Mindfulness Activity #86
Gratitude for The Weekend
Good Morning. It is a beautiful, sunny morning and it’s the weekend! Weekends are markers for us, helping us to chunk time. When my son was small, he had trouble understanding the concept of time and when something was going to happen in the future. He would ask, “ how many sleeps” until this or that will happen? One the frustrating things about social distancing is we don’t know how long it will go on. The future feels more uncertain than usual. But one thing we are sure of is that we have lived a week since last Friday.
If you will, take a moment to reflect on the past week. Were there things you were grateful for? Were there things you worried about that you had no control over? Were there things you worried about that ended up better than you anticipated? Reflect on moments when you were truly connected to an experience. If it was pleasant, be thankful for the moment. If it was not a pleasant experience, you can be happy that the experience has passed, that you survived it, and that you are here able to think about it. Maybe it offered you the chance to learn something or to practice something or to become stronger in some way. If so, be thankful for that.
If there was something you worked on this week, acknowledge your hard work. Yesterday, we practiced self-compassion. Were you able to be a little kinder and gentler to yourself and to others yesterday? Be thankful if you were.
Today’s practice involves gratitude. If you can do this practice outside, please try to. Wherever you are, sit supporting your back or lie down. Take in 1 deep breath, feeling the familiarity of your breath. If you have been practicing, this breath might feel comforting and settling. Continue to breath in and out slowly through your nose, feeling your stomach rise and fall. Now think about 1 thing this past week for which you are grateful. Notice the feeling in your chest when you think about it. Now, continuing to breathe, feel the sensation of gratitude expanding in your chest. Think about your last week. Try to find gratitude for pleasant experiences you can recall. Think about them one by one and say to yourself, I’m thankful.”
Now, see if you can feel gratitude for any learning opportunities in the past week, even unpleasant ones. You have marked another week of learning and practicing. You have gotten through any stressful moments from the past week. Think about any unpleasant moments that you survived or mastered or just stayed connected to and say to yourself, I’m thankful.”
You may be able to find some time to rest and relax this weekend. Be grateful for any down time or pleasant activities you can look forward to in the next few days. Anticipating them, say to yourself, “I’m thankful.”
Continue to breathe, feeling the warmth of gratitude in your chest. See if you can notice gratitude for this one moment, for this one breath, for anything around you right now that you can appreciate. Say to yourself, “I’m thankful.”
As you conclude your practice, take one last deep breath in and out.
For the rest of the day, and the weekend, try to make a conscious effort to notice anything small or large that you are grateful for. Say to yourself “I’m thankful” as you notice the people and experiences for which you are grateful. Take a second to connect to the feeling of gratitude in your chest and the thoughts in your mind as you mindfully attend to these things.
Have an enjoyable weekend!