Deborah Hawkins started blogging on mindfulness and gratitude as a way to work herself out of depression. She has posted reflections on everyday things or experiences that lift her mood on nosmallthing.net almost every week since 2010. She has developed an “intentional” approach to a gratitude practice that is empowering, authentic, and fun. Through her blog. books, and classes, she provides tools people can employ to lead happier lives.
In this episode, Deb and I discuss the power of intentional gratitude, how it helped her out of dark times, and how she uses these techniques to help other people who are also suffering. Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools one can use to boost mood, raise levels of general life satisfaction, and overall promote a healthier life. Gratitude helps us connect with powerful positive emotions such as love, happiness, joy, and appreciation – all of which are essential components of a joyful life. Gratitude also helps us connect with the universe outside of ourselves – when we are grateful, we connect with each other, with nature, and with life itself.
Taking time out of your day to practice gratitude, and it is best when we make it into a regular practice, can be a powerful tool of transformation. Deb shares with us that it is often best to start off with things that might be considered ‘small’, but actually are the foundation for a much deeper practice.
By taking the time to practice mindful gratitude, we can begin to transform the way we think and therefore the way we see the world. Our minds are powerful tools that shape our perceived reality according to our belief systems. By intentionally changing our default mode of interpretation to one of gratitude, we can change our overall sense of being in the world to one of joy, appreciation, and love. Although it can be a gradual process, it is a powerful transformative tool.
“STORY OF NO SMALL THING”
“I want to share the No Small Thing story with you.
In deciding to start this gratitude practice, I found inspiration in Eckhart Tolle’s words, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” When I started writing about things from my daily life that I appreciated, I quickly came to understand several important things.”
I had brighter moods because I felt engaged with life. I was always looking for things to write about. Things that made my life easier, more pleasurable or more meaningful were all around me. I just had to set my intention on noticing them.
I didn’t need to experience a big event in order to feel grateful. The feeling, not the degree, was what mattered. (This is what’s behind the blog’s name, “No Small Thing.”) After re-reading my first few years of blog posts, I noticed that I tended to write about a handful of themes, the underlying essence of why I felt grateful in those circumstances.”