It's time to take your gratitude practice to the great outdoors. Your gratitude gravy mission for today is to go for a gratitude walk.
Gratitude GRAVY practice 3
During the walk, name at least 20 things you’re grateful for: comfy shoes, sunshine, rain, leaves, soil, your dog, your legs, fresh air, snow, blue sky, grey sky, the fact that the sky isn't falling, whatever greases your gratitude wheels.
If your world isn't buried in snow (mine is!), collect a rock, a leaf, a shell (you lucky beach dwelling duck!), pine cone or any other memento (or just take a photo, especially if it's sea life or something that shouldn't be removed).
We'll use these mementos to remind ourselves of something we were grateful for on the walk later in the challenge.
While you're on the walk, besides just naming a whole bunch of things you're grateful for, you could also reflect on (and be grateful for) the intelligence of nature. The connectedness of it all or how small our problems are in comparison to the sky.
I like to be grateful for the example nature sets for us, nothing can be rushed, everything has its own rhythm.
Ok now I'm sounding like a 1960's folksinger...
Don't worry if you don't feel particularly inspired by your geographic location. A gratitude walk is not about capturing Ansel Adams' esque vistas.
It's about finding the awe in the everyday.
You can focus on appreciating the rain and how it nourishes the earth, you can pretend you're a pup and just marvel at everything you can sniff out, you can take yourself to a botanical garden or walk during what we, photographers, refer to as the "golden hours" of the day, where the light is so spectacular, it doesn't matter where you live you'll likely see your whole area bathed in beautiful light.
And now I sound like a Hallmark card...
You could also do the walk at night, look at the stars, the moon, Christmas lights. You could be grateful for holiday cheer, electricity, the fact that you don't know any werewolves ;-)...
UNPLUG for a portion
Try doing some (or all) of the walk unplugged. If you usually walk with music, podcasts or while chatting on the phone with your bestie, turn it off for 10 minutes and just be present, focused and mindful of all the things you're grateful for in nature.
We spend so much time staring down at our phones these days, we miss out on plenty of miracles around us. No digital noise, just you, the clouds, a furry friend, or whatever Mother Nature sends your way.
Nature is not only our natural anti-stress agent (as are walking and gratitude so this is a trifecta calming agent for your nervous system!), but, also, being outside in nature can be an awe inducer.
In positive psychology, awe is a powerful, positive emotion and is closely associated with gratitude and appreciation.
Awe is close to being the pinnacle of positive emotions. So make your gratitude practice AWEsome by really paying attention during your time outside. You never know what you might stumble across.
My sister and I nearly tripped over 20 baby sea turtles two years ago over Thanksgiving while we were in Mexico for our Dad's 70th birthday. It was one of the most awe-inspiring beach walks I've ever been on.
I am so grateful for witnessing all of these baby sea turtles hatch out of the sand and make their way to the ocean. We weren't expecting this little miracle at all!
Happy trails and thank you for walking this challenge alongside me–
LaRock Star Creative
Coach & Creator of Gratitude GRAVY & The Life Feast
PS If you know anyone who would enjoy this free daily gratitude challenge, please tell them to sign up here. There's no "behind" in gratitude gravy, anyone can jump in at any time. Don't forget to use #gratitudegravy to amplify and share your practice. Come say hi in the Facebook group here or tag me on Instagram.
Just pop your email address in here and you'll receive my FREE photowalk guide.