A Gratitude Altar or Gratitude Shrine gives you and your loved ones a visible reminder of all there is to be grateful for. Creating this altar with family and/or friends can be an act that allows for bonding, as well as an opportunity to focus on the gratitude you all have for each other, and the gratitude you share for things in your life.
Allow the altar to grow and change over time, as new things to be grateful for come into your life.
How to Build Your Altar or Shrine:
1. Choose a common space (like the living room) for a shared altar, or a private one for a personal altar.
2. Begin with an altar cloth or a clear surface. Choose colors that make you feel good.
3. Add items that you’re grateful for, or that represent things you’re grateful for. Pictures, flowers, gifts from a loved one, money, whatever you like! You can also add a stack of papers, a pen, and a bowl to put written gratitude offerings into.
4. If desired, add 7-Day votive candles, available in most grocery stores, or your local botanica/Latino grocery store. If you like saint candles, or Jesus, or Mary, you can use those. If that’s not your thing, use candles in whatever colors make you happy.
This altar will not only serve as a reminder of what you’re grateful for already, but also a reminder to be grateful in times of challenge or struggle; a reminder to cultivate gratitude. Whenever you want to grow your gratitude, you can spend some time reflecting on your altar, or add items that will grow gratitude for you. If you like the candle idea, light the candles, sit or stand for a while, or just let the candles burn (while you’re at home only, of course, for safety’s sake), and meditate on the abundance of joy in your life.