Steindl-Rast speaks to what I call "gratitude practices." You can even think of them as active meditations, but these practices are things/structures/ideas set in place that keep us grounded, thankful, and open.
I challenged myself some months back to start some kind of morning ritual to get my days started off in a much better feeling way. Typically I would just roll over and grab my phone, get on facebook, ingesting other peoples bullshit status updates and energy that ultimately started my day in a haze of "meh" and "grrrr." That shit wasn't working! My challenge to myself was to do anything but reach for that phone!
The first installment of this challenge was to not leave my bed-not even put one foot on the floor-until I had spoken aloud 5 things that I'm grateful for in that moment. What began to happen was pretty damn amazing. I was leaving the bed so aware and appreciative of the people in my life, the things that I have, and the opportunities that are presented to me. Even small things like a bangin' box of cereal that I know is waiting for me in the kitchen-I left my bed SO excited about my life.
This "challenge" became a mainstay in my life. I've now extended it to a bedtime ritual as well. To quiet myself and the dumbness of the day, I don't close my eyes until I've spoken aloud 5 things that I'm grateful for. I go to sleep with gratitude and I wake up with gratitude. Feels way better than "meh" and "grrrr." :-)
My biggest takeaway from this establishing of rituals is that our internal space is sacred. We should honor it and treat it as such. We're worth waking up and feeling great. We're worth gliding through the day joyfully, smiling from ear to ear. Why not?
What's your practice? What's worked for you? Leave a comment and let me know what your gratitude practice is. I'm curious. Maybe I can add on to mine :-)