Gratitude Heart Leaf

April 9, 2016

I have long heard (and believed) that a regular practice of gratitude is a good thing.  It makes a lot of sense – in my head.  First, there is the whole idea of where you put your energy tends to make that thing bigger.  So, if I put my energy on negative things in my life, I will have more of them.  If I put my energy on the wonderful things in my life, I will have more of them.  Then there is just the being a decent person aspect.  Let me be aware of the infinite and amazing gifts that I am constantly surrounded by and appreciate them.  Holy cow, I have consciousness in a jumble of cells that happen to depend for survival on things that exist in abundance on the planet that I was born on!!! Wooo hooo!!!!  Thank you!!!!

Quick tangent then I’ll bring it all together.  I was recently thinking about the topic of my previous post and these lost nuggets of wisdom.  I realized that when I read them, or hear them in a podcast, even if I deeply resonate with them, they are just “ideas” – in my head.  As an advocate of experiential education, I realized I need a tangible, visceral experience of these ideas for them to stay with me.  They can’t just be a cool idea I read once, I have to make them my own – somehow.

So, recognizing that gratitude is nice, I have been trying to remember to do it more.  Again, its an effort.  “Remember, Linda, its good to practice gratitude, do it!” “Oh, shoot I forgot!” A friend suggested practicing gratitude when I wake up in the morning, before I get out of bed.  That’s ideal actually!  I love to stay in bed as long as I can after I wake up, so that I can consciously appreciate being in bed.  I used to do silly things like complain to myself about having to wake up, or checking my email on my phone, just to procrastinate getting out of bed. (fyi… checking email first thing in the morning is much less than ideal)  Now I can lie there and be grateful for having woken up, for having a clean, dry, safe, warm, horizontal, comfy bed, etc.   This has led to me feeling more in a grateful place, and practicing gratitude more often throughout the day.

AND THIS has led to a realization of the most wonderful thing about practicing gratitude.  Its in the present moment!  Gratitude brings you into the here and now.  You don’t plan to be grateful tomorrow.  Yes, you can be grateful for something that happened yesterday.  But more often, if you walk about with a general feeling of gratefulness, you notice all the beauty around you, you look in awe at how amazing this world is, you experience and live it right here and now. You are present and you appreciate this awe-inspiring beauty of now. You learn to listen to the wisdom of the universe, and because you appreciate the beauty around you, you learn to trust the universe to bring you more beauty.  THIS was the tangible, visceral experience of practicing gratitude that I needed.  Thank you!!!

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