In her ongoing series on a Year of Self-Love, Sabi Kerr explores the idea of practicing gratitude.
Practicing self-love is an ongoing commitment to nourishing the most important relationship we have in our lives: the one with ourselves. It’s an unconditional acceptance for ourselves; the understanding that we don’t need validation from external sources, but we’re already perfect just as we are. Until we find this space of peace and acceptance within, we’ll always be looking elsewhere.
Each month we’ve been exploring a different self-love practice, and this month we’re uncovering why gratitude is a fundamental aspect of learning to love ourselves. We hear a lot about gratitude as a way to live more mindful, conscious, happy lives, and this goes hand in hand with self-love. Gratitude is about appreciating everything we are blessed with now, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant these may be. Gratitude is about celebrating where we’re at and what we have right now, rather than focusing on what’s wrong, or what we don’t have. Self-love asks the same of us: it asks us to appreciate and celebrate ourselves as we are now, rather than focusing on what we need to change.
A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. Once you start to live life from a place of gratitude for all you have rather than from a place of scarcity, your attitude towards life, yourself, and ultimately, how you love yourself, totally changes. When you practice gratitude daily, you begin to see all the blessings around you, and that includes the blessing that is you. As you begin to be truly grateful for yourself and how you are now, you treat yourself with the love you truly deserve. So practicing gratitude leads us to deeper levels of self-love, and practicing self-love reinforces all we have to be grateful for. They go hand in hand.
Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be complicated and doesn’t have to take much time at all. Small, consistent ways to remind ourselves of the things we are grateful for work best. Here are a few suggestions for how you can start a gratitude practice today:
- When you wake up, remind yourself of three things you’re grateful for.
- Every day, tell someone you love how much you appreciate them.
- Keep a gratitude journal and each evening write down something from your day that you’re grateful for.
- Smile more often, for no reason at all.
- Notice the beauty in nature every day.
- When public transport is running late, rather than complaining, stop and think of one thing you’re grateful for in that moment.
It’s easy to practice gratitude when life is going well, just like it’s easy to love ourselves when we’ve achieved something, when we think we look good, or when we have something specific to celebrate ourselves for. The real work is to practice gratitude and self-love even when things don’t feel like they’re going well. To realise that wherever we are, right this moment, is worth celebrating and being grateful for.
Sabi Kerr is a yoga teacher and life coach. It’s her passion to support people in developing deep levels of self-love, so that they can move forwards and create their fullest lives (sabikerr.com)
Discover more throughout the Year of Self-Love with Sabi Kerr.