“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” –William Arthur Ward
The Gratitude Guru Warm-up
As November delivers gratitude reminders, let us look also to less-obvious places where gratefulness resides. Let us root our hearts and minds in thankfulness. Let us join together to embrace a world of gratitude. Let us lift up all Beings.
May you find abundance and connection to your spirit by practicing one or more of these gratitude-boosters.
As we look in the mirror, are we looking back at a person with problems and pimples or perspective and possibilities? Before we head down the familiar path of self-judgment, shall we picture the Self as radiating and resonating gratefulness? Self-acceptance allows us to genuinely address the parts of us in need of compassion while celebrating parts which are strong yet flexible. When we appreciate our Whole Selves, we understand self-acceptance is an ongoing dialogue.
“Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. Your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of.” – Robert Holden
Take an inventory of who and what influences you. Does the list reflect moments of excitement? Enjoyment? Enrichment? Our lives can be all of these things and more. The first step is to be grateful for what we have today and what we will have in the future. Appreciation melts away our body sludge and recycles it into creativity, abundance and beauty. To choose precious thoughts and feelings is caring for Self. It is not selfish. It is life-affirming. It’s time to promote growth and healing – not weakness and pain. Author Cheryl Strayed offers this sage advice: “You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.”
How important is it to be in control? To be right? To get our way? Our persistent ego will do anything to trap us to believe in its power, domination and distraction. Egoic perceptions deter us from standing in wholeness. Nudges occur to shake out misery. Don’t miss nudges! Listen and be grateful for them. Nudges point us in the direction of truth. Nudges appear to provide great opportunity to awaken and learn. Most of us slink away until they simply refuse disappear. We are at this juncture swept into a gentle tide or precipitously dropped into the storm’s center. It depends if it is the ego guiding the nudge or if it is our Divine Self.
Other nudges may include:
- Finding feathers, money or other random items
- Hearing your inner voice
- Being drawn to something without understanding or knowing.
Can we pay attention to nudges? Are we ready to trust inner voices? To listen to the compassionate counsel of friends or professionals who recognize our emerging greatness?
“Listen to your Inner Being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout. If you are even a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.” Osho
Are you overwhelmed or grateful to choose your destiny? If life is a compilation of our stories and choices, why do we continue to hand to others the chance to be its author and leader? Life is meant to be lived from the inside out, not the reverse. When we set that internal compass according to our passions and potential, we will see magic in us and in everyone else.
Holocaust survivor and psychologist, Edith Eva Eger, thoughtfully shares her perspective:
“When we are unhappy, it is often because we are taking on too much or too little responsibility. Instead of being assertive by clearly choosing for ourselves, we might become aggressive (choosing for others) or passive (letting others choose for us), or passive-aggressive (choosing for others by preventing them from achieving for themselves).”
Gratitude and freedom are close friends. When these two energies intersect, we expand quality of life, well-being and positive regard for others. Gratefulness announces that someone or something has evolved from ordinary to extraordinary. We open to seeing beyond fear and judgment and welcome a bigger, freer picture of life. Gratitude removes the binds of separation and unites our hearts with ease. It’s not possible to offer gratitude with a closed and wounded heart because there is no room for anything else.
Children’s author Dallas Clayton teaches us that thankfulness leads to freedom:
“I say ‘thank you’ to you just for being yourself. Yourself is as important as anything else.”
Stepping into imagination is fresh air for our hyper-stressed bodies and over-active minds. In imagination our Divine Self awaits our arrival with teachings on expanding eternal truths of Peace, Love and Joy. Be grateful. Gratitude is the fast-track to discovering truths and inspires present-moment living with a heart wide open. Being grateful relieves us of the density we carry on our shoulders, and spurs us to imagine infinite possibilities which lighten our load. Gratitude inspires us to see beyond the grind.
According to international lecturer, researcher, corporate consultant, author, and educator Dr. Joe Dispenza:
“It makes sense that we should concentrate not merely on avoiding negative emotions, like fear and anger, but also on consciously cultivating heartfelt positive emotions, such as gratitude, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, fascination, awe, inspiration, wonder, trust, appreciation, kindness, compassion, and empowerment, to give us every advantage in maximizing our health.”
The Gratitude Guru Workout
Cultivating a gratitude practice beyond normal definitions results in improved physical and psychological health. Notice other positive gratitude side effects: increased happiness, sleep and energy and less stress, struggle and pain. Gratefulness rewards investments of time which prioritize relationships, deepen compassion and enrich the spirit.
Are you ready for the Gratitude Guru Workout? Try these six exercises to build and tone your appreciation muscles! You’ll have a routine that helps you shine in big and bright ways in no time!
Sit in a quiet space. Place your hands on your heart. Listen to this gorgeous song by Bachan Kaur called “Bountiful, Blissful and Beautiful”. Play the song until you memorize the words in your mind. Allow them to travel into your heart. Say thank you for this song and for the way it helps you understand how amazing you are.
“I am bountiful, blissful, and beautiful. Bountiful, blissful and beautiful I am.”
Think about how you spend your day. Which part of your day most needs self-care – morning, mid-day, evening? Ask your gut this question and wait for your inner answer. For example, you may need excitement mid-day. Excitement can be anything that stimulates your physical/mental/emotional/spiritual Self. You don’t have to repeat the same thing every day.
Make sure it’s a fun ritual performed at a set time. If you realize the ritual is not generating the excitement you’re looking for, try something else. Feel grateful for the experience of trying something new.
Draw an outline of your body. On the inside of the body, list the words you are circulating right now. Be honest! Do you see these words moving to your outer world or not? Are there words you need to replace?
Draw a second outline of yourself. This Self contains a vision of who and what you desire to be. Fill it in with words that describe this vision. Look at it every day. Take a photo of it and put it as your screensaver. If your intention is to embody this Self Vision, expect nudges to appear and help to shift you to this new identity.
On five notecards, write down 5 choices you need to make in the next two weeks. As you look at these choices, express deep gratitude for being given choices in your life. (Choices are major gifts !!) Which choice makes the most sense to make first? Second? Starting with the number 1, number each choice based on which one will give you the highest feeling of appreciation.
Peek into your brain. What/Who do you think about most? Does this thought cause stress or opportunity? Have you spent sufficient time with this thought? Is it time to leave it alone?
Peek into your heart. What do you see in there? A glowing light? Dullness? Aching? Desperation? Return to your mind and insert the word freedom in the space. Let the energy of freedom travel down into your heart. In the center of the heart add the word gratitude. Breathe. Allow freedom and gratitude to greet each other with a warm hello. Stay in this moment for as long as you can.
Use sound to calm the body. Relax the mind so that it is receptive to Self to improve creativity and imagination. Awesome sounds are created with music bowls, chimes and meditation bells. It only takes a few moments to request that your energy slow down and enter the imagination. When you’re in this serene state, start drawing mental images of what you want in your life. Bring your dreams one step closer.
I’m grateful for you, dearest Reader. You took this time to enjoy these words. Return to this page to remind yourself why practicing gratitude is important or to be reminded of gratitude boosters. Thank you for reading, and please be grateful every day for yourself, your beloveds and for others all across this land and the world.
Are you a Gratitude Guru? Do you have a gratitude practice? Are there other gratitude exercises that work for you? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Author: Rita Abdallah, LISW-S, LCSW-C, ACSW, is an intuitive and wellness coach who inspires the discovery of peace, love and joy. A recognized expert on joy, cancer wellness, stress reduction and managing change, Rita has engaged and energized people to live their best life for over 25 years. Say hi to Rita: www.ritaabdallah.com.