writing down a few things that I am grateful for each day, but there were so many days I didn’t do it.  Instead of feeling grateful I felt like I was letting myself down.  I have learned that I do not need to write it down to show my gratitude.  I could simply say it in my head.  This approach works for me.  I encourage you to find an approach that works for you.

Jennifer belthoffJennifer Belthoff is a writer and photographer living in New Jersey.  She loves helping others write the stories that are living in their hearts through online and in person workshops.  She believes in the power of community and connection with others and loves sending notes through the mail, the real mail.  You can read her words and poetry over on at www.jenniferbelthoff.com

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