I'm looking back at the past few years and I have been grateful for a friend's suggestion that helped my spiritual growth. She taught me a simple exercise in gratitude that brought about growth and a changed perspective. It was an easy exercise:
Each day for 30 days, write down 3 things for which I'm grateful. Avoid repeating the same thing when I can. (Another variation of the exercise: exchange texts with a friend who is also doing the exercise.)I had just come through some very dark times. I'd even been on medical leave at work and had taken a blog hiatus for health reasons. And I was not yet enjoying life again. I didn't know that I had much to be grateful for. But my friend was kind and open rather than bossy; she said she had done the exercise herself and found it helpful. She shared her experience and hope rather than giving advice, and she encouraged me to do it as a personal exercise, to try and see.
The first few days were a struggle against my own anger at my situation. But by the time a week or two had gone by, I was beginning to realize just how much was still good in my life and that my anger was blinding me to it.
I still maintain the exercise, not with the same rigid "3 entries per day" rule as when gratitude was new to me. Still, gratitude often appears as part of my end-of-the-day routine.
I'd be glad to hear of other spiritual growth exercises based anyone else's experiences.