“I am so incredibly grateful that you and your car got us from Portland to this trailhead safely,” my friend Mary stated.
And now it was my turn...”I am so incredibly grateful that I have a refrigerator and cupboard stocked full of healthy foods.”
Another steep part of the hike was upon us, we both went back into the solitude of our minds until we reached flat land again.
“I am so grateful for the household that I live in,” Mary said.
“I am so grateful that I have my health to be able to do this awesome hike,” I said.
My friend Mary and I have been on many hikes throughout the Pacific Northwest together since I started hanging out with her almost three years ago. A few weeks ago we ventured on a hike and came up with a new way of hiking. Each time we came upon a new incline to hike up, we had to each think of something near and dear to our heart that we were grateful for and then once we reached flat land again, we’d share with each other what we were thinking. We did it in some back lands behind Silver Falls in Silverton, Oregon. The trail had many inclinations and there were no other souls around. I felt so light and as if my body was buzzing throughout the hike.
I have always known the power of gratitude as I have seen it work wonders in others’ lives and my own. Meditation has helped me to further integrate into the wonderful energy of gratitude. By being so completely present in the moment, everything seems like a miracle. Of course, the monkey mind comes back quite often (dang it, I’m still human!) But for the most part, ever since starting my meditation practice half a decade ago, everything…a spoonful of delicious soup, resting my body on a comfortable bed, or having a meaningful conversation with a dear friend have all become moments of gold.
A couple different spiritual teachers that I have been listening to lately have inspired me to start a new daily practice, I made up my own term for it, I call it “3 and 3.” It’s super easy, doesn’t take a lot of time and is incredibly powerful. I either do it at night or in the morning when I’m having my coffee. Basically, I list three things in which I am grateful for, but honestly it’s more than just listing them…I actually try to really feel how deep my gratitude is for them. Then I list three intentions that I have for that day (or if I’m doing this at night, I list three intentions for the next day.) I have found this to be a very powerful practice because more often than not I reach almost all of those intentions that day.
If that seems like a lot of extra activity to your already packed world, maybe just try to do it for the week. So before the week starts, list three things you intend to get done that week and three things that you are in gratitude of from the last week. I have found that actually writing them out, with pen and paper really seems to make it happen. Do whatever works for you yo, I just hope you do give it a shot and see for yourself!