May Gratitude Garden

"April showers bring May flowers."  I can't help but think how much this simple, spills-from-our-mouths phrase relates to life in general.  We all experience "rainy" times in our lives, and I hope they are as short-lived as a spring rain shower.  Unfortunately for many, though, the gray clouds hang around much longer than expected.  In order to help pass through those storms, I offer this gratitude practice for both children and adults.

A daily practice of gratitude helps to shift our brains' natural negative bias to a more positive one.  This particular exercise takes the practice of gratitude a little bit deeper.  In a typical exercise, you would start each morning by thinking of three things you are grateful for.  In this practice, you will still write three things you are grateful for, but then expand on those gratitudes by writing six reasons why. 

For example, if you write MOM in the center of the flower, you might fill the petals with LOVE, YUMMY COOKING, WARM HUGS, DOING MY LAUNDRY, ALWAYS LISTENING, and BUYING ME CLOTHES. 

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I borrowed this concept from my designer brainstorming toolbox.  When faced with a design challenge, I might create a bubble diagram where I start with the problem statement in the center and expand out from there with ideas and concepts that might solve the problem.  It's a great tool to open up more avenues of exploration.  I have found the same principle can be applied to the practice of gratitude.  This technique allows you the opportunity to dig a little deeper and explore.

I hope you enjoy the practice! 

Peace + Play

erica