start monday with gratitude

week 37

Welcome to Week 37, 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.

Remember - always feel free to share your insights for each day's gratitude exercise in our Facebook group.

video transcript

If ever there was someone who thrived on chasing extraordinary moments in pursuit of happiness, it was me.

Of course, at the time I didn’t realise that I was chasing those moments to create some kind of fulfilment in my life, to fill a gap I felt existed. I thought I was simply living life to the full and making the most of it.

Now I can look back and see that all I was doing was living in and for the future. Because while I was enjoying one extraordinary moment and the buzz that came with it, my mind would be racing ahead to create/imagine the next moment. So, in essence, even in each and every extraordinary moment, I wasn’t relishing it to its full potential because my mind, my thoughts, my energy was focused on “what’s next?”

It really was like a game of chase where happiness would and could never be caught.

And it was an exhausting game to play as it was all about chasing the future without ever sitting and appreciating the fullness and stillness of the present.

Nowadays, now that my life feels more aligned and calm and I’m living in the present and not striving towards the future, I better appreciate and enjoy everything that is around me and gain a sense of gratitude for even the smallest of moments.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy those extraordinary moments. However, I no longer chase them. When they arrive, when I am given the opportunity to experience an extraordinary moment, I relish every second of it, I live it in the present moment without my mind and thoughts racing ahead.

And, as a result, I enjoy those extraordinary moments more.

Not because there are fewer of them because I no longer constantly plan them into my life and consciously seek them out, but because my focus is on the present and relishing every moment of those extraordinary moments when they arrive.

When I lived in and for the future always chasing those moments, even if there had only been only a precious few of them, I would never have fully enjoyed and appreciated them like I do today, because I simply could not live in the present.

I’ve also noticed that, now I live in the present, the moments I enjoy and relish don’t have to be limited to the extraordinary moments. They can also be the everyday moments such as the rising and setting of the sun, the clouds (and mist) as it moves into and through the valley where I live, The singing of the birds in the trees, the scent of homecooking, the softness of my bunnies’ fur.

I’ve found that when you are present, when you practise gratitude for even the smallest of things, your attention returns to what’s in front of you and you take nothing for granted, but everything with gratitude.

daily gratitude practice

Think back to an extraordinary moment in your life. Something you purposely created in your life to be extraordinary.

What can you remember about that moment? How much detail can you remember?

What about everything surrounding that moment, everything on the periphery. How much of that detail can you remember? And is it vivid or vague?

I remember one piece of advice I received from a friend when I was getting married. She said, “take moments to consciously step back during your wedding day, to just observe”.

I think you can agree, a wedding day can be considered a planned extraordinary moment. And yet how many brides (and grooms) say “the day went by in a flash”?

How many of them can recall the tiny details because the day simply overwhelmed them, albeit in a positive way?

Even though we may create an extraordinary moment (or day), it’s often hard for us to recall every detail after the event because we’ve been swept away in it and can’t be consciously aware of every single second.

Think back to an extraordinary moment in your life. This time focus on something that happened unexpectedly, which turned out to extraordinary.

It can be something positive, such as an unexpected windfall, or negative, such as a car accident.

Try to recall every single detail of that moment. How much detail can you remember? Can you remember the large details but can’t recall small details? Can you recall the details at the start of the extraordinary moment better than details towards the end of the moment?

When an extraordinary moment takes us by surprise, we tend to get swept along in it like we would get swept out to sea on a wave and it’s impossible to remember everything, sometimes even most, of what happened.

Think of something ordinary, something that happens regularly, perhaps even daily, in your life, something that you could create and experience right this moment.

It could be making a cup of tea, breathing, brushing your teeth.

In your mind recreate and re-experience that ordinary moment and write down everything about it.

How much detail can you recall and re-experience about that everyday and ordinary moment?

Can you recall it in great detail, remembering everything about that moment with ease? Or do you remember only parts of the ordinary moment?

Does it take effort and concentration to remember the smaller details?

