Most of us have heard that practicing an attitude of gratitude will make our lives flow with more harmonious ease, but how often do you actually remember, or choose to do it?
When you’re in the midst of an uncomfortable situation are you more likely to choose to align with that uncomfortable situation and travel more deeply into it? Or, would you choose to find something, anything to be grateful for in that moment instead?
Don’t ignore what’s going on, just find where you can be grateful . . .
It’s OK to notice what’s happening and what’s going on around us and within us of course, but are we going to milk that and revel in that state of anger, resentment or frustration. Or are we going to be radical and deliberate and choose to shift/release it instead?
Nowadays I am truly grateful for my ability to feel and release my emotions. I have a deep understanding that all the emotional baggage I’ve held on to in my life is what has caused me illness and disease and a big part of healing that is to acknowledge it deeply. So I’m not saying to ignore what’s happening in your immediate experience (or even in your head). I’m asking is there anything that you can find gratitude for instead of wallowing in what’s going on? Anything?
The Power Of Gratitude
Practising gratitude, ‘thank you’s’ is a great way of shifting our energy and our focus and therefore affecting the results and experiences we have in our lives.
It can be the smallest acts of gratitude that make really our day. In fact it doesn’t even matter what we’re practicing gratitude for. Gratitude is gratitude. It is always powerful. However, it does have a tendency to deepen and gather in momentum the more you practice it!
Our experience of being alive is defined by the feelings we feel, so choosing to feel gratitude in any given moment impacts us at an experiential and emotional level. It’s all about the frequency and vibration we’re feeling, and our feelings cause us to focus on specific things, and what we focus on is what we get.
So, if you’re focusing on things that make you feel crap, expect more crappy feelings. But, if you choose to redirect your focus and deliberately look for things that create smiles inside expect more smiley feelings.
Gratitude is an attitude that we can choose to embrace at any time, in any moment and in any situation, and when we do our energy will shift in the direction of even more gratitude, and like I said gather momentum
The momentum of gratitude = Joy!
Step By Step Gratitude
8 years ago I decided to have my very first tattoo done. I wanted ‘Thank You‘ in my own handwriting and I wanted it on the sole of my foot. At this time I was really starting to learn and appreciate the power of gratitude and I was wanting a way to remember to be thankful as often as I possibly could. I figured that by having thank you tattooed on the sole of my foot that I would remember to say thank you with each step I took.
As you can imagine not every step I’ve taken since has been to a thank you! Not at all! But when I do remember it’s there I remember to ‘thank’ as I walk.
In fact, this is one of my most favourite attitude of gratitude practices. It’s my favourite because it’s easy, meditative and brings me joy. You can try it too.
Gratitude Walking Practice
When you go for a walk, or a cycle, or a swim . . . as you walk decide to just keep repeating the words ‘Thank You’ over and over again, like a mantra.
As you repeat the words you start becoming aware of things that you feel grateful for
Start finishing off your thank you sentences with things you’re thankful for
Just be thankful for anything, like I said, it gathers momentum
- Thank you for my strong legs that walk me wherever I want to go!
- Thank you for the fresh air I am getting to breathe
- Thank you for my eyes that can see the glorious blue in the sky
- Thank you for my ability to feel appreciation
- Thank you for my comfy shoes
You get the picture.
Gratitude as a Healing Practice
As I’ve been journeying through my ‘mental-illness-phase-of-life‘ I have had long periods of time I where I’ve totally forgotten about the thank you tattoo on the sole of my foot. And for long periods of time I have forgotten the attitude of gratitude completely.
Anyone who has experienced deep depression will understand how incredibly resistant ones energy is to shifting and lightening up when you’re stuck in that deep, dark, terrifying hole.
But gratitude, just like anything else, needs practice. When we’re out of practice we can’t expect to pick something up and be great at it straight away. We need to set the intention and then get into action. It needs lifting and working out (like weights in a gym) for you to get stronger at doing it. So be gentle with yourself if you decide to take this, or anything, on and you catch yourself being not as good as you wish. In those moments practice gratitude for the awareness that you have and give yourself a hug.
That’s another attitude of gratitude practice I do. I regularly hug and kiss myself and thank myself for being myself, just because . . .
Gratitude Makes You Feel Super Good!
One of the best things about practicing an attitude of gratitude is that it makes you feel super good right now and it causes for more things to be grateful about to show up in your experience.
An attitude of gratitude is truly magnetic!
Gratitude Finds the Gift
Another bonus of practising gratitude is that it trains you to look for the gift in any situation. Focussing on the gift instead of the problem is good for you, basically. You can either spiral more deeply into the problems and frustration at hand, or, you can choose to deliberately look for something to feel good about. Even something that you don’t feel good about yet, but even just offering the attitude of gratitude will start to turn things around.
There is always something to feel grateful for
Last summer I was stung on the eyelid by a wasp. In that moment the first thing I automatically said was ‘Thank you’!
Because ‘thank you’ had so naturally erupted from me it caused me to reflect for a moment on what exactly it was that I was to be thankful for. My eye really started throbbing. But I decided that was the way to go.
I kept thanking the wasp for it’s message, it’s medicine, even though I didn’t understand at the time what it was about. Being in a state of appreciation enabled me to remain totally calm as my eye was getting bigger and bigger, so I had no panic as I attempted to cycle home with my head swelling up!
The fact that I had experienced instantaneous gratitude caused me to go into a deeper spell of reflection as my eye swelled up to the point of completely closing my eye.
In hind sight I can see that I was learning about finding strength within. I was learning that when my eyes were closed I could only see within. I was taking a good look inside. I was learning about the things that I was holding on to in my energy field. Things that I would soon come to realise I had to lovingly release.
That inner journey was part of me getting prepared for a cancer diagnosis I received a few weeks later. I had been learning that healing was at work and I had been learning how to find the strength within that I soon needed to get me through the fear and threat of cancer.
That was why I immediately said thank you to the wasp. He/she was a great teacher.
When I went for the biopsy, the nurse went to inject me in my shoulder and said ‘this will feel a bit like a wasp sting’ Internally I thought ‘Hahah! There you are again. Thank You for showing me that I am on track with what I am learning and realising”
My point is that an attitude of gratitude is a choice. And it can be remarkable to trace back through your story to see where choosing to practice gratitude has brought you peace and understanding as well as joy.
You are not going to get to know and experience gratitudes power unless you put it into practice.
I challenge you, today, right now, to start finding things that you can be grateful for. Practice it like a mantra like I suggested above.
I’ll leave you with some things I am super grateful for right now in this moment
- I am so grateful for my computer that enables me to create, write and share
- I am super grateful for the roof over my head that keeps me warm
- I am so grateful fro the room space I have to focus on my creativity and business
- I am mega grateful for my online business and the education and team and community that come with that
- I am so grateful that I am able to create passive income streams through doing what I love
- I am so grateful that life loves me so much it allows and rewards me for just totally being myself
- I am so grateful that I’m connecting with you, dear reader, right now!
- I am so grateful for my strong powerful body that knows how to heal herself
- I am so grateful for my ability to feel gratitude right here and now!
Would you like to know more about the education that enables me to create passive income streams online? This is something I am monumentally grateful for! Check it out here
Awesome message, and love the gratitude idea in every step, that tat must have hurt. ! 😉
. . . tickled . . .