start monday with gratitude

week 48

Welcome to Week 48, lovely soul.

Below you'll find the video and video transcript introducing you to this week's quote and musings.

Scroll further and you'll discover this week's daily exercises, high vibe tune, and downloadable wallpapers.

Gratitude is not a limited resource, nor is it costly. It is abundant as air. We breathe it in but forget to exhale

Marshall Goldsmith

video transcript

Gratitude is energy. There is no end and there is no beginning. When we express gratitude, therefore, our energy and vibration rise, as gratitude is an energy like joy, happiness, love. They’re all high vibrational.

However, when we forget to express gratitude, it’s like holding our breath and not releasing the carbon dioxide that is inside us which just isn’t serving us.

What happens when we forget to exhale?

When we forget to exhale, excess carbon dioxide remains in our lungs, placing our body in unnecessary stress. Also, if we don’t fully exhale, those stressors will leave toxins behind in our body, which slow our body down.

Few of us breathe deeply enough and fully enough. Our breath tends to be shallow, which means that the stale air that should be exhaled lies at the base of our lungs.

When we focus on proper deep breathing, yogic breathing, we actually exhale for a longer count than we inhale, to ensure that all stale carbon-dioxide-filled air fully leaves our body.

How does this link to gratitude? How should we express gratitude like we would practise yogic breathing?

Breathing is something that we do naturally. It’s deemed an involuntary action in our body because it keeps our body alive. If it were a voluntary action, an action we choose to do, how many of us would be choking or gasping for breath every minute of every day? I would suggest the majority of us, because we’re so busy, so stressed about tomorrow, that we rarely live in the present moment giving our bodies and our livelihood the priority it deserves. And, so, breathing is an involuntary action to keep us alive.

Gratitude isn’t an involuntary action and, as a result, how many people do you think suck it in and take the goodness that gratitude offers us daily and, yet, forget to exhale, letting the toxins thrive in our body? I would suggest the majority of us. Again, because we’re so busy, so stressed about tomorrow, that we rarely live in the present moment and give priority to the health of our mind, body and soul.

Gratitude is not a one-way action. If we don’t exhale gratitude, in terms of expressing our gratitude for all of life’s blessings no matter how small, we’ll choke. Our mind and soul will become clogged with toxins that do not serve us and only go to poison us.

So why don’t we express and exhale gratitude as much as we receive and inhale it?

Because gratitude is not an involuntary action, created to keep our minds and souls healthy and alive. It’s up to us to exhale and express gratitude, and, because we’re so focused on tomorrow, so focused on stress, so focused on busy-ness, that we only inhale and forget to exhale.

Gratitude is abundant. Gratitude is free. Because of this we don’t denote enough value to it. Have you ever noticed how much more value you give to something when you have to pay money for it, compared to something you receive for free?

When we get something for free, we tend to take it for granted and, quite often, abuse it. Think about it.

Our health is a prime example… it comes for free; the majority of babies are born healthy. We, usually, only appreciate good health after we’ve abused it in some way or other, and something goes wrong, and we find ourselves scrambling to get it back on track again.

Treat gratitude like you treat breathing. Don’t abuse it because it’s free and, as a result, live a life of lack and scarcity. Rather, embrace it as life-giving and life-supporting; that, without it, you’ll choke and suffocate. Don’t let the toxins build up inside your body, release them by expressing gratitude.

daily gratitude practice

We take so much for granted in our lives, the tiny things that we enjoy every single day. And, yet, if those tiny things that we take so much for granted, were taken away, our lives would, probably, fall apart.

Sometimes it’s the tiny things that actually create the greatest impact in our lives because they keep things ticking along and running smoothly.

So today, I ask you: “what are you grateful for today, that you took for granted yesterday?”

Not so long ago, once a week for a couple of hours, I would speak English to a couple of young Swiss kids. One of the kids was really keen to learn, the other struggled to stay motivated. And that's okay. They're different personalities with different strengths.

We often played a naming game. I would ask them to name, say, 10 animals in English.

Every time I suggested playing the game and naming 10 animals, the enthusiastic learner would always say "no", closely followed by "40!" And both girls, with a little help and some rather poor animal acting from me, would reach that 40 mark.

