The Attitude that Shifts Our Mood
Gratitude famously changes our mood in an instant. When we’re able to allow ourselves to recognize what we already have that we dearly appreciate, something opens up in us. The body relaxes, the heart blooms, and good feelings flow.
It really is that simple – that’s why an Attitude of Gratitude is good for recovery, not because being grateful makes us a better person than someone who isn’t grateful, but because gratitude feels good from the inside.
Gratitude lists are among the top tools for people in recovery for a reason. But why stop at lists? There are many ways to spend extra time experiencing the benefits of gratitude. We can make music, draw pictures, express our gratitude out loud to ourselves and to each other, in the moment. We can make gratitude deeper and richer by deliberately spending more time in that space.
I have a friend who loves to eat a good meal, and it is a pleasure to make him dinner, for that reason. Since he enjoys being fed, I feed him more. I believe Spirit works the same way – if we enjoy the gifts that Spirit sends us, then Spirit will be pleased and send us even more gifts, because it feels good to give when someone lets you give to them.
The recognition of receiving the gift requires awareness of it – that somebody or something is right here with us, giving us a gift, be that gift physical health in the body, a breath of fresh air, the gift of attention, or a little bit of beauty.
How might we be better receivers of what Spirit wants to give us? Through recognition and attention of all the ways that spirit is trying to gift us! We need, essentially, to say thank you.
As Thanksgiving draws near, we have the invitation to explore feelings of gratitude. One symbol of plenty is the Cornucopia, also known as the Horn of Plenty. In antiquity, the horn of plenty of represented connection to the divine, through which abundance can always reach us.
Rather than sealed off in our own world, untouched by the divinity from which we originally sprang, we always have openings and connection points where abundance can bubble up from what lies underneath us all.
Express Your Thanks By Visualizing Your Abundance: Gratitude Cornucopia
This art therapy exercise is a way to play creatively with your feelings of gratitude and abundance. You will draw a cornucopia to hold all that you are grateful for.
Paper (the larger the better) & something to draw with. This exercise will work with just a pencil, but will probably be more fun with some colors, so see what you have that you can bring in. Alternatively, you can do this exercise as a collage if you have access to some inspiring images you can cut up (from a magazine or printed off the web).
Step One: Writing Exercise Warm Up
Brainstorm on the following questions. The suggestion is 12 answers to each of the following prompts. I like the number 12 in part because it is big enough that we may get stumped part way through, and have to push ourselves to think of something out of that void of stuckness, and then we’re pleasantly surprised.
What comes after the blankness of I don’t know what to say now is often the most interesting thing of all, because it is something fresh and unconsidered (until now). So don’t worry if there are some pauses or feelings of temporary nothingness in your process. From that place of pause, the next thing will be summoned up and will arrive on cue.
Good Things In My Life Inventory
Find 12 answers to each of the following prompts.
I have enough…
I have plenty of…
I have a glorious abundance of…
I am undeniably rich in…
Step Two: Draw A Cornucopia
Draw at least one (but make as many as you like) cornucopias, then fill them with symbols, representations, and/or words naming all the things you have, referring to your lists for inspiration.
If you don’t want to use the horn shape, you can also draw a basket or Thanksgiving table instead. The more important part of the exercise is to take time to represent all the good things you have enough of.
Step 3: Look at it Daily
Place your image somewhere visible and look at it throughout the month of November, to remind yourself of all that you already have.
Blessings & have fun!