“A hundred times a day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure that which I have received and am still receiving” Yes. Einstein knew all about gratitude.
I chose this particular topic, because it is close to my heart, and it is one which I believe has led to the most profound transformation in my life. Since learning about what I call the ‘gratitude effect’, and really implementing into my life, my life is progressing in a way I never thought possible. Giving thanks and I mean really, really giving thanks, (not just paying lip service) my life just seems to move with ease and I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life, and I feel as if I am on the path to seeing all my dreams come true. And it’s all down to ‘an attitude of gratitude’ and Ok a little bit of work! Those who
So …. What is gratitude? True gratitude is a quiet state of poise and inner calm where you’re truly thankful, and where you sense the divine order and wouldn’t want to change anything. We have all heard the phrases we are right where we are meant to be, all is well in the Universe, and we all tend to believe it… when things are going great. Most people are grateful for things when they are going their way, and the big thank you speech comes out. “Thank you lord for this and thank you Lord for that.” But when things are going just a little bit rocky, their gratitude becomes a bit rocky as well. It becomes a bit more like “Why? Why did you let this happen to me? Why me? Or worse yet, you totally ignore any communication with the powers that be. The very fabric of that statement to me means that you do not trust that there is a grander purpose, you do not trust that there is synchronicity in this Universe, you do not fully trust the fact that all is well in the universe, and that you are right where you are meant to be. Nothing has happened to you in this life that is not a gift or a blessing, and I understand that it is difficult to be thankful until you find the hidden benefit in what may seem at first like a negative event. But trust me when I say there are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self mastery. From every struggle comes strength.
Also you may sometimes confuse gratitude with elation, you know you get a gift and it’s oh, wow thanks! But true gratitude has very little to do with those temporary moments of happiness and elation. It is more to do with a state of being, and a deep, moving exchange between you and the universe.
Gratitude helps us to become more accepting and satisfied of the things that we have.
Being grateful is an act of kindness to those around us and to the world. It is saying, Thank you for being you. Mother Theresa said, if you judge people, you have no time to love them. Many people in long term relationships learn to take their partner for granted. Living with them every day and getting caught up in the challenges and circumstances of everyday living causes them to forget how important the other person is to them and they sometimes remember only when it is too late. Practicing gratitude helps us see the beauty in our relationships with other people. We start to recall things that we had forgotten, but were significant at the time. Then kind acts blossom once more. We start to show more care and attention towards our loved ones. Kindness begets gratitude, and gratitude begets kindness. It is a beautiful circle.
There have also been health benefits to gratitude. As you know, research has shown that optimists live longer than pessimists. A negative attitude and state of mind generally creates stress in the mind and body. Gratitude is a state of giving. When you in a state of giving, it alleviates depression as you are thinking outside of yourself. You are even more than what I would term positive. You are in a state of Grace, and being at one with the universe. Research is showing that gratitude brings us a more loving feeling as well as more Joy, enthusiasm, optimism and better health. It is cardio protective, and it even reduces pain. We feel more connected and our relationships improve. Robert Emmons, author of ‘Thanks, How the new science of gratitude can make you happier……… points out that gratitude also reduces destructive impulses like greed, envy, resentment, bitterness and hostility and helps us to cope better with the stresses and strains of everyday life.
I have included gratitude as daily action in my life since really learning about the power of gratitude.. Like prayers, at the end of the day, I will recall everything that has happened to me from the start of the day to the end and give thanks. One of the unexpected benefits of that is that it is a really, really good way to fall asleep, and it makes you fall asleep very quickly. It could be because it is such a lovely way to end the day on a positive note, or that it calms and over active mind from worrying about things. Try it. Try counting your blessings instead of sheep!!! I find that I fall asleep at the drop of a hat, which is why, I also include it as morning prayers, so that I could continue where I left off from the night before, but also, give gratitude for a new day and of the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.
List ways of giving gratitude…
• Keep a gratitude Journal and write in it regularly
• Think of the people in your life and consider how each of them has contributed to your life.
• Write a letter of gratitude to someone who has influenced your life
• Pay attention to small things, it will help you to develop a much greater sense of appreciation and present moment awareness
• Re-evaluate some of your successes, and consider the role that others play in them. You may even wish to thank them personally for it… You know, I never did thank you for this…….
So adopt an attitude of gratitude and sit back and watch the miracles happen!
End with a gratitude meditation – giving thanks for yourself, and then for your immediate family and loved ones, friends, extended family, your doctor, priest, Politician, everyone who touches you on a daily basis.
Start by sitting comfortably. Relax and pay attention to your breathing, breathing in a slow comfortable rhythm. Now starting with yourself (talking to you higher self) say out loud or in your mind, Thank you for being in my life. I am grateful for everything you have done for me.
May you be well, may you be happy.
David R Hamilton PHD – Why kindness is good for you
Dr John Demartini – The Gratitude Effect
Robin Sharma – The monk who sold his Ferrari
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