by Jill Ruttenberg
How do you feel inside when you are truly grateful for something someone has done for you, whether they have listened, helped you in a crisis or even made your favorite food for you? Does it make you feel warm, happy, humble? In my Native country, the US, we celebrate a day of Thanksgiving each year at the end of November. It is actually my favorite holiday, partly for the food, but mostly because it feels good to set aside a time to celebrate the people and things for which we are grateful.
But Gratitude, the most fleeting of human emotions can become a DAILY practice, not something just reserved for church on Sunday or a Thanksgiving dinner. Being truly grateful for something or someone in your life begins a flow of other emotions and helps to align us with our Higher Purpose.
Here is one definition of Gratitude, offered by Harvard Medical School: “Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power”
Check it out yourself: Perhaps in meditation, focus on a few things you are grateful for, and allow the FEELING of gratitude to come into your heart. It may be helpful to think of a gift-either material or of someone’s time or energy-you’ve been given recently. Does it bring you an inner smile? Do you like the feeling of being grateful? How do you feel when someone thanks you for something you do for them? In this often staccato world of disconnection, it seems to me we all need tools to help us feel more connected, more loved and appreciated.
Many people find it life-changing to keep a Gratitude Journal. A small notebook and pen next to your bed will do, and first thing in the morning you can write down one to three things (or more!) you are thankful for today. It could be something as simple as the warm blanket on your comfy bed. Do the same at night before retiring, perhaps recalling something nice that occurred during the day. When we develop an “attitude of gratitude” and align our Hearts and Minds (see Heart Math for a more detailed explanation of how this works) and when we express that gratitude to others we start a ripple of graceful, loving energy that flows out to the Universe and in many cases brings us more things and people to be grateful for. Little by little our lives change. Soon we find we complain less, we appreciate the little things in our lives more, and we feel good more often inside. According to a 2011 study by Positive Psychology,“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
And this is a perfect time for Bob and I to give you, across the miles and ether-ways, our sincere and deepest thanks for all you do to raise your consciousness and contribute to a better world, and personally for staying connected to our vision and mission here at AmaTierra Retreat & Wellness Center. We hope you enjoy all the gifts of Life you so richly deserve, each and every day. Feel free to write us about your experience of Gratitude and to share this blog with others; it just might raise the vibration for all!
“Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life
It turns what we have into enough, and more
It turns Denial into Acceptance, Chaos to Order and
Confusion to Clarity.
It can turn a meal into a Feast, A House into a Home
A Stranger into a Friend —Melody Beattie, Self-help Author