Weekly gratitude trip

Gratitude is humbling. It will centre you to the person you truly are. It will give you the gift of appreciation towards every being, object and earthly product around you. Do you ever practice gratitude?

I find on a daily basis I will practice it briefly as I’m driving, as I’ve finished a conversation with a client at the end of a very stimulating session or even after I’ve completed my own training session. For example, the gratitude I now hold for myself after training sessions is in essence the understanding of knowing what it is like to not train effectively for a long period of time. To be limited in multiple ways and therefor not executing nearly as much as I would like to. So I now know that everything I do on a daily basis regarding training is something to be extremely grateful for. Do you have anything of a similar background that you can now be grateful for? Take a moment.

So as I said before, I take moments to be grateful on a daily basis without any real structure. But at least once a week (mostly on a weekend) I will sit in mindful breathing and go through a gratefulness session. It will contain in no particular order these verses;

  • I’m grateful for the paths I get to run.
  • I’m grateful for the creatures that cross my paths.
  • I’m grateful for the body I am able to use every moment of the day.
  • I’m grateful for the knowledge I now have.
  • I’m grateful for the knowledge I am going to gain tomorrow.
  • I’m grateful for the challenges that have carved me into the person I am today.
  • I’m grateful for the people I speak to in my life.
  • I’m grateful for the high spirits I am in right now.
  • I’m grateful for the lessons I extract from most experiences.
  • I’m grateful that I am here now.

This list is what I am most grateful for at the present time. it started with only the top 3 and last line, but has developed over the past few months. Who knows, I may have a 5 hour mindful breathing session under my belt in a couple years time…No I won’t be going that far!

Mindful gratitudes

If your feeling a little overwhelmed with life right now, and every problem seems to mold into one great big boulder of chaos. Perhaps give this routine a try. I will provide the setting of what your first attempt might look like. And I do say ‘attempt’ because mindful breathing is not an easy thing to accomplish if you truly want to find your centre with very little distractions from inside yourself.

  1. Firstly you’ll want to find a place where you are very likely to not be distracted by other people. A room where you can keep yourself in solitude for some time.
  2. Find a position where you feel comfortable for now, and in time you can find the position where you feel most ‘focused’ during these sessions. You may choose cross legged, kneeling, laying on your back as flat as possible or even on your back with the souls of your feet resting on the floor.
  3. From here I will recommend the breathing technique which I have found works for me best (so far). Try to inhale slowly through your nose and into your diaphragm. At first you can try resting one hand on top of your diaphragm and focus on it moving your hand away as it fills up with your breath.
  4. You might want to picture an object slowly raising up, up, up as you breath. I focus on a bright golden beam of light slowly streaming up in blackness as I inhale.
  5. Then hold all of this air in for as many moments as you can before needing to exhale it all out. You then try to exhale all of your breath out through your nose and as slowly as you can. Here you can think of the object going down, down, down in a controlled slow manner. I again, picture this golden beam slowly descending to where it once began.
  6. Hold your body void of air for as many moments as you can before needing to again begin the next round of breathing in slowly.

This routine is what I recommend to focus on for your first several attempts before moving onto practicing the gratitudes.

I recommend breathing with an object raising and descending because you will experience an awful amount of the ‘monkey mind’. In short, this term has originated from the Buddhists in how the mind will be restless, mischievous, inconsistent and indecisive as much as you let it (just like a monkey). And you will find that as much as you are trying to picture an object as well as focus on how you are breathing (and increasing the lengths of your breathing during the sessions) you will be polluted with all kinds of irrelevant thoughts throughout the process. The goal is to centre your focus back to your scaling object the moment you find your monkey mind meddling with your thoughts.

Again, you will find yourself being distracted by thoughts almost every moment at first. You can have as many as 50 thoughts a minute if you let your mind wonder!


Good luck with the process I’ve set if you so choose to attempt it. Gratitude is a humbling emotion if you allow yourself to be honest. Commit to your thoughts and know that it is okay to be thankful for the things in your life you truly treasure. See if you can find gratitude in something you may have been taking for granted all this time.

Closing thoughts

We are always changing as people. The person you knew 6 months ago is not necessarily the person you know today. Remember that.

Self awareness is progression

Nick Donnellan

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