Simply, Powerfully Grateful

Posted on 12 November 2012

I once waited in line over an hour to speak to a teacher after a workshop. I was so very grateful for all I’d learned from him, for how it had changed my life, for the deep integrity from which he taught and the love and faith he’d expressed in me throughout the program, I waited in that long line without hesitation.  When it was finally my turn, I gave him a hug and simply said “thank you.”   I realized only in that moment that I didn’t have any more elaborate words to express my deep appreciation for how he’d impacted me.  He received my hug and gratitude, said “you’re welcome,” and probably said a a few other kind words.  What I remember is that I walked away judging my own lack of eloquence.  My simple “thank you” didn’t seem like enough to convey my spirit’s deep appreciation.

I’ve often wished I could come up with the right words — ones that don’t sound cheesy or sappy or cliché — to express my gratitude to the people in my life who have impacted me.  I know saying thank you is an appropriate and important part of the circulation of energy. Yet, I’ve come to realize that my human angst about finding the right words somehow misses the point.

Looking back, I know that I waited in that long line to thank my teacher because it was important for my own spirit.  It was my way to honor and celebrate what I had received from his teaching, to anchor it in, and to allow it to grow.  It was important for me to linger instead of rushing off, to reflect and appreciate all that I’d received. Doing so was a gift to my teacher, and just as important, it was a gift to myself.

Simply and powerfully, the more I cultivate the practice of gratitude, the more I realize it as a feeling state that benefits ME as much as other things I do for my well-being.  Pausing to feel appreciation for the line up of events of my day feels as good or better than that super-nutritious green smoothie I like to make for myself in the morning.  Remembering a loved one and appreciating all the ways they’ve brightened my life boosts my energy like a walk around the block.   Journaling a long list of the things I am grateful for having enjoyed in the last month charges me up as if I’d had a session with my favorite energy healer.

And how simple it is!

Gratitude is a vibratory state accessible even in the darkest mood.  I may not be able to will myself out of deep melancholy, yet even in a low space, I can look around and notice SOMETHING I am grateful for.  Perhaps it’s the crooked beauty of the tree trunk outside my bedroom window.  Or the way my cat purrs when I pet her.  Or the smell of my coffee brewing.  Observing something pleasurable with my senses is an act of appreciation that anchors me in the moment of now, and rarely, if ever, do low moods exist in the now.

And, even beyond the simplest observations of what I am enjoying, when I look out and about, and appreciate what IS – what is there in my life that supports me, enlivens me, excites me – I grow the vibration of it in my experience.

This is the other simple law that makes gratitude so important: what I give attention to always expands in my life.  Of course, it only makes sense that I give more attention to the things I want more of.  What I appreciate grows. My gratitude creates the condition, the openness, for more of what I appreciate to manifest in my life.

This is the power of gratitude.  This is the choice I make when I pause and appreciate.  It’s immediate gift is a greater feeling of aliveness, a lift off of negativity and cynicism, an interactive engagement that cancels out feelings of separation and loneliness.  It’s long term gift is more of the same — more to receive and more to appreciate.

And that is worthy investment in my own experience of life.  Simply and powerfully, I am grateful.

***

This month at Earth School, we’ve launched a month-long challenge called #GratitudeGoneViral!  We’re challenging our community to raise their vibration by expressing, sharing and showing gratitude all month long.  If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you can post and tweet your gratitudes, and if you do, please feel free to use our hashtag – #gratitudegoneviral!


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