Here’s a visualisation technique I use with many of my clients to help foster not an ‘attitude of gratitude’, but instead a strong feeling of ‘I am grateful for myself’.
Here’s why – for fellow nitpickers. An attitude is, to me, a kind of modus operandi that is created as a result of repeated thoughts and responses to stimuli (getting angry at x, getting calm around y, falling asleep when z speaks in the post lunch meeting).
In other words it’s a well trodden path, something forged through repetition.
So to expect a client to summon such a thing without any practice is likely (in most people) to cause a bunch of conflicting feelings of being ‘fake’ or a charlatan or inauthentic. I guess that’s why they say DEVELOP an attitude of gratitude.
So anyway here’s the set up to the ideas I use.
1. Imagine you were out shopping for an expensive gift for a loved one, with your wallet in which you’d withdrawn the maximum amount of cash from your bank account and stuffed said wad of notes into your wallet.
2. You lose your wallet.
3. After a frantic and unsuccessful search you are approached by a kind person who calmly tells you that you left it in a shop you’d been into, that it’s untouched and you see that all the money’s still in there.
4. Imagine just how incredibly thankful, grateful you’d be towards this kind stranger, giving you your cash stuffed wallet back.
5. Allow yourself to explore and feel that gratitude as powerfully as you can.
6. Now, using that same intensity of feeling, consider yourself, all that you are and how far you’ve come, in spite of setbacks, in spite of self sabotage and procrastination, and channel/modify/divert that gratitude back into yourself.
7. Feeling gratitude for yourself, for something, ANYTHING, no matter how small or grand, how kooky or heroic, actively thank yourself for being you and doing that thing, or being that person. Actually tell yourself using your internal dialogue.
8. Pay attention to the words you use, the pace you speak to yourself, and of course the strong intent that lies behind the words.
8. MEAN IT – as best as you can at least, but do not judge yourself if you’re struggling, just keep on keeping on doing the best you can.
9. When you feel you’ve done that it long enough – it can take a couple of minutes or well, as long as it takes, finish this little ritual, this minor spell, with whatever symbols work for you – maybe you’re spiritual, if so use spiritual symbols to close off this time with yourself, if not then maybe you’ll imagine a letter being sealed with red letter wax and a golden seal with your initials on it.
Or just a strong nod of your head that says “It is done”.
10. Give yourself a few moments in silence with a clear quiet mind while you give your deeper mind an opportunity to continue to process what you’ve just done with yourself.
Repeat these feelings, or this entire process as often as you can or like to.
With practice, I’ve found it useful in building a deeper sense of appreciation for who you are.