12 Tiny Things to Grow Gratitude in Your Home
By Ellie Roscher
Between college and buying my first house, I lived in fifteen different apartments in in six different cities. I loved being transient and established a sense of home in my ever-moving body.
Now, I have been living in my home for seven years. The shift toward rootedness has challenged me to find gratitude in the routine.
I had to look for the magic in the mundane.
The beauty in the repetition.
The holy in the ordinary.
Gratitude is a habit you can grow.
With practice, we can dwell in gratitude regardless of external circumstances.
Build a More Intentional Life with Ease
Heidi Barr and I started 12 Tiny Things to build a more intentional life with ease. To grow gratitude, little things become big things.
Committing to one tiny practice every day can naturally lead to a more rooted, intentional, and calm life that oozes with gratitude.
Here are 12 tiny things to try once a day to grow gratitude in your home:
1. Post It Note Reminders
Use bright post-it notes to write down some people and things for which you are thankful. Post them in places that you will see during the day like your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, rearview mirror and computer screen.
2. Reflect with a Candle
Choose a candle that will represent your gratitude. Light it during a meal or while you are working, intentionally reflecting on the blessings in your life, the people and things that bring light to your life.
3. Touch wildness at least once a day
Feeling a tree, sitting in grass or making a snowball reminds us that we are creatures in a web of life.
4. Change the pictures in your frames
A new picture will catch your eye. Choose photos of people, places and moments that you are grateful for, and send that gratitude out to the world when you look at the photos.
5. Choose Your Words
We get asked, “How are you?” several times a day. Choose a narrative that puts your state of being in a positive, grateful light. Repeating that story throughout your day can change your lens to one of abundance. For example, instead of, “I am really busy and stressed,” try, “My life is rich and full right now,” or “I’m humming at a high vibration, and it’s exciting.”
6. Remind Yourself with Technology
Set a daily reminder on your phone to pop up, say late in the afternoon when energy may be waning. Close your eyes and conjure up the image of one thing of which you are grateful. Take three slow, full, conscious breaths. Notice you are alive and well.
7. Use and Item as a Physical Reminder
Pick an accessory like a bracelet or certain pair of socks that you choose to infuse with gratitude. On days when you need it, clothe yourself in that item and let it remind you to be grateful.
8. Write It Down
Put a journal on your nightstand. Either first thing in the morning or last thing at night (or both!) take a few moments to write down for what you are grateful.
9. Look up
Look up. All the way up. Once a day, take a moment to look up to the sky. The universe is big and you are here, alive, experiencing it.
10. Give Thanks To The Things That Make Your Life Easier
Give a nod to your machines like the coffee maker, car, computer or phone before using them, offering gratitude for the ease they bring to our days. When our amazing tools work we take them for granted. A nod shows respect and grows gratitude.
11. Take some time to set an intention
Maybe it’s one word or the name of a person. You can even choose an issue in the world- anything that will pull you out of yourself for a second. When you become conscious of your breath, at mealtime, in quiet moments, or in the shower, return to your intention to get centered.
12. Physical Movement
Choose a staircase in your home. Each time you climb it reflect on for what you are thankful.
Finding Magic in the Everyday
Growing gratitude is simply changing how we look at the things we have right in front of us. When we look again, there is magic in the mundane. There is beauty in the repetition. There is holy in the ordinary.
December is a great time to grow gratitude in our homes.
Walking through our days with a sense of gratitude can change everything! And it’s contagious.
Committing to one tiny thing that grows gratitude is also inviting others in your home and life to do the same.
About Our Guest Author:
12 Tiny Things is available for pre-order today! Ellie Roscher is the author of 12 Tiny Things, Play Like a Girl and How Coffee Saved My Life.
Her writing also appears in the Baltimore Review, Inscape Magazine, Bookology Magazine and elsewhere. Ellie hosts the Unlikely Conversations podcast, is a certified yoga instructor and teaches at The Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota Writing Project.
Through curious inquiry, commitment to the sacred ordinary and artistic collaboration, her work accompanies people to a more centered, whole, and embodied self. Ellie holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in Theology from Luther Seminary. Follow her at @ellieroscher and find out more at ellieroscher.com.