But that was never enough for the enthusiastic learner. She wanted to keep upping the game and stretching for more (even though I was struggling myself to come up with more animals that I thought they'd know the names of in English).

That's where I want us to be with our gratitude practice this week.

Last week was a challenging week when we focused on finding the positives and expressing gratitude for challenges in our life, past and present. However, it has set us up in such a way that gratitude should come so much easier. Especially gratitude for the many things we take for granted, as our eyes have now been opened more fully.

So today I want you to show the same level of enthusiasm that that little 9 year old girl showed when playing the 'name the animal' game. Only I want you to show your gratitude that enthusiasm.

How many things that you take for granted can you be grateful for today? There is no limit!

Let's focus on our breath.

Breathe in for a count of 4.  

Breathe out for a count of 8.

Now... when you breathe in, imagine yourself breathing in a blessing, a miracle, something new that you would like to manifest into your life. Imagine something. See something. Think of something.

Then, when you breathe out, express gratitude for that blessing as if you already have it in your life.

Take some time out to do this, and then in your journal, don't share what you're grateful for, share how many blessings and miracles you expressed gratitude for through this breathing exercise. I want a number, today.

This is a fabulous exercise to do when you're feeling stressed. When we're stressed our breathing tends to become more shallow. When you breathe in for 4 and out for 8 your breathing will slow down and you will begin to relax. When you breathe in for 4 and out for 8 and also express gratitude for something on the out-breath, your vibration will also rise to a higher level.

In this week's gratitude practice, we're focusing on the small things, the things we tend to take for granted.

We're focusing on them because, when you focus and give value to the small things, when the bigger things come around, you'll find it easier to express gratitude for them.

In my musings this week, where I talked in detail about the gratitude quote for this week, I touched on how we tend to not allocate much value or importance to things we see as being free or receive for free. It's only when we pay a price for something, like our health, that we attribute more attention to it and express gratitude for it.

Today I invite you to think of something that you were gifted, for free, that you didn't allocate sufficient value towards, simply because it was free.

How could you have attributed more value to it? How could you have appreciated it more?

We're going to play with our breathing again, for a little. Today I want you to:

breathe in for a count of 4

breathe out for a count of 8

breathe in for a count of 4

and now I want you to hold your breath.

Don't breathe out and don't breathe any more air into your lungs for as long as you can. Really push yourself. See how long you can go without taking a breath.

How does your body feel while you're holding your breath? What's your body experiencing while you're holding your breath?

At first, it's not difficult, your body hasn't realised that no more oxygen is coming in and excess carbon dioxide isn't going out.

But what happens when your body tunes into what's happening? Does your chest feel tight? Does your head feel light? Do you feel pressure anywhere? Can you feel panic start to rise up inside you?

And when you can't hold your breath any longer, what happens? Do you exhale fast and full? Is your next inhale deeper and fuller? How long did you hold your breath for? How uncomfortable did it feel?

Can you imagine that not expressing gratitude feels, to your soul, the same as holding your breath too long feels for your body?

When we tune into ourselves on a soul level, we begin to honour the things that support us at soul level. We begin to change our attitudes, habits and behaviours to be ones that are supportive of our body, mind and soul. And gratitude is one of those habits and attitudes.

Today I want you to write down and record how your body felt during this little exercise.

Alternatively, feel free to express some gratitude, now you know how suffocating it feels for your soul not to.

You’ve been practising gratitude daily for almost a year now, so it should have become a natural habit for you. Yes, it’s still something we need to remember to do voluntary. It’s not like breathing, an involuntary action that our bodies make to ensure we stay alive.

However, it should, by now, be something that comes more naturally to you. As it’s something that should come more naturally to you by this stage, we’re going to test that out.

Similar to previous days we’re going to focus on deep yogic breathing.

Again, we’ll breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 8.

When we did our gratitude practice on Wednesday we focused on a blessing or a miracle that you would like to receive into your life and on every out-breath you expressed gratitude for that, as if it was already in your life.

Today we are going to focus on things that you already have in your life that you should express gratitude for. They can be big things or tiny things. It really doesn’t matter.

On the in-breath, to a count of 4, I want you to bring whatever you already have in your life to the forefront of your mind. And on the out-breath, to a count of 8, I invite you to express gratitude for it.