Often when we perform an ordinary or everyday task, we gloss over the finer details because performing that task is something we can, almost, do without thinking; we’re so accustomed to every minute detail involved that we often focus on other things.

So, when we close our eyes to recall that ordinary task, we either struggle to remember the details or we have to concentrate to remember every single step and every minute detail.

Take your something ordinary from yesterday and perform it.

So, if your something ordinary was making a cup of tea, then make a cup of tea. Only this time I invite you to be consciously aware of every single step you take to perform that everyday, ordinary task.

How easy is it to stay in the present moment and be consciously aware of every single step you take?

How quickly does your mind drift off and focus on other matters of ‘more importance’?

How often do you have to bring your drifting mind back to the present moment and the step you’re currently performing?

When we perform an ordinary task, it can be challenging to stay in the present moment and be in a mindful state as we perform our task. As a result, it can be more challenging to find happiness in ordinary tasks because we don’t pay attention to each step along the way nor do we practise gratitude every step along the way.

Take your something ordinary from the previous days and perform it.

Again, if your something ordinary was making a cup of tea, then make a cup of tea. Only this time I invite you to be consciously aware of every single step you take to perform that everyday, ordinary task by expressing gratitude out loud along the way for each step as it happens.

For example, you could say things like, “I’m grateful for the fresh running water”, “I am grateful for my beautiful cup that holds my tea”, “I am grateful for the electricity that passes from the wall into my kettle socket”, and so on.

Express gratitude for every single minute detail and step along the way.

Notice if your mind begins to drift away. Does it drift away as often as it did yesterday? Are you finding it as challenging staying in the present moment and focused on the task at hand as much as yesterday?

Can you see that, through expressing gratitude throughout this ordinary task, you are encouraging your mind to stay better focused on the task? It may still drift a little but through time and with practice, you’ll be able to keep it focused solely on this one task.

And expressing gratitude verbally encourages you to stay focused also because you’re paying attention to every step along the way.

Today I invite you to repeat Wednesday’s exercise. So, think of that something ordinary you’ve been focusing on since Wednesday.

You’re not going to reperform the task like you did on Thursday and Friday. Rather you’re going to, in your mind, recreate and re-experience that ordinary moment and write down everything about it.

How much detail can you recall and re-experience about that everyday and ordinary moment? Can you recall it in greater detail than you could on Wednesday? I would suspect this would be true.

This is partially due to having performed the task on Thursday and Friday. However, it’s mostly due to being more consciously aware and expressing gratitude while you performed the task, no longer getting so distracted or glossing over each step along the way.

Does it take as much effort and concentration to remember the smaller details as it did on Wednesday?

Again, I would suspect this to be true because you practiced conscious awareness, mindfulness, and expressed gratitude whilst performing the task on Thursday and Friday, so you can easier remember the small details, they’re more imprinted in your mind.

This week’s exercises were designed to show you that chasing extraordinary moments, either ones you created or ones that happened unexpectedly, don’t bring you more happiness than the happiness you can find through expressing gratitude for the small, ordinary moments.

The important thing is that you find happiness in every moment. And the best and only way to do so is to pay attention and practise gratitude.

Today I invite you to recall that extraordinary moment you created in your life that you focused on, on Monday.

Think of as many ordinary everyday moments that would have occurred at the same time as that extraordinary event which you failed to notice because you were swept along by the extraordinary event.

How many ordinary moments did you miss because you were being swept along by one extraordinary moment? Can you see how much you missed out on everyday ordinary moments because you were to distracted to focus on them? Can you appreciate how much you have to be grateful for, both the ordinary and the extraordinary? That you can find happiness when you focus on both, rather than giving more weight to one over the other?

Feel free to share your insights for each day's exercise in our Facebook group.

and let's not forget...

This week's high vibe tune reminds you that you're extraordinary

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.

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness  – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practising gratitude.” ~ Brené Brown

16:9

16:10

4:3

mobile

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.