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What Are You Grateful For?

I know that this topic has been covered by most inspirational authors and in hundreds of books and magazine articles. Alas, I have my own take on it, and I wanted to share my belief about one of the strongest subjects I know aboutGratitude.

As you may know, I have thousands of things to be grateful for. All of us do. But, we rarely take the time during the day to think about those things, let alone focus and be thankful for them. About two years ago I discovered a way that I could make sure that I concentrate on the things most important to me on a daily basis. This powerful tool is actually just a simple rock. That’s right … I carefully selected a nice small stone from beside a creek and use it as my reminder of the things I should be thankful for. I call this tool my gratitude stone.

Gratitude Stone
This is a photo of my gratitude stone … And, one of the things that I am grateful for.
You might be asking yourself how I use the stone … Well, let me enlighten you to my usage.

First off, I put the stone on my dresser at night with my wallet and Chap Stick. This way I remember to bring it with me every day. When I finish getting dressed in the morning, I pick up the rock and start my daily ritual. Before slipping it into my pocket, I spend about two minutes holding it, rubbing it, and thinking about the things I am grateful for. Some things (e.g. wife, kids, work, friends, and so on) come quickly and easily to me, so I focus on them first. After thinking about each of those things, I dig deeper into my imagination and try to come up with five more things that I might not have thought of without prying a little. And, I do more than simply say, I am grateful for yada … After choosing the topic to be thankful for, I then take it one step further and ask, “Why am I thankful for yada?

This morning ritual is not the only time I thank the universe for the things I am so fortunate to have in my life. The reason I have the stone in my pocket is so that I will feel it throughout the day. Anytime I reach into my pocket to pull out keys, Chap Stick, or money I also find that wonderful trinket. Once I touch it, I spend a moment and rub it

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. During that time I quickly pop through my list of things I’m thankful for. It’s only for a moment, but I do this a dozen or more times each day. Then, at the end of my day, while I’m emptying my pockets, I do it again. So I probably spend ten to fifteen minutes of every day focusing solely on the things that matter most to me.

Since you guys are all probably wondering what I think about when I rub my stone, I thought I would list out some of the things:

  • My wife and kids
  • My brothers and sisters
  • My moms and dads (yes, that is plural ... ha)
  • My longevity and ability to outlive everyone’s expectations
  • Work (yep … I love it, and am grateful for it)
  • My hobbies and stuff
  • My home
  • Food on my dining room table (and in the fridge)

After I finish with the easy list, I move on to the tougher to think of things like:

  • My five senses (fortunately I have all five at my disposal)
  • My arms and legs (not everyone is as lucky as me)
  • The sun
  • Computers
  • The snow
  • Four seasons
  • Social networks
  • My gift of writing
  • Internet Access
  • Life coaches
  • Challenges (yes sir … Very grateful for these, because they help me grow!)

You get the picture. And, hopefully I have helped you realize that there are lots of wonderful things for you to be thankful for too.

Please comment and let me know what you are thankful for. And, if you use something like a gratitude stone to remind you of them.

I hope this was a post to remember … And, maybe even be grateful for.

With love,

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Posted by Vaughn Ripley

Comments (1) Trackbacks (1)
  1. V, I love that you’re using an actual, portable object for this. I try to do the same without the object – and some days I achieve better grace and gratefulness than other. I may try your technique.

    Some good friends of mine are raising new teeens. One of their teens made a simple, hand-scrawled sign on notebook paper a few years ago. He taped it above the doorway leading from their livingroom into the kitchen. All of them pass through that doorway multiple times a day. Written on the paper is this: “What are you grateful for?”

    I have heard that the happiest people in life aren’t the ones that go looking for their happiness – they’re the ones who can appreciate what is already in and around them. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have goals or direction or that you don’t try to improve your life. But I do think it means that without sincere appreciation for NOW’s blessings, no new now will ever be enough.

    Thanks – for this post, and for you. You ROCK. Hehe