What Are You Grateful For?
It is really hard to imagine being totally different than we have always know ourselves to be. It seems like to great a task, like having to change everything. Through what feels like massive effort we change to quickly and find ourselves right back or even worse we started. If we really intend to change our world we must do it slowly. We experience change so gradually that often we don’t notice when it happened, we are just different.
One of my favorite methods to promote gradual change is doing what I call “micropractice.” Micropractives are practice techniques you can do in a minute or less. The Two Minutes of Silence is a micropractice. These are tools, and like all tools we can build or destroy with them.
If we use them in negative ways we are constantly activating our consciousness toward what we dislike with micropractices like negative self talk and negative visualization. We use micro- practice to reinforce and prove to ourselves that we are right in how we view the world. It is also how we create the world.
There are many positive micropractices. A lot of them make us feel silly while we are doing them. It is part of why they are effective. I have said many times (middle aged men are allowed to tell the same jokes over and over again!) in my experience of living a life of practice, if someone could convince me that I could learn to free myself from fear by going out naked and waving a frozen chicken over my head at the full moon, my neighbor would be telling his wife,” Martha, he’s out there again!”
You have got to go for it! When you do a micro practice give your all! Laughing for a minute, but laughing like you are at the best, funniest party ever. Smiling for a minute, but smiling so broad your cheeks hurt. Hug a tree!
My favorite is The Gratitude Game. What are four things you are grateful for? It is important to follow the rules of the game; first small things are just as important as large things, maybe even more. Each person takes a turn. The person answering has to give at least four, but not limited to four things. You can play by yourself. The last rule of the game is you do not have to follow any for the rules. Remember to breathe and feel the afterglow of practice at the very end.
There are so many micropractices, like staying away from the phrase ‘should or I have to.’ Micropractices alone can change our relationship to life. This does not even include meditation, state changers, study, or physical practice. It is easy to change the world!
So, what are you grateful for?