“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.? It turns what we have into enough, and more. ?It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.? It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. ?Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
Gratitude is one of those things many only think about around Thanksgiving or when they see someone they feel sorry for. When I first became aware, intellectually, that gratitude was perhaps healing, I started practicing it – in my mind. It made me feel better in some ways, but didn’t really have any noticeable impact on my life.
Over the years as I have become more aware of my bodily felt sensations, my thoughts and my spiritual Self, I have come to know gratitude in a different way.
If you are not one who normally “feels” gratitude I invite you to put your hand on your heart and breathe into that area. Just relax for a few breaths and think of something that brings you joy, or something/someone for which you have compassion. Just sit with that a bit while breathing into your heart area.
From this heart centered place begin thinking about what you have in your life that you are truly grateful for having/being. Keep it simple. You will likely find yourself smiling as your chest feels like it is expanding.
This is a visceral feeling of gratitude going out in all directions. The impact of this is healing for everyone.
Another way to approach this may be to put your hand on your heart and repeat the name you use for God/Spirit/Divine Essence or whatever you call it. Breathe and let yourself fall into the flow of that life force. Once again go to what you are grateful for in your life. Feel it.
These types of practices done on a regular basis will make a difference in where your mind likes to wander. Which will make a difference in your overall attitude, and in the long run perhaps even the perspectives you are able to see.
This benefits you and all of life. It will give you more energy, more peace, more ease-of-being. And next time you finding yourself feeling sorry for someone, go to your heart in this way and you may just find empathy or compassion, which is more healing than “feeling sorry.”
I am grateful to all of you for holding gratitude in your heart, and to this incredible planet we live on for nourishing us while holding us in her bosom.
May you have a Thanksgiving filled with light, love and laughter. (Even if you are alone, tune into your grateful heart and you will know you are not really alone.)
photo by carolyn ringo (a lovely oak that I have leaned into with my heart and my belly many times – with huge healing gratitude)