Gratitude can be defined as ‘the quality of being thankful, a readiness to show appreciation for, and to return kindness’.
This is a huge understatement for what is a deeply transformative emotion that can be turned into a practice and a way of life.
Right now, we are all part of a giant exercise in gratitude.
By having our lives turned upside down and the things we took for granted no longer available to us, we are left with the opportunity to practice gratitude for the smallest things.
Forced to observe our own thoughts and actions, the thoughts and actions of others and the events unfolding around us, in most cases we have become grateful for what we had in the past as well as what we have in front of us right now.
One of the hardest challenges is to find sparks of gratitude within the darkness of situations or events that are out of our control, especially as the outcomes are not in our hands.
This lack of control can lead to immense frustration and even anger, so we need to watch ourselves for these emotions right now. We have to learn that letting go of what we can’t control is ultimately the better approach for ourselves and others.
Gratitude slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting the lens through which we place our attention. If we remain open to experiencing this massive shift with an open mind, it guides us to focus on the good.
I have recently been asking myself – is it my place to try to control this? Is it appropriate? Is it my business?
In the murky depths of my worst fears, I am learning to put these questions into place as a buffer zone where I can feel out the uncomfortable terrain before me.
Next, I have been going one step deeper to ask; What do I create by exerting control and what could I gain by releasing it?
In my experience, surrendering in this way often opens the doors to gratitude, forgiveness, compassion and understanding. It can be a tremendous relief in all types of circumstance to give in and go with the flow.
This process is uncomfortable but by pushing through these feelings I find I’m able to let go because I accept that I have little to no control anyway through the simple process of being self-aware.
It’s not easy, it can be messy and there are moments of what feel like total madness; but that is the beginning of evolvement.
It is a fundamental truth that people hurt us, we hurt ourselves, and life throws us huge curveballs, like right now; a global giant of a curveball, creating chaos and panic.
In various ways we are powerless to what occurs around us. However, we do have the power and the opportunity to choose how we experience these events and what we can do to positively influence or change how we see them.
Demonstrating and acting upon gratitude for what we have, signals to the universe that we are ready to receive more of the same as we start to broadcast our thoughts and emotions from a higher vibration. Gratitude on this level is transforming because we are operating from the frequency of love and the universe responds to this with BIG change. This frequency of gratitude is encoded within our thoughts and feelings from the centre of our being.
What can we expect when we embrace gratitude?
- An amplified sense of contentment, peace and love
- Better quality of sleep and rest
- The ability to express compassion and kindness
- The development of a stronger immune system supported by positive emotions.
- More harmonious relationships
- The beginnings of spiritual and emotional evolvement
- Release of negative energy from within the body
So, how do we start to embrace gratitude and weave it into our mental, emotional or spiritual daily practice?
The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to take up meditation. Opening, evolving and nurturing the Heart Chakra through meditation will lead to a hugely beneficial sense of awareness, I have put links below for you to explore this practice, should you wish to.
An alternative practice to develop self-awareness is to use journaling for a short time each day to answer questions such as
Who you are grateful to?
What are you grateful for?
Where can you find gratitude in the small things in life?
How can you express your gratitude?
Or you could, create a special jar for when you experience moments of gratitude. Write them down on a slip of paper and add them to the jar. Periodically open the contents and give thanks for all those moments
Finally, be grateful for finding this post and the effect it will have upon you 😉
Stay self and well and remember to listen to your soul, it’s been around the block and it knows what’s best for you.
Love and good vibes,
Deepak Chopra – https://chopra.com/articles/guided-meditations
David Ji – https://davidji.com/meditation/free-guided-meditations/
Mans search for meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
The Untethered Soul – Michael A. Singer
Gratitude – Louise Hay
The Gratitude – Jar Josie Robinson
The Resilience Project, Finding Happiness through gratitude, empathy and mindfulness – Hugh van Cuylenburg
Go to the Library to buy these books and more.
Photo credit – Eric Prouzet from Unsplash