PRINCEVILLE — Dante Cernobori has been taking time to practice gratitude daily for more than 40 days straight, and he’s not planning to stop.
“It’s been very enlightening doing this on a daily basis,” Cernobori said. “It’s been beautiful and heartbreaking too at times, and the journey is one that continues to bring awareness.”
That journey is Cernobori’s 21 Days of Gratitude Rehabilitation, and it’s a practice he’s expanded to social media. The program asks participants to post three things they are grateful for every day for 21 days straight.
Once those 21 days are completed, participants can start another round.
“What I’ve realized in this is that I’m grateful, but I don’t focus on it very often,” Cernobori said. “One thing I’ve seen is I’m focused on opinions and ideas and expressing them instead of expressing my best wishes for people.”
Writing down those things that he’s grateful for reminds him to live in a state of gratitude instead of concentrating on the negative things.
“For me, I’ve always been an upbeat and positive guy but this is a whole different level for me and I feel I’m putting out a potent idea,” Cernobori said.
The Facebook Group is called Goji Strong’s 21 Days of Gratitude Rehabilitation, named after Cernobori’s goji berry company. People can post three things they’re thankful for, as well as provide uplifting comments for others.
“Starting a group where people have a sacred place where they can bear their heart is important,” Cernobori said. “It makes you open up even deeper.”
Taking a day out of the year to remember the things that make life worth living is tradition in November, but for many people on Kauai gratitude is a daily practice that opens up a world of abundance.
Carol Dumeyer, yoga instructor and owner of Metamorphose Yoga, said she takes a few minutes when she first wakes up to focus her mind on the things for which she is grateful.
“Some days it’s easy and a full list, other days it’s more of a reach, but I can always come back to being thankful for my health, home, family and community,” Dumeyer said. “At my studio I also encourage students to take time in the beginning of each practice to do the same.”
Eagle, owner of the Pineapple Yoga, said he recommends a daily gratitude practice to his students as well as doing the practice himself.
“By bringing our attention to our gratitude and things we appreciate, we will ultimately create more of that in our lives,” Eagle said. “You become what you think about because whatever you put your attention on expands.”
He doesn’t just run through a list of three and then he’s done, though. Eagle said he moves slowly through the things he’s grateful for and takes the time to really feel the thankfulness for each item.
“I think on these three points and wait for some type of sensation, something in my heart and upper chest area,” Eagle said. “I make a point of really looking at things.”
He also makes sure to include things that may seem mundane or standard for life for some — things like the ability to hear or having good vision.
“That’s been very regular for me and it helps me calibrate before I start my day,” Eagle said. “When you take stock of what you have it tends to put you in a more receptive space to be able to get what you need.”
Sandra Carothers of Kalaheo Yoga said her goal is to live in a constant state of gratitude.
“Before I get up, I take five minutes lying on my back and I assess what’s going on with me,” Carothers said. “If I start my day with that sense of gratitude it’s more familiar to pull it back throughout the day.”
She also recommends having a daily ritualistic spot for retreat into a gratitude practice as a way to keep the practice going and that’s also the recommendation of Jessica Stein, owner of Kauai Power Yoga.
“The more we practice it, the more it shows up in our lives and the more opportunity we have to be in that space of gratitude,” Stein said. “Daily gratitude is an essential practice in life.”
Anya Morozov, of Yoga on the Beach, said she’s added a twist to her classes’ gratitude practices by bringing the ocean into the mix.
“Sometimes my mind will blank or it wanders so lately I’ve been taking people to the ocean and they can just stand in the water and feel the prana of the ocean,” Morozov said. “We practice on the beach so it’s only a few steps away and people can recharge.”
A habit takes 21 days to stick, Cernobori said, and he suggests dedicating yourself to 21 days of writing down the things for which you’re thankful daily in order to create a practice that can stay for a lifetime.
“Gratitude is a way of saying yes to life right here and right now,” Cernobori said. “Every time I lose sight of the present moment I remind myself what day of gratitude I am on and what I am grateful for that day.”