The Fantastic, ‘Ten Stones’ Method for Gratitude Reflection

A New Method of Gratitude Meditation to Help You Find Satisfaction and Meaning

Reflect on gratitude with the ten stones method

This idea was sparked by one of my favorite movies, With Honors. The premise of the movie is about a homeless bum who lives in the library at Harvard. It’s a haves versus have-nots situation, helps us see the meaning of true happiness, and what’s really important in life.

One of the main characters, played by Joe Pesci, is the bum. Pesci carries this small leather bag of rocks with him. Over the course of his life, when he wanted to remember an important event (painful or happy), he picked up a unique stone from the event location and put it in the bag.

Years later, when he wanted to remember the events, Pesci’s character put the stones in his hand and time-traveled back the time of the memory — like his personal, analog time machine.

Gratitude is the new self-reflection.

The benefits of gratitude reflection are well-documented. There are countless journals, apps,and list-making methods available. I’d like to present something more tangible — a simpler method.

The Ten Stones Method

  • Get ten rocks — Just as Joe Pesci did, you’re going to find ten unique rocks, gems, trinkets, or crystals. The ten things aren’t important as long as they’re unique from each other.
  • Get a container or bag — This should be special to you. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. The container or bag should have personal meaning to help you remember why you’re grateful for everything inside.
  • Make the list — On paper, reflect upon ten major milestones, people, or events in your life for which you’re grateful. Write them down. If you’ve got more than ten list them all.
  • Whittle the list — Find your top ten. These are the biggest events/people/things that have made an impact on your life. Why ten? It’s easier to reflect upon than 15 and 8 isn’t enough.
  • Assign a stone to each gratitude — Physically take each stone and lay it on the paper. Review your list repeatedly until you memorize it. In case your memory is like mine, create a key. Take a picture with your phone — stones with corresponding gratitude moments. Keep the key somewhere safe.
  • Practice a gratitude meditation— Find a quiet moment (mornings or bedtime are great choices) and remove each stone from your bag. To yourself, hold the stone, reflect on each person/thing/event and say “thank you,” until all ten stones are out of the bag. Repeat again tomorrow.

Why Gratitude?

Many of us fumble through life — rudderless. Maybe we have trouble finding our calling. When we feel meaning and purpose the positivity translates to other parts of our lives.

Gratitude is the silent, meditative process of being grateful for what we have. who we know, and where we’ve been.

No all gracious moments have to be positive. It’s like the old saying that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. We may be grateful for being fired, because it helped us start a new life. We might be grateful for a heart attack we survived, because we finally changed our lifestyle.

You are not an island.

Everything we are happened to us because of our environment and those who helped or harmed us. When we reflect upon the person we are, what we’ve become, and where we’re heading, the action brings us purpose.

There’s a reason for each of us.

Gratitude helps you remember who you are — that you matter. When we express gratitude it tells our subconscious there’s something bigger than each of us at play. When we reflect on all that made us who we are it helps us move to where we want to go.

What are Your Ten Stones?

It’s your turn.

Find your ten stones and ten moments of gratitude. I’m curious to read your feedback as you navigate your way through this new method of self-reflection.

Whether it’s the moment you shifted your paradigm, or the day your son was born — we all have ten major things to be grateful for. Allow them to change over time as you grow.

Now, go find your rocks!

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