An Attitude of Gratitude
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” - Thích Nhất Hạnh
I once did a workshop where the teacher asked the participants to take a 20 minute walk and with each step to be grateful for something. What an amazing opportunity to reflect on the obviously obvious and then the less and less obvious things in our everyday lives that bring us joy……our beloved, our family, friends, pets, homes, jobs, ………….the rain, the birds singing, the wind rustling……a tear, a smile, a sigh.
We have a choice in every moment as to how we are going to respond to what is, we can either respond from a place of love or a place of fear. Gratitude cultivates love and more experiences to be grateful for, life opens up. Fear cultivates more fear and a closing down of love and life.
We all know that what we resist persists – if we always do what we always did, we will always get what we always got! The more we say NO to the experiences we don’t want the more these will show up confirming that the world is an unsafe place.
The more we say YES to life the more expanded and beautiful life becomes. The bubbles of joy of gratitude rise from that inner place uncontained and spill over into the world as a light loving contagious energy.
All it takes is a conscious choice moment by moment, yes or no, love or fear.
Daily Gratitude Practice
The best practice to expand something is to bring your attention to it. Life gets so busy and some days there is not enough day in your time.
Keep a Gratitude Journal next to your bed, and every night as you climb in and the mind starts to quieten down, write down at least 5 things that you are grateful for that day.
“What you seek is seeking you.” - Rumi
A dear friend, some years back, posed the question: “who are you?” My mind, of course, spread out in all directions to gather up all of the labels and ideas I held around who I was at that point in time…..words tumbled and jumbled and scrolled through my mind’s eye but settled on blank. After a long pause,
I responded: “I don’t know!”
In the mind of an analytical, logical thinker, where everything fits in a well labelled box neatly packed away until required, “I don’t know”, didn’t sit well. And so began the deeper search into finding an answer to this question.
There had always been a pile of books next to my bed, as well as next to my favourite chair, on all matters esoteric, alternative, new age, spiritual, self-help, philosophy, energy, quantum physics, healing and such like. The pile grew in the quest for this elusive answer. If I could have I would have slept with a book under my pillow in the hopes of absorbing the delights, insights, realisations and wonders of these words.
After a sufficient number of these words had managed to lodge themselves in my intellect, I was once again posed the question: “who are you?” This time I had a well-defined answer, “I am a spiritual being having a human experience!” Really?? Well, it sounded good. I had hit on the right definition but it still remained a “head thing”, an intellectual connection to an idea about who I really was.
I put down all of the books for a while, too many books out there, too much info, too much seeking for that elusive intangible something outside of me. I stopped. I sat. I breathed. I meditated. And somewhere in that stillness the words and ideas and thoughts drifted down from my head and dropped into my heart. As knowledge turned to wisdom, a deep inner knowing. Now I knew who I was and I was once again posed the question: “who are you?”
There are words to answer this, many, but none I feel accurately describe this state of “beingness”. Words can point at it, like a finger pointing at the moon, but words are not enough, language too limiting.
My answer this time around was: “I know!”