"Gratitude turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
- Melody Beattie
Nothing can change things as fast as gratitude can. We can be spinning in circles, feeling overwhelmed and out of control, thoughts bouncing from thing to thing faster than we can keep up with, and then, in walks gratitude!
All of a sudden you are opened, vast and expanded, you relax into a place of peace and contentment and best of all you are delivered to your highest self.
Gratitude is so powerful!
In fact, let's try it right now: bring into your mind someone or something that you feel grateful for. Maybe it is for your loved ones, your kiddos, or your life partner. Maybe it's the home you live in or the work that you do. Maybe you have recovered from an illness, or someone has really been there for you, or you've had an opportunity open up.
Whatever it is for you, hold it in the center of your awareness and acknowledge the gift it has been in your life. Place your hand on your chest and become aware of your heart and feel for a moment what you are experiencing when you feel grateful. Notice the openness that you feel, notice the expansive feeling, how you begin to relax, and begin to feel a sense of peace.
And notice what is most important about gratitude - that it is not the thoughts that you have, but instead it is a feeling, an explosion of sensations in your body and spirit. It is a state of consciousness, a way of showing up in the world.
So often we think of gratitude as an attitude to live by - that it's about thoughts and beliefs.
We think of gratitude as being positive, seeing the good in things, and using language that reflects that.
But gratitude is not an attitude - gratitude is a state of consciousness. It is a way of being in the world that comes from a soul level. After all, we don't experience gratitude in our heads (how often have you said "I know I should be grateful for this") we experience gratitude in our hearts.
All we have to do is bring to mind the face of a loved one and our hearts begin to sing, our bodies begin to vibrate with love, in fact sometimes when we add words our gratitude goes away (lol) as we being to think about something they said or did that didn't match the blueprint of what we wanted!
When we move from gratitude being about positivity and about our thoughts to an actual expanded consciousness that we live with we find something amazing happens: we find the quote from above actually becomes true in our lives.
We find that we move from conditional gratitude to gratitude beyond conditions!
For so many of us, we only allow ourselves to feel gratitude when things are going the way we want them to go, when people are treating us in a way that meets our needs and when our circumstances match what we want them to be. It's so easy to feel gratitude then!
But when we move from an attitude of gratitude to a gratitude consciousness we no longer need our life circumstances to match our needs to feel gratitude.
After all, sometimes the things that don't feel good are extremely good for us - and sometimes the things that feel good are not that good for us!
We are often so terrified of feeling discomfort, or unpleasantness, that the minute these feelings come up we have to do everything possible to get rid of the feeling! We have the unhelpful habit of measuring our success by if we feel good or not!
But when we instead pause with the feeling of uncomfortability we find out that these feelings are often doorways to awareness, enlightenment, and healing! What feels good and what feels bad is not always the best way to measure success! When we slip into black and white thinking or either/or thinking we believe that if we are uncomfortable then life is terrible, and if things are great then we allow ourselves to be happy.
But when we take on gratitude as a level of consciousness, as an expanded world view we can be uncomfortable and be dealing with hard emotions and still be grateful - you can acknowledge that you are unhappy and still allow your consciousness to notice and feel gratitude for the life you are experiencing!
So spend some time today in gratitude for everything - make a list that includes the beautiful things in your life and the not so beautiful! Hold each thing in your heart and allow yourself to feel grateful for it without slipping into thoughts or beliefs! At first, this may seem so difficult (trust me it was for me!) but with time and practice you will find yourself observing all the areas of your life without judgment or rational and you will find yourself being grateful for things that you thought you could never feel grateful for!
Today I am practicing the gratitude consciousness with you - today I have things on my plate that make me uncomfortable, that I dread, that cause me pain. But each time they come to mind I say to myself "I am so grateful that I get to experience life, and this is part of my life."
When my mind wants to slip into old thinking I repeat again "I am so grateful that I get to experience life, and this is part of my life." I hold each situation in my heart without judgment, I allow myself to feel whatever feelings come up and I say again "I am so grateful that I get to experience life, and this is part of my life."
And I am always surprised and delighted at how the tension in my body begins to fade, and how I can stay with the uncomfortability all enough to see it as a step on the path of lessons the universe has prepared for me.
May it be the same with you!