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The gratitude jar…..

by | Oct 30, 2014 | Uncategorized

When I started sharing my gratitude photographs, even before Capturing Gratitude was born, I began getting emails from people all over the world, sharing their own gratitude stories.

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.

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.

     

 


I’m so grateful to Leonie for sharing this gratitude idea with us.

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!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Lainie for winning a copy of Mother Om!

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.


 

7 Comments

  1. Gerri Smalley

    The way I bring gratitude in my day is each morning thanking God for giving life in that day. I also gives thanks for my hubby and my son. 🙂

    Reply
  2. rachel chapman

    Grateful by trying to be present in every moment esp with my young children who see delight in the smallest things, there is so much to be grateful for when you walk in their shoes

    Reply
  3. Lainie Anderson

    We practice a gratitude circle before dinner a few nights a week where we hold hand and say what we’re grateful for before dinner. Similar to a blessing or grace, the kids really love it! It fills our hearts with laughter and smiles that makes a meal even more enjoyable. 🙂

    Reply
    • Lauren Tober

      That sounds beautiful Lainie! What a lovely way to share a gratitude ritual with your family. Lucky lady, you’re the winner of Leonie’s book, Mother Om! We’ll be sending it out to you soon 🙂

      Reply
  4. kirsty

    I write a list of 5 things I’m grateful for to help direct the focus of my attention on a daily basis. I also remind myself how quickly my son is growing and this helps me be present with him completely. Being present is my expression of gratitude for him and to him.

    Reply
  5. Caroline

    Having been through a really hard time when my kids were babies, feeling trapped for eternity in a constant state of overwhelm and exhaustion, I can so very easily feel grateful for how much easier things are now. (that they are 8,6 and 4). I feel so grateful for the little steps of independence, sleeping through the night in their own beds, doing up their own seatbelts, getting their own drinks, getting dressed and choosing their own clothes! When we go out now, we go out as a little tribe and they so often are the ones leading the way, and i’m not dragging around all the baby paraphernalia anymore, they can carry their own things… it was an exhausting and lonely time for a while, but indeed, like everyone tells you, it passes, and your life does come back… and now that they are growing into such happy secure kids I am so glad that I give as much as I did in those early years. I practice my gratitude by telling them constantly how much I love them and how proud I am of them, and making sure I take time to really notice them and all their little achievements.

    Reply
  6. Kerry

    Caroline your comment brought tears to my eyes – so relatable, thank you for sharing. Hmmm, gratitude… I don’t have any daily rituals, although often at night I do thank The Universe / God / The Powers That Be for all that I have. And during the day I do often, randomly, feel overwhelming gratitude. For me though, when I think about how I purposely elicit the feeling of gratitude, it’s often when I feel sad (strange I know!). So when I’m missing my family (emigrated to Australia 3 years ago) I think of when I’ll next see them and feel grateful that I get to do that. And when I’m feeling sad about all we left behind in South Africa, I remind myself of the beauty of Australia, of why we moved here, of what we’ve gained. And when I’m feeling disconnected or misunderstood I sit in my garden and focus on the beauty of nature all around me, I breath in the clean air, I connect to the earth, and I connect to my Higher Self. For me every emotion, even gratitude, is 1 side of a 2 sided coin. Gratitude is best felt and expressed when one knows an opposite, negative emotion. So although not through daily rituals, gratitude is part of my daily existence, it brings light, positivity and love to my life.

    Reply

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