I recently heard from Leonie Percy, the founder of Yoga Mamata, and loved her story about the gratitude jar so much, that I invited her to share it with you here on my blog.
So I'll hand over to Leonie now (and be sure to check out Leonie's give away at the end) ......
Gratitude is magic because it turns what we have into enough.
The first time in my life I felt truly grateful was when I spent a few months travelling around the middle east. I was only 19 and it was my first experience of travelling solo. It was the beginning of a journey of self discovery that would take me to over 65 countries, all before I was 30. I love travelling, it brings a sense of freedom, joy and infinite peace that seems to be a struggle for many of us to find when we live in the mundane routine of the daily grind.
I was so grateful I got to experience so many cultures and meet so many interesting people. I also felt overwhelming grateful to my family as I felt a sense of appreciation for my parents that I had not felt before.
I got married when I was 30 and had my son at 32 but by the time I was 35 my marriage ended suddenly and I found myself trapped in a heart breaking situation that left me a single mother. I struggled to deal with what was happening, as my world fell apart, I had to start a new life.
During this time all I knew was that I loved yoga and my son. I dived into my yoga practice and embraced the teachings of this ancient art and it was here that I once again discovered the magic of gratitude. Instead of focusing on all the negative energy around me I began to practice gratitude.
I am grateful for my son.
I am grateful for my breath.
I am grateful I am healthy.
I started to meditate and practice mindfulness and this led to create my business www.yogamamata.com that teaches yoga and mindfulness to families. I am the author of an award winning book “Mother Om - Connect with yourself and your child in one mindful moment a day”.
In “Mother Om” I share practical mindful tips on how to strengthen family connection. An absolute gem is to create a family gratitude jar.
Find a glass jar and place it in the kitchen. Everyday as a family ritual write down what you are grateful for. A great time for this is around the dinner table. Get the kids to do this too. When teaching kids about gratitude ask them what makes them feel happy in their heart.
I am grateful for my family.
I am grateful for mummies hugs.
I am grateful for my pet.
Write them on posit notes and put them in the jar. Stick the notes in lunch boxes and hide them around the house. When feeling stressed just put out a posit note and read it. This instantly takes you out of your busy mind and into your heart space, where there is only love, no judgment or fear.
Gratitude is a daily mindfulness practice that helps you feel connected to yourself and the world around you. You don't long for your situation to be different and become content with your life. It brings you happiness which is a state of mind.
Before I fall asleep or before I get out of bed in the morning I say to myself what I am grateful for.
In this moment I find that sense of freedom, joy and infinite peace that I found when I was travelling.
All you have to do is close your eyes and focus on what you have, rather than what you want or think you need, so sprinkle some of that magic into your day to keep yourself and your family connected content and calm.
Would you like a signed copy of Leonie's new book, Mother Om?
Click the facebook like button AND leave a comment below about how you bring gratitude into your day, and one lucky person will win a signed copy of this wonderful book!
The winner will be announced on Friday 7th November 2014.
I'm excited! Get liking and commenting!
Leonie is a loving mother, founder of www.yogamamata.com and author of the award winning book “Mother Om - Connect with yourself and your child in one mindful moment a day”.
Yoga Mamata teaches Mums how to mother in the moment, children kindness and resilience and keeps families connected.
Mother Om can be purchased here in Australia or globally on Amazon.