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Color Me With Gratitude

This November let’s fill our hearts with thankfulness. Let your heart lead your mind on a journey toward gratitude using color. Studies show that color has a strong impact on our brains in terms of influencing our thoughts and emotions.

We need this attitude now more than ever. Our world needs the healing balm of thankfulness. We need to be lifted up by our thankful hearts. Gratitude is an antidote to the worry and fear that is all around us. It doesn’t take it away, but being infused with gratitude can turn our worrying mind toward something good. It helps our mind take a break from the burden of its obsessive ruminating. Our minds tend to default toward worry and fear, a state left over from eons ago when our very survival depended upon being watchful and wary for that which could literally kill us.

Just as we exercise our muscles to be physically strong, we need to exercise our heart to be strong—strong enough to lead our willful mind. It always wants to be in charge!

As your heart fills with thankfulness, use that fullness to shape thoughts of thankfulness. Then, let this attitude of thankfulness spill out into your words, both spoken and written. And finally, let this attitude of appreciation shape your behavior.

Here’s a "color-full" way to practice growing a grateful heart:

Sit in a place where you can be still, calm, and quiet with no distractions. If you find that it is hard to focus while doing this meditation, play some soothing music without words, or nature sounds such as a burbling stream, or chirping birds. Ground both feet on the floor, feel your spine long and straight against the back of your chair. Cross your palms over your heart space. Close your eyes. Take several long, slow, smooth, deep breaths in and out. As you breathe in, feel your heart space expand; as you breath out, feel it soften and release any tension. Then imagine you are breathing in the golden color of thankfulness into your heart. Imagine that this golden color is mixed with the cheer of yellow, the strength of some red, the vulnerability of a bit of pink. Feel these colors of gratitude fill your heart, expanding it with each breath in. Then, feel the colors drawn up through your throat into your mind with each deep inhale. With each exhale, your mind makes space for this beautiful mix of gratitude. Inhale, and fill your mind with the colors of gratitude. Exhale, and make more space for thankfulness. Feel your mind being washed over with steadfast gold, swirled with true yellow, strong red, and soft pink.

From this golden place of gratitude, shape thoughts of simple thanks. Simplicity is enough. Simplicity is powerful. Decide to deliver these thoughts to whoever needs to hear them—your friend, your family member, your neighbor, your co-worker. Write an email, send a text, mail a card, leave a voice mail.

Use your body to reflect this golden color of appreciation—wave at a child, smile at the Amazon delivery person, perform an act of kindness for a stranger, stroke the cheek of your loved one for no reason at all.

Each of your thoughts, words, and actions of gratitude has power like a dandelion gone to seed to spread and multiply. Send these seeds of thankfulness out into our world!

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