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Feeling grateful at Christmas with Charlie Hill16th December 2021

Meditating by the Med

I’m one of those people who does their best to remember to be grateful for all the good things in their life. Moving back to Ibiza with my family has sent my feelings of gratitude stratospherically soaring.

Apart from relocating to the island I love in September and committing to living here with my family, 2021 has given me an enormous amount to be grateful for.

I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful to have brought my daughter into this world and to be able to offer her what she needs to become her own person. I’m grateful to Ibiza for being the island she is. I’m grateful to the satisfied clients who are helping to make all this possible, who are enabling Charles Marlow to evolve, not just for me but for the great people I work with. I’m grateful for everyone who recommends us.

If that sounds like a succession of mantras, it’s intentional.

For the past few years, I’ve been on a journey of discovery that has taught me the huge benefits of meditation, positive visualisation and using mantras to focus.

The Charles Marlow teem getting together in Ibiza.

The benefits of gratitude

Although recognising and expressing gratitude is a central part of my life, I must admit I’ve never really thought about what it is and why it feels so good.

Reading around online, I came across an interesting article on the Psychology Today website about gratitude.

The article points out that Buddhist and Tibetan monks and nuns and Native American elders begin each day by chanting gratitude for what they’re blessed with. The Native Americans thanks mother earth and father sky for everything they receive. Tibetans ever offer up prayers of gratitude for their suffering.

That last bit is interesting. While I believe the only way to look at the challenges we’ve been given in the past couple years is to see them as opportunities to grow and change, I’m not sure I could go so far as to be grateful for them. I’ll have to work on that one.

A simple gratitude meditation

As the Psychology Today article points out, a gratitude meditation is one of the easiest ways to meditate because ‘all you have to do is just reflect on all the people and things you are grateful for’.

You might like to try this simple cultivating gratitude meditation:

Find somewhere quiet and warm.

Make sure your spine is straight – you can be sitting or lying down.

Begin to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take natural breaths.

Close your eyes and imagine positive energy coming into your consciousness when you inhale and any negative feelings leaving you when you breathe out.

Start to consider everything you have to be grateful for in your life – anything from your family to the simple fact that you are warm and cosy.

Think about something that happened to you in 2021 that you’re grateful for.

Think of a talent or skill you possess that you’re grateful for.

Think of something you’re looking forward to in the future.

Think of something that makes you happy and observe how that makes you feel.

Release all these thoughts, take a few deep breaths and gently open your eyes.

(Thanks to for this meditation.)

According to Psychology Today, practicing a gratitude meditation like this one can reduce levels of depression, increase a sense of well-being and help us sleep better.

Says it all



Other gratitude strategies 

I don’t know about you, but I find that when I write something down – like this post – it helps the message sink in.

All you need to do is write down the things you’re grateful for and see how it changes the way you feel about your life.

If meditation and writing are not particularly your thing, why not just repeat ‘I am grateful’ out loud to yourself a few times? ‘I create my own world’ is another nice gratitude affirmation.

I hope my suggestions help fill your Christmas with gratitude.

Writer Charlie and family

David Holzer

A freelance writer for many years, David is the author of a number of books and magazine articles, mainly on the subjects of the Beat writers and yoga. He is fascinated by the remarkably rich cultural history of Deia, from Robert Graves to the present day.

David also teaches yoga for writers.

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