“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” — Marianne Williamson
I want you to take a second to look around you right now.
Wherever you are – driving, in bed, working out, eating breakfast.
Look around and notice — a thing, person, situation, feeling– that you are grateful for.
Pick one thing, something simple. Don’t over analyze it, just go with the first thing that comes to you.
If you aren’t able to connect to the feeling of gratitude because things are especially tough right now, imagine someone precious to you whom you cherish–maybe a grandparent, a child, a pet. Practicing gratitude is especially important if you feel separated from your sense of purpose, when things are hard.
Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
Hold that object of your gratitude in your thoughts right now.
Allow it to sink in. Notice all of its many details. What are the gifts it has given you?
Focus on these gifts –sustenance, a smile, love, laughter, beauty–and let your thoughts fade as you bring your attention to your heart.
Drop into your heart. In other words, open up the space to feel. Notice the sensation in your chest. What does it feel like? Is it full? Heavy? Bright? We forget how to feel sometimes.
Cradle the gifts in your heart space.
When we cannot connect with our gratitude it is because we are stuck in our head and rush through this process expecting it to change we will think about rather than one we feel.
Gratitude is about feeling. It’s a experience dealing with your heart. An emotional process. And our emotions are felt in our bodies. But we sometimes forget to notice.
The universe conspires to shower you with blessings. But the universe conspires more effectively with your heart, not your mind.
The power of intention and emotion is greater than fear.
If energy is drawn to movement, then let yourself be moved.
Feel the energy coming to you when you embrace the essence of gratitude–a welling up, a spilling over, a full cup of blessings.
Each day we are alive is another day we can experience the wonder of life,the embrace of our loved ones, the fulfillment of a dream.
John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
When you say you want something and you step towards it, every barrier will confront you. As if you need to prove how badly you want it, you must overcome these challenges as a sort of initiation, a rite of passage.
Many people stop here, at this stage, not realizing that the breakthrough is in climbing the wall rather than reaching the goal. Acknowledge the gift of these barriers.
When great loss strikes, as will happen to each of us, despite our grief we can also revel in the beauty of what was given to us.
Sometimes it is loss that reminds us how truly important someone is and connects us to our gratitude. We give thanks for the precious moments we had.
My father’s life was nearly taken in a car accident. I knew how special he was to me, and I was always grateful for him, but in the face of losing him all those moments we had shared came rushing in to show me that nothing would ever compare to his love for me and my love for him. I only have this one father, and to whatever extent I had taken him for granted before, I never would again.
Carl Jung said, “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”
This is what gratitude does.
It brings us back to life and wakes us up when we are sleeping.
It reminds us how lucky we are to have whatever it is that we have–our breath, sunshine, water to drink, a cool breeze.
It connects us to our past and future while anchoring us in the now.
Gratitude is like magic– sweetening the strawberry, stretching out the last dollar for days, turning a dump into a palace.
Gratitude can transform a curse into a blessing.
It can heal a broken heart. Make a poor man rich in the blink of an eye. Turn resentment into grace. Shift resistance to surrender.
Gratitude is the key to joy; it turns what we have into being enough.
What are you most grateful for in this moment?