Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Practicing Gratitude

Gratitude takes practice.

And when we don't have gratitude as a traveling companion life can sometimes seem dark.

So how do we infuse gratitude into our lives?  It's really about changing our perspective.

A simple way is to start when we open our eyes in the morning.  When you awake don't say "Damn, I have to get ready for work."  And then jump from the bed and start rushing to get ready.

Instead, set your alarm an hour early.  Rouse yourself slowly and stretch to get your blood circulating. Take a few deep breaths.  Then practice mindful meditation for ten or fifteen minutes.  After that do some yoga at home - or go to the gym.

Be fully present while you shower. Savor a light breakfast. Enjoy the sunrise.

Immerse yourself in the drive to work. Flow with the traffic. Be grateful that you have transportation.

Notice those along the way who have less than you. Maybe you pass someone who's handicapped and riding a motorized cart. Or someone who's homeless. Realize how blessed you are.

Keep your mind in the present. Don't let it get to the office before your body arrives. Staying in the moment nurtures our gratitude and enhances our life.

If you're unhappy about how much money you earn remind yourself that much of the world's population lives on less than two dollars a day.

Being grateful comes from how we view life.

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