Gratitude is the number one component to achieving true happiness, in my opinion. It takes practice on a regular basis, but it is so worth it. When you’re grateful for every single event and experience in your life, you look at things with a whole new perspective. You realize that every single experience, good or bad, lead you to greater clarity about the kind of life you want to live. Expressing gratitude, whether internally to yourself or externally to others, has a ripple effect. Others can feel that energy from you and it just instinctively becomes a part of them. I’ve made it a practice to write down what I’m grateful for every day. There were some dark days where the only thing I could be grateful for was the warm bed my body laid in and the soft pillow under my head. I have to stretch my mind to find other things to be grateful for. Sometimes it was just being grateful for the ability to actually stay in bed. I’m extraordinarily lucky that those days were few and far between.
At the time of my life when I was going through all this transition and really dialed up my spiritual practice and study, gratitude was one of the first things that resonated with me. I thought to myself, I have had such a gifted life and yet on so many levels, then why aren’t I appreciating that more? That’s when I really got the concept of gratitude.
Being grateful is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. It makes everything in our life run more smoothly when we practice gratitude for things as simple as our breath, as the sunshine, as hearing a bird sing, as enjoying a delicious cup of tea, there’s gratitude in all of that. The things that I most grateful for on a regular basis are the following:
My perfect health! Could there be anything more wonderful than having the freedom to be able to do what I want whenever I want freely and having a body that allows me to do that!? What a remarkable gift! When I used to do negative self-talk about my physical features, I have now turned that around and make it a positive. I practice the law of relativity as frequently as I possibly can. Meaning this…if I hate the way my thighs look, I allow myself that moment to acknowledge that thought. Then, I immediately go to the law of relativity, which means relative to whose thighs am I comparing mine to? There are people who are in wheelchairs, walkers, or who have lost limbs and don’t even have thighs! So, I’m blessed and then I tell my thighs how much I love them, appreciate them and I am grateful for them. Now this wasn’t always easy for me, but I will tell you this…once I started expressing gratitude for every part of my physical body, my physical body began to change. By expressing gratitude, the cells in my body feel the love! They no longer feel the disgust, the hate or the disdain that used to clutter my mind. This is just one example of how to practice the law of relativity in relation to gratitude.
I am forever grateful for my body and its capacity to have given me my remarkable twins. So, when I look at my body and notice the stretch marks and the areas that aren’t quite as tight as they used to be, I now look at it with love and gratitude for what it was able to do during my pregnancy and birth. I am in awe and wonder at how my body knew what to do and where to grow to create a safe haven to incubate those babies.
I practice writing a list of things I’m grateful for on a regular basis. If I don’t have time that day, I’ll at least say a list out loud. I let the universe know what I’m thinking and feeling by expressing it verbally, smiling all the while, and allowing that positive energy to ripple out into the universe.
I’m so grateful for the technology that’s allowing me to write this right now! As I sit here in this beautiful environment, writing outside on a beautiful afternoon, I think about how blessed I am to be able to do this. I’m writing, and that’s something that I love to do. I’m grateful for that too.
Opportunities to express gratitude are everywhere…if you keep your eyes and heart open.
Quote: Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation…Brian Tracy