This past Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the United States. Although sometimes it seems that for some this holiday has become a time where families just get together to eat and/or to simply stuff themselves, I am sure that there are those who really take into account this day to really reflect on what they are grateful for.
Ideally gratitude wouldn’t come from a mechanical place where all we do is make a list of the things we are grateful for, but it would come from a place deep inside where we actually feel and experience gratitude from the most inner place of our being.
Don’t get me wrong writing a gratitude list is a great thing, but what I am talking about is striving to get to a place where we not only think about gratitude, but we are actually living in gratitude.
So how does one begin to live in gratitude?
1. The first thing you must do if you want to begin to live in gratitude is make the decision that you are going to begin to live in gratitude. You will then have to identify what would that look like for you, what would it feel like, how would you know that you are in fact living in gratitude, and last but not least it will require great commitment from your part and mindfulness to stay on task with living in gratitude regardless of what may or may not show up in your outside world.
2. Concentrate on what you have vs. what you don’t have. I think a lot of times we focus on the things we do not have and really forget to focus on all the things that we do have. Focusing on what you don’t have is the fastest road to get into a state of feeling lack. Instead focus on all your blessings, and know that whatever it is that you currently don’t have is simply something that for one reason or another you have not yet created.
3. Begin to appreciate the beauty in life. It is kind of like what someone once said: “don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.” This is so important as a lot of times we can become so involved with our busy life that we forget and take for granted the beauty of life. For example, in my case I am in awe by all of the following when I do my hikes: the cute babies that smile at me, the gorgeous toddlers that so beautifully greet me when they do not even know me, the lovely birds that I get to appreciate and see, the wonderful sound of water that I get to hear as I am passing by, the shades that the trees give me on a sunny day, and the beautiful sunsets that I often get to see when I happen to go later in the evening.
4. Appreciate the little (big) things in life that are so readily available to us and that we might take for granted. When I lived in NY I relied on public transportation, and I pretty much rode the bus and/or train on a weekly basis. However it wasn’t until we had a snow storm, and I knew I was catching the last bus to my town, that I so highly appreciated having been able to make it on time to catch the last bus. I also often flew back home during the month of December, but it wasn’t until the day that I missed my flight, that I so highly appreciated having been able to finally fly again the following days. How about something so mundane as parking? I can remember a friend of mine not really thinking of parking as something to be grateful for until the day that we couldn’t find parking, and when we finally did she was so grateful. So what am I saying? There are a lot of little (big) things that are so readily available to us that we may take for granted. Take time to now notice them and appreciate them. I just named a few, but there are a million more. What are those little (big) things that you can begin to appreciate?
5. Appreciate the people in your life. Appreciate the people who love you and are there for you, and appreciate those who seem to not be very invested in you or those who may appear indifferent and not caring. Life has a way to teach you many lessons and sometimes it is the people who you least expect the ones that will give you a hand, and those who you were sure would be there for you that at times may unpleasantly surprise you. Appreciate the people who irritate you and trigger you because in case you did not know in Jungian Psychology triggers help you to uncover what is in your shadow. Finding what is in your shadow is like finding gold!
6. Know that there is always something to be grateful for. We can all agree that having a flat tire is not something that any of us want or could think of as something to be grateful for. However you can be grateful for the man who so kindly helped you with the flat tire, you can be grateful for the person who lend you their cell when your battery was low, you can be grateful that you were finally able to get home safe, you can be grateful that you are now nicely warm in your house drinking hot cocoa. You get the picture.
7. Last but not least you will know that you have achieved truly living in full gratitude when you can be grateful for everything: “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” It is not always easy but once you are able to be grateful for everything you would know that you have hit a new level of evolvement in your soul journey. For example, I was recently talking to someone and she was sharing with me how she has really come to live as her higher self. She was sharing with me how joyful she feels, and how she truly is grateful for everything that has happened in her life. She was sharing that she is grateful for the hardships, for the challenging familial relationships that she experienced growing up, for the difficulties, and for all the good too of course. It was truly beautiful to hear her talk about how she has reached such a lovely place where she is truly able to appreciate everything about her life including her life challenges and past difficulties. She shared that all those experiences both good and not so good are what has made her who she is today, and has helped her to be where she currently is: in a place of love, compassion, and appreciation for all.
Therefore remember to practice gratitude. Gratitude softens your heart and enriches your life. I would love to be that person who holds your hand on your soul journey to living a life of gratitude, bliss, and joy.
Apply today for a Free Consultation. I look forward to talking to you and get you started on your blissful life where you get to live in gratitude and joy.
May you “stop to smell the roses” and learn to live in gratitude.