Achieving Wholeness


March 27, 2018

Succeeding through gratitude

 

Segment 1. “ Gratitude is good medicine”

Gratitude is defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as the state of being grateful….”the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself and represents a general state of thankfulness and/ or appreciation.”  Gratitude is just good medicine, it is also a nice sentiment and a warm fuzzy feeling, but more importantly it is a strategy for being happier and healthier.

We do not create ourselves. We did not get to where we are in life by ourselves.  Being grateful makes life more meaningful and fulfilling and we appreciate all aspects of our lives. That includes everyone along our path that enriched our lives, taught, us life lessons and helped us through challenges. Gratitude allows us a way of seeing that alters our gaze.  Gratitude is a welcome tool because, this is what gives us the strength of character to make life better, not only for ourselves but also for others.  A popular Science article published in 2015 reported that, out of 24 strengths, including such powerhouses as love, hope,kindness, and creativity,that the single best predictor of good relationships and emotional wellbeing was gratitude.

Gratitude can be seen in how you carry yourself, in the inner dignity and an appreciation of life's beauty. It can be about giving a gift, there is grace when you forgive someone else or show mercy. Gratitude makes a deep connection with the source of grace inside of  you.  So that begs the question.  If grace exists within us all, then why isn't life as fulfilling for everyone?  The answer is perception.

 

Segment 2.  “The way we view things is a game changer”

Two people can be doing the same thing but have different experiences.  Take for example, two people walking outside to get the morning paper.  One person is lost in thoughts and concern.  There's work, family and many details to consider. The second person faces the same busy schedule, but in their mind, they notice the sun, the sky, the children playing on the corner and the birds singing.  These are all manifestations of grace and gratitude. Room has been made in the middle of everything to feel gratitude for life.   When you view and see how abundant your world is from a level of being, gratitude changes your perception. 

Gratitude is the secret key that shifts your awareness. Gratitude changes your relationship with life from an attitude of rejecting and defending to one of acceptance and appreciation.  This shift involves benefits to our minds and bodies, because it has a positive effect on us and is an engine for wholistic change.  Change begins inside by performing gratitude from the heart. 

Take a moment every day to think about something you are deeply grateful for.  It can be personal, like a child in your life, or as big as the beauty of nature.  In this moment, you have opened the way for grace and gratitude awakening a potential you probably didn't know was there.  It's only a moment but a great journey has begun.  This is how to expand grace and gratitude in every part of your life.  Gratitude gives us the strength of character to make life better not only for ourselves but also for others.  When we discover graceful living, life is more meaningful and fulfilling.

 

Segment  3. “Gratitude matters”

Gratitude matters whether it comes from the happy acceptance of another's thoughtfulness, appreciation of the beauty of nature, recognition of the good things in life,or from countless other magical moments.  Gratitude enhances nearly all aspects of our lives.

As we create gratitude, a positive ripple effect is generated through every area of our lives, helping us with our deepest yearnings, our desire for happiness, our pursuit of better relationships, and our quest for inner peace, health, wholeness and contentment.  Living in a state of gratitude can be fleeting and difficult to sustain unless it is practiced with attention and intention.  Living gratefully begins with affirming the good and recognizing its sources.  It is the understanding that life owes us nothing and all the good we have is a gift.

 

Segment 4. Things we can do to practice gratitude

  1. Write it down.  In the recent past, has there been times when something good has come to you as a result of another person’s action?  Recognizing and affirming the good things in your life are the keys to unlocking fullness in our lives.  These exercises enable us to feel good and to look for the good and the positive things in our lives.
  2.  Keep a gratitude journal or diary.  This empowers us to take charge of our emotional lives.  It increases self esteem, enhances willpower, strengthens relationships, deepens spirituality and boosts creativity.   It is an amplifier of goodness, in oneself, the world, in others and has a unique ability to heal, energize, and change lives.
  3. Count your blessings.  Spend 15 minutes a day or in the evening writing about a positive event, experience, or relationship that you are grateful for. Writing it down deepens the level at which you are processing events, which has a longer, more sustained effect on your mood and emotions.
  4. Before you drift off to sleep. Try to focus on the pleasant thoughts of the day good things that are happening to you or in your life, such as, your family, or friends.  This helps set the tone for your morning and day ahead and helps you relax.
  5. Mix it up.  Travel to a new destination or place, or find a beautiful park or place, spiritual site, or a place of natural beauty. Focus on the good things in your life, your dreams and how that will look, and feel with your successes.
  6. Adopt the attitude and language of gratitude.  Our language that we use every day reflects our thoughts, and our thoughts partially creates our reality.  The language of gratitude and how we use our words positively every day draws our attention to contributions others have made to our lives. Once you start to notice kindness, more good actually begins to come your way.

The practice of gratitude awakens the grace within each of us.  There is nothing more life changing than gratitude.  Gratitude opens up a space of light in every experience.  It actually opens up the light and the path for grace to flow.

Pope Francis said “Grace/Gratitude is not knowledge or reason but rather, grace is the amount of light in our souls.



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