If you are anything like me then you probably spend a lot of time thinking about how life will be better when… We all fill in that blank in our own way but the point is that, when usually continues to stretch itself out beyond our grasp and we move through our days constantly searching for the next thing that will make us feel better. This sense of the solution to our discontent being somewhere outside of ourselves, or even worse something we can buy often leaves us on a rollercoaster of highs and lows or spinning in circles. If this feels like your life, you are not alone.Our culture supports a cycle of discontent and desire that keeps people trapped on this rollercoaster until you decide to get off! One of the most powerful tools we can use to free ourselves from the cycle of discontent and desire is Gratitude. Making gratitude a practice in your life will begin to draw your attention away from all of the things you don’t have toward the recognition of all that you do. We take so many things for granted, I know that I have, but when we consciously choose to recognize our gifts something truly beautiful happens. They Grow! Right now, in this moment, stop and breathe into your heart. From your heart think of three things you are genuinely grateful for. The three things that came up for me today are:
- I am so grateful for my healthy strong body and resilient spirit
- I am so grateful for the ability to be active and engage fully on a physical level in the world
- I am grateful for the trees, their energy and their medicine
What are your three things? Breathe into your heart and really feel them, allow that gratitude to flow out of you into the world. Keep practicing this throughout your day. Practice when things are going well and you catch yourself swept up in a moment of happiness, practice when everything is falling apart and all you can seem to feel is a dark cloud of disappointment sitting on your head. The key is practice.
So many of us are habituated to go to the negative first, to look for what is missing or what is not meeting our expectations. It takes time, effort and commitment to catch yourself in these moments, to breathe into your heart and begin to release the tension in your belly. Come again and again to this practice of gratitude and you will find yourself connected to an extraordinary grace. What I have found is that this grace flows abundantly to all of us, but it can only transform our experience if we open ourselves to it. Gratitude is what opens the door.