“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
I was talking to one of my coaching clients some time ago and I brought up “gratitude.” Interestingly, he had a NOT so wonderful interpretation around gratitude. I was inquisitive about that, and as we dug further, he explained that he always felt like gratitude was around being grateful for what you have IN CASE IT WENT AWAY. In other words…he should be grateful that his family is still alive and healthy, he has achieved success, etc. because it’s still here.
His view was more from what I call the context of “scarcity”… like he “should” be happy that he hasn’t lost these people, places or things for which he is grateful, sort of. The energy around it was a little like…” waiting for the shoe to drop and so glad it hasn’t.” In other words, from a fear based place.
And I also coach people who have gratitude as a “should”. They don’t say the word “should”, however, there is a bit of obligation in their experience. Notice if when you say or write what you are grateful for, you have a contraction in some part of your body. If so, you are not in the “experience” of gratitude.
This is a nuanced conversation because I believe that gratitude IS being grateful for what is in our life, however I think there is a more powerful way to experience gratitude.
What if gratitude was being in total acceptance of what you have right now in this moment with a full heart?
Fully accepting means just that…you fully accept. No “it’s great but it could be a little better”, no “I am grateful, as long as…”, no “I would be grateful but they aren’t.” You know it is authentic acceptance when there is full surrender. Your body feels no tension and you experience a fullness, wholeness, and for many, authentic joy.
I am not saying you shouldn’t have goals, accomplishments and a vision for your life that you are committed to creating! Quite the contrary, that is the juice that fuels you forward. AND gratitude plays a very important role in you achieving your vision.
From authentic gratitude of what is, you have infinite space to create what isn’t!
If any part of you is resisting what is…what you resist persists and takes up the space that your future goals and dreams require to manifest.
Try this: When you want to be in gratitude and notice that you still have resistance to someone, something or some situation, start with “Thank you.” Several years ago I was turning a corner and tapped the car in front of me. I got out apologizing and letting them know I would cover any damage their car may have had.
The man looked at me, in the eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I again said I am so sorry and I will handle any damage. He looked me in the eyes again and said, “No. Really. THANK YOU.” And then got in his car and left.
It was very clear to me, he was experiencing something I had an opportunity to practice. He was experiencing true gratitude. WOW!
Start with “thank you” even to yourself. Then perhaps you add “thank you for my morning coffee”, “thank you for my vibrant health”, “thank you for my twin boys going through puberty”, “thank you for this traffic teaching me patience and kindness,” and on and on. Try it for 7 days and see what your experience is. I would love to hear about it.
Whether you do a Gratitude Journal or prayer or simply “think” gratefully, allowing full surrender and acceptance of what IS, will open avenues of joy and happiness, beauty and grace.
So feeling blessed by you all,