Every time you breathe in, think of something different.

For some time now, I have been doing regular Breathwork sessions a few times a week.

Although Breathwork has become popular in recent years, it’s nothing new. People have been practicing breathwork for thousands of years, and it has its roots in yoga. However, the light has been shone on Breathwork following research on its many and varied health benefits.

Indeed, some of the emotional health benefits associated with it include fewer feelings of depression and anxiety, better outlook on life, and an increase in contentment and joy. Indeed, the emotional benefits of Breathwork are similar to the emotional benefits associated with a gratitude practice.

When you express gratitude on a regular basis, your outlook on life becomes more positive, leading to fewer feelings of depression and anxiety, contentment, happiness and joy in your life increases.

There are many Breathwork techniques such as holotropic breathwork, deep abdominal breathing, breath of fire and, like we have been practising this week, yogic breathing.

What’s special about Breathwork is that, whilst you may wish to focus on releasing something that’s not working in your life or something that’s been pulling you down, your body will instinctively release whatever it needs to best release. It’s a very natural process.

With this in mind, today, being Sunday, often considered a more restful day of the week, we’re just going to let our bodies decide what blessings and miracles to breathe in and what to give thanks for.

So, following the style of breathing we’ve done this week – breathing in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 8, I simply invite you to set the intention that you shall breathe in whatever blessings and miracles will best benefit you and breathe out whatever you should give thanks and gratitude for.

Simply trust that your body, your energy knows. All you have to do is breathe.

and let's not forget...

This week's high vibe tune reminds us to express gratitude with every breath

have gratitude wherever you go...

... with this week's gratitude quote wallpaper.

Note: details of how to download this week's wallpaper is provided below.

“Gratitude is not a limited resource, nor is it costly. It is abundant as air. We breathe it in but forget to exhale” ~ Marshall Goldsmith





how to download your wallpaper

Before copying one of the pictures below, you'll want to quickly check your screen settings because the worst thing you can do is use a wallpaper with an aspect ratio that differs from the aspect ratio of your screen.

The aspect ratio of a rectangle is simply the proportion between width and height. The most common are 16:9, 16:10 and 4:3. And it will be for these 3 sizes that I shall provide you with your free wallpaper.

To find your screen resolution follow this basic guide. Steps for your computer may vary slightly but I hope this will give you some guidance:

  • Right-click the desktop and select Display settings.
  • Scroll down until you see "Resolution" (you may have to choose an "Advanced" option)
  • To find your aspect ratio, divide the width over the height. For example, if my resolution is 1920 x 1080 then I would divide 1920 over 1080 to get 1.778, which indicates a 16:9 resolution. Similarly, 1.6 indicated 16:10 and 1.333 indicates 4:3
  • When you've calculated your screen's aspect ratio, go to the picture below that matches that size
  • Right click on the picture and select "Set as Desktop Background"
  • Choose whether to "Fill", "Fit", or "Stretch" your picture - if you've chosen the right size "Fit" will be your best option
  • Select "Set Desktop Background" and you're done

  • First, save the wallpaper image to your phone by pressing your finger on the wallpaper image and hold down on it until you see a menu.
  • From here, click the “Save image” tab, and it will begin downloading.
  • The next step is to set this saved image as your wallpaper by pressing and holding a blank area on your screen (meaning where no apps are placed), and home screen options will appear.
  • Select 'add wallpaper' and choose whether the wallpaper is intended for 'Home screen', 'Lock screen', or 'Home and lock screen'.
  • Another set of options will appear where you can choose where the photo you would like to use will be coming from, namely the Gallery.
  • If necessary, crop the image to a suitable size. Once satisfied, simply click 'Done'.

  • First, save the wallpaper image to your phone by pressing your finger on the wallpaper image and hold down for about 2 seconds until a menu appears.
  • From here, click “Save Image“, and it will begin downloading.
  • The next step is to set this saved image as your wallpaper by, first, going to the 'Photos' app and selecting the wallpaper photo you've saved there.
  • Click on the share icon on the lower left corner of the screen, then select 'Use as Wallpaper'.
  • Then choose to set the photo as either the lock screen, home screen or both.