You may be yawning and nodding in that “yeah, I already know this” kind of way. I get it. For anyone dancing in spiritual circles, you have heard time and again how you can transform your life and your experience by spending time in gratitude each day for all that you have been gifted.
We are encouraged to focus on all those things in our life that we are grateful for and yet often take for granted. No doubt there is value in this practice. I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t always do it for me.
I have a friend who often refers to her spiritual activities of the day and then adds, “Oh, and I did gratitude.” What does that mean? How do you do gratitude? Is it really just about making that list every day? You know, the list that we feel compelled to begin “I am grateful for my wonderful family and my amazing friends?”
Now, I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for these people in my life. Of course, I am. Do I always act grateful and show my appreciation. Nope! So, this exercise can sometimes help me to tune into the love I have for people and appreciate the impact they have in my life.
For me, though, gratitude is not something I do. It is something I feel. I think this is true for many spiritual qualities we are striving to embody. We can certainly ponder the deeper meaning these qualities have for us and deepen our understanding of the principles. And yet, there is so much more that we can experience. We are meant to feel spiritual qualities and when we do, they become easier to live.
I have noticed that conjuring up a feeling of gratitude in challenging times is easier if I focus on the moment as opposed to the grander picture. If I can zero in on the present circumstances that exist in support of me regardless of how bad things seem, it becomes much easier to say, “thank you.”
“Yes, this situation sucks and I wish it were not happening. But wasn’t that so cool when that guy appeared out of nowhere to help me with my flat tire?”
One of my favorite Buddhist prayers goes like this
“Thank you for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever.”
It is more powerful chanted from a place of sincerity ~ an openness to actually meaning it. If you have to start out with a sarcastic tone, go ahead. Be gentle with yourself as the irritation and resentment clears out to reveal a heart-based willingness to receive something better.
Gratitude is not something to be expressed only after we have received a gift or a kindness. It is not reserved for those times we feel we have been saved from some catastrophe. A grateful heart sets the stage and open us to really feeling blessed in our lives ~ even when we think we are not.
During the tough times, we can find gratitude in the knowing that “this too shall pass.” Being thankful for our strength, our courage, our resilience before it is evident prepares us to receive it when it shows up. Now, we can weather the storm with anticipation instead of dread.
Keep making those lists AND become willing to really feel that gratitude right to your core.
On the next episode of Serving Consciously on Friday November 24, 2017, I will be joined by my guest Cameron Steele in an exploratory discussion about the power of gratitude in our lives. Here’s a bit more about Cameron:
Canadian born and raised, with a background in TV and Radio, Cameron saw the need for a medium that would bring information and resources to people that would improve their lives, assist in their personal & spiritual journeys and contribute to creating wholeness for the world. A true entrepreneur at heart, Cameron began forming the vision for CONTACT Talk Radio in 1996. Nominated as Strathmore’s Outstanding Professionals in the field of Media and Marketing, Cameron never ceases to share his knowledge and give all of himself for the purpose of facilitating change that starts from the inside and is realized in our world. All of that and the man is a gifted Psychic & Medium! In his spare time, Cameron is a devoted family man, an avid golfer, fisherman, camper and he loves to be on the water.
You can contact Cameron and learn more about his work at www.cameronsteele.com.
Please plan to join us for this celebration of gratitude just in time for Thanksgiving in the US and continuing the vibe for my Canadian friends!
We can never have too much gratitude!
Let’s get started!
How often do you allow yourself to feel gratitude?