In today’s column you’ll learn a gratitude practice called “Then and Now” that can be a meaningful way to bring moments of heartfelt appreciation into your day. As this practice may be new to you, slowly ease into it and practice at specially carved out times. Importantly, it offers you the opportunity to relate to gratitude from its emotional center. Always take good care of yourself with emotionally tender practices, for while they can help reduce stress and even be healing, they can be emotionally powerful at times.

“Then and Now” as its name suggests traipses through time and invites you to bring to mind someone who is a meaningful part of your life. They may be alive or have passed on and they may also be a beloved pet. If you practice for 10 or 20 minutes, you may want to bring to mind a handful of people, e.g., family members, moving slowly from one to the other, as you follow the simple instructions that repeat themselves with each person. If you have but a few moments to practice, you may bring to mind just one person.

You can also practice with people in your personal or professional life with whom your feelings and connection may wax and wane. As “Then and Now” is a gratitude practice, you may find it helps bring a little more meaning into your connection with that person.