For years, I would write my gratitudes in a journal. Life would seem to go along well enough that I would slowly stop journaling. With later peeks at my notebooks, however, it looked like things had been better when I was in appreciation mode. I would begin writing again.
In 2010, I was inspired to develop a new way of practicing gratitude. Within this practice was appreciation for gratitude itself. I would dance my gratitude. The dancing became literal and metaphorical. In this deeper relationship with gratitude, I started to experience, notice and enjoy the depths of its offerings.
Here are some of the treasures I have received from this practice:
1) Transformation. My underlying predominant emotion gradually transformed from sad to happy. Almost three years later, I learned of the results of Brené Brown’s gratitude research, establishing a connection between having a gratitude practice and happiness.
2) Patience. Gratitude practice helps me better understand patience. I have a theory that if we embodied patience or other emotions like surrender and forgiveness, we would discover gratitude and grace, too. When we observe that all is happening in Divine Timing, it is a lot easier to have a better relationship with patience.
3) Relief. More and more, when I am experiencing a difficult emotion such as grief or disappointment, seemingly out of nowhere, I suddenly experience noticeable relief. I believe there is a strong connection between Gratitude and Grace. I automatically feel gratitude in my body when I realize that feeling better came from Grace.
4) Perspective. Gratitude “eyes” help me discover the lessons or gifts from difficult situations early on in their arising. Having this perspective helps lessen the distress and helps me accept or move on more quickly.
5) Focus. A gratitude focus helps me look for the good in what is occurring. Looking for the good…I always find it. This works for situations and relationships. It has helped me learn how to make fewer assumptions and not take things personally.
6)Receptivity. Embodying gratitude helps me become more receptive and open. This allows me to be more available for the limitless support and blessings around and increase my ability to take them in. This increased capacity to receive may be the secret to the Gratitude-Abundance connection in Yogi Bhajan’s quote: Gratitude is the open door to Abundance.
7)Freedom. Sensing gratitude in my body has helped me become more present. This gives me greater freedom of choice beyond the habits of my conditioning. I become more authentic and True to myself. I feel more connected to the Divine, enjoying broader compassionate views on everyday situations.
How has Practicing Gratitude supported or gifted you?