How can having a gratitude practice help during times of austerity or when you’ve had the rug pulled from under your feet and are treading water merely trying to survive? Surely NOW is not the time to be grateful, I hear you say.
But in fact it is, because gratitude can help lift our spirits, it is a practice and a way of living with full appreciation of the present moment. This perspective is beautifully represented by this quote:
‘Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes immediately’ Tony Robbins
Gratitude is a state of mind and an appreciation of life itself. It is raw and it is simple and ordinary and along with love it is a force essential for living a fulfilling and joyful life.
There is also another bountiful spring of energy that arises from gratitude and that is simply the spirit of the word ‘GRATITUDE’ in itself. As Just like a mantra; a sacred utterance that when repeated only positive intentions will fill your mind and leave less space for negativity.
Masaru Emoto, was a scientist who studied the formation of ice crystals in water and he discovered that words have the power to change the shape of ice crystals. Words such a ‘gratitude’ and ‘love’ in fact create beautiful symmetrical crystals and the negative words with the opposite energy created distorted irregular shaped crystals.
If words have an impact on water in such a profound way imagine the impact they must also have on us, being that we are made up of 70% water?! And so with words and mantras this positive energy vibrates and projects from one being to another, attracting in each other more wonderful shapes and experiences.
I really love this beautiful example of a gratitude mantra. If you are open and ready to bring this powerful and uplifting outlook into your life. With your hands on your heart, repeat these mantras throughout your week and feel the vibrational energy entering your being:
- I clearly see all there is to be grateful for in life. I acknowledge the blessings I have received in my life with gratitude.
- Gratitude brings me into a harmonious relationship with the good in everyone and everything that surrounds me.
When we look beyond the surface of our being and tap into this energy that lives deep within, we begin our journey of gratitude, acknowledging the love and kindness that lives within our core and makes up a huge part of who we are. I like to think we all have the greatest compassion for ourselves and others but we can just get caught up in the whirlwind of life and can become a little distracted and disconnected.
This also why I’m so grateful for YOGA as it brings us back into our more harmonious selves and way of living. One of my favourite yoga Sanskrit mantras is:
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom of all.”
Studies have shown that a regular gratitude practice ushers us towards a deeper appreciation of life, so I decided to turn our kitchen blackboard; previously used for our weekly shopping list, to a gratitude board, it is refreshing to look at and we all take it in turns to add to it. Everything and anything goes on there depending who’s doing the writing. You’ll find our gratitude list can vary from a good night’s sleep to a jar of peanut butter. But it’s fun and its simple and we begin we realise we have so much to be grateful for.
Here is a great way to help you get started on cultivating a daily attitude of gratitude:
- Keep a journal by your bed. Each morning – Write a list of 3 new things you are grateful for. At the end of the day another 3 things that you were grateful for, scientific research also shows this is a great aid towards a good night’s sleep.
- Use your journal to make a note of people who have inspired, helped and/ or supported you. Make a note to send them a ‘thank you’.
- Make a gratitude board and get the whole family involved, it can be quite enjoyable to see what others are grateful for and perhaps how you can be an influence on raising vibrations of those you love.
Ultimately gratitude practice reminds us we are being loved and cared for and that we are enough, we have enough to live a beautiful life.