What comes up for you with the word gratitude?
In the past, I would have been more of a skeptic and shrugged my shoulders at the “attitude of gratitude”. And yet, over the course of my life, I have come to realize the great truth of the power of the practice of gratitude.
In this blog, I will share a little about what gratitude does, how you can use gratitude to improve your life, and some examples to play with.
Gratitude by definition is:
“the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Gratitude immediately brings us into the present moment.
You might not think so, but think about when you give someone a compliment, a quality compliment. Not a compliment such as, “you have a lovely sweater on”, but a compliment such as, “I really see how much hard work and effort you put into that. Thank you for your hard work, I really appreciate it!”
Showing our gratitude for another person signifies that we have been aware of what we notice about them. That noticing means we have been present in what we are witnessing. It literally changes our energy, vibration, and brains! Parts of our brain light up with compliments and can cause us to develop better motor skills! https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/better/amp/ncna1062546
Gratitude keeps us present.
When we experience a deep breath, we recognize the gift of life. When we experience warmth from another, we become grateful for the support. When we witness the budding of a flower, our appreciation of the process grows. These are all moments in which we were present to an experience that evoked a moment of thankfulness; it invites us to revel in that wonderful moment just a second longer.
Gratitude enables us to embrace change.
On November 8th, it was the full-blood moon with a total lunar eclipse that symbolized and represented the sentiment of ‘when one door closes another opens’. During that week of the month, in my yoga classes, we embodied gratitude for change. I used one of my favorite quotes from Dodinsky; as the butterfly speaks to the sun, it says:
“They can’t stop talking about my transformation. I can only do it once in my lifetime. If only they know they can do it at any time and in countless ways.”
We have the gift of resiliency and adaptability. We can make changes ourselves, just as much as change can happen to us. And from change, possibility blossoms. We might not be able to see it in the depths of struggle and pain, but gratitude can keep us afloat. Even the smallest of gratitudes can shift everything. Gratitude for our very breath.
Let your gratitude be simple.
“Of all the things that exist, we breathe and wake and turn it into song”.
Mark Nepo always has such a beautiful way of bringing us back to that foundational gratitude of our ‘precious human birth’. That we are of nature itself.
Allow gratitude to remind you that you are perfect just as you are.
Because we are of nature, may you be appreciative of yourself. Give thanks that just like the flower, clouds, bears, deer, wolves, butterflies, spiders, fish, whales, and trees, you do not need to prove your worth. “(You) are alive just as nature is alive: to be here, to be beautiful and strange. (You) Don’t need to achieve anything to be valid in your humanness.”-Melanie (@melantoninlau)
This circles me back to one of my beginning sentiments in this blog, gratitude for awareness. Mindfulness and awareness which allows us to be able to slow down enough to witness the beauty, the evolution, and the transformations that each of us experiences.
May you offer yourself gratitude today for your life and your story. May you give compliments and thanks to those who love and support you, even the person who you don’t know but who just held the door for you. Pass it on, and hold the door for the next person. This is what humanity needs.
And as that person passes you when you hold the door for them, and when you pass the person holding the door for you, at that moment there is a connection and a shared story.
Gratitude for the shared stories of humanity.
That I might not know the person holding the door, nor do they know me, but inevitably, and most likely, we both have shared stories of hurt and pain, and we most likely could find a thread of a heart’s connection and share stories of our children, of our favorite foods, of our childhood stories, of our dreams and hopes, maybe even of our ancestors, and stories of love.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. Thank you for reading these weekly blogs.
Let me know what you are grateful for these days. Send me a note. 🙏🏼
All my love,
Breathe and Believe.