There is much written on the practice of gratitude. I think many, like I once did, think that all the talk about reflecting on gratitude and the use of gratitude journals is just a bunch of New Age psycho-babble. From personal experience, I can tell you that gratitude is one of the most powerful energies that we can bring into our lives … surpassed only, in my opinion, by the power of unconditional love. Gratitude is said to be the vibrational energy antidote to fear (and resulting conditions like anger and depression).
Gratitude is most powerful when it is a state that we actually live in. For most of this, such a state of being takes mindful practice and discipline. For others, like two of the friends I have been blessed with in my life, just have this innate ability to always identify their blessings and express their gratitude in a deep meaningful way, not just trite platitudes. For years I watched one of these friends that I knew had gone through painful family life and had made some really bad life choices in her teens and early twenties, but who always managed to stay positive, have Earth angels appear in her life, and come out in a better place. I used to think it wasn’t fair or be baffled why did she have such “good luck” when even just one or two of those experiences would have crushed or ruined many people’s lives. As I began to live more consciously, I could see and hear that this friend was rarely focused on the problems, the let downs or the mistakes and was always truly aware on a deep soul level of all of the blessings that had come her way (whether big or really small). Two years ago, several of her friends including me pointed out that she never had a conversation with someone on any subject without expressing appreciation for a blessing or gratitude for a gesture, a word, etc. THIS was the answer. Gratitude – recognizing and expressing heartfelt thanks to another or even to the Universe for the blessings in one’s lives.
For those who are stuck in great life challenges, suffering, depression, chronic health issues and/or despair … as well as for those who get caught in the intense emotions (whether fear or loathing) that is generated these days by politics and our media … a real practice of gratitude will work wonders not only in your life but in the lives of those around you. If you are in the deepest darkness of these emotions, you may have to do a more surface exercise for a while of going through the motions of once a day writing a list of 5 things you are grateful for that day and it might be a real struggle at first to come up with 5. But if you do this regularly and then take a moment to allow thankfulness to fill your heart space, you will begin to see changes and the practice will become deeper, more real. Eventually you may no longer need the journal, because you like my friend will live so deeply in a state of gratitude that it is just a state of being for you.
Gratitude is the energy which creates true miracles in your life, magical experiences that even adults can recognize. If you don’t already do this, try it! Be open … even if you don’t believe that it can work … and watch what happens.
Need some help getting into that energy ... this song by Karen Drucker gets me there quickly. Click on this link to YouTube: https://youtu.be/Is8R-eCr8qs