There’s a brief description of this exercise here.
Recently I watched a TED talk called Happy Brain, in which Amit Sood talked about positive psychology and gave some recommendations for short exercises. One of them was to spend a few minutes upon waking each day feeling gratitude toward five people in your life.
When he ran through the exercise in his talk, though, he surprised me. He left the first four people up to the participants, but for the fifth he specified being grateful for “your eight-year-old self.” This really struck me; I have a difficult time with self-compassion, and it had never occurred to me to try a gratitude practice aimed at my younger self.
So today for my gratitude meditation, I tried to skip through my life, generating a sense of “the person I was” at various points, and feeling gratitude for that person. At times the meditation began to edge into being more about compassion than gratitude, but that seemed OK.