There is so much to be thankful for in every moment. It can be easy to forget how precious our lives are when we don’t take the time to practice gratefulness. Our primitive brain wired to focus on fear, doubt and worry. It takes effort and awareness to choose to recognize the blessings and gifts that we receive and experience daily.
Below is a gratitude and appreciation meditation I wrote for my Kid’s Yoga classes, along with some simple suggestions for a gratitude jar. Acknowledging what we are thankful for is a mindful path that helps sustain inner peace, health and humbleness.
Dewa in Yoga Class sitting elegantly while balancing a pumpkin on her head.
Lying down on your back with your *breathing buddy on your belly, or sitting upright, close your eyes and be very still. Take in a slow deep breath and a slow, long breath all the way out. Feel your breathing buddy (belly) expand as you breathe in slowly and then feel your breathing buddy (belly) release when you breathe out slowly.
Begin to notice what you are thankful for about your family and how much you are loved. How you are cared for and considered daily. Think about having a home to keep you warm and safe with clean water to drink. All the good and healthy food you eat that comes from the Earth and the Sun. Take a moment and say thank you quietly in your mind. Notice how that feels in your body to be thankful.
Now, think about your friends and people that you laugh and play with. Feel yourself smiling inside as you think about your friends and how blessed you are to have special friends. Take a moment and say thank you quietly in your mind. Notice how that feels in your body to be thankful.
Consider your personal items such as your clothes and toys. Think about your favorite toy and what that means to you. Take a moment and say thank you quietly in your mind. Notice how that feels in your body to be thankful.
Spend a few moments thinking about all the special adventures and experiences that you have had recently. Where have you been that was special. What did you do that made you feel happy inside. Stay still and really appreciate how grateful you are to have these experiences and say thank you quietly in your mind. Notice how that feels in your body to be thankful.
And YOU! How grateful you are for having this amazing body that allows you to run, jump, dance, hug, kiss, breathe, think, feel and express your unique talents. And all the love you bring to others by just being YOU! Take a moment and say thank you quietly in your mind. Notice how that feels in your body to be thankful.
As you lay here (or sit) quietly, feel very calm and appreciative. Feel a warm feeling of gratitude surround you like a blanket. Continue to breathe in and out gently as you feel grateful and happy for your life. Notice how that feels in your body to be thankful. Allow that feeling to be with you for as long as you can!
- Choose a jar of your choice – mason jar, recycle jelly jar … look for something that speaks to you and your family.
2. Decorate your jar with your favorite colors, ribbon, yard, stickers. Be as simple or creative as you choose. Make it yours.
3. Place paper and pen(s) next to your jar to record your daily blessings.
Or maybe a stone, marble or trinket into the jar every time you feel blessed and watch your blessings grow.
4. When someone in the family is having a challenging day, draw out one of the pieces of paper and read it out loud. It helps inspire a moment of remembrance which can lead to a moment of gratitude. Or just gather round and read them out. Notice how that feels.
In Deep Gratitude For This Moment!
*A breathing buddy can be a small stuffed animal or lovey that has personal meaning to your child.
*Just in my email box more research on the benefits of Gratitude.