practice of conscious gratitude

The Practice of Conscious Gratitude

Today it was the day to be grateful for. It was full of positive emotions, good memories, and pleasant activities. It was one of those days when my heart was at peace and I fully trusted the Universe that everything would be the way it should be and it would exceed my highest expectations and hopes.

I wish every day would be like that, no matter where I am and what has happened during the day. The most important is the emotional and spiritual state of being.

We learn from spiritual teachers that happiness is not something outward but rather inward. Possessions, relationships, certain places don’t make us happy. The feelings that we experience when we have those possessions, relationships make us happy and content. What we feel is much more important than what we have.

When I don’t feel happy it is very hard to fake it, it feels wrong. I don’t support the statement “fake it until you make it”. Instead, I try to find as many things as possible to be grateful for. I practice conscious gratitude. Gratitude has a similar vibration as happiness; therefore appreciation of what you already have can bring the feeling of happiness. We know that the law of attraction means like attracts like. Whatever the feelings and thoughts we have inside is what we vibrate. What we vibrate is what we get.

Close your eyes and just imagine for a second that you open your eyes and see for the first time in your life like you’ve been blind all this time and now you get your eyesight. Wouldn’t you be amazed by everything you see around, sky, trees, flowers, houses, people? Wouldn’t you be grateful for being able to see? Sometimes I do this little exercise and it makes me feel appreciative of life and all the small things that we normally take for granted.

appreciation of small things
appreciation of small things

Some people are more optimistic and positive than others, but even the most pessimistic can develop a happier attitude and a positive mindset. Here I suggest ideas to practice conscious gratitude for feeling happier and more at peace.

LITTLE THINGS MATTER. Holding your child’s hand, stroking your pet, looking at the fireplace, smelling the flower, growing your own herbs, driving your car on a cold rainy day, a warm blanket, a nice cup of tea, dry shoes on a muddy field, sunglasses on a sunny day, a glass of refreshing drink when you are thirsty, five minute of complete silence, quick video call with your mom. All of this is around us every single day. These are the small things that every person if he/she is conscious enough, can appreciate as gifts of life. Stop the endless stream of thoughts for a second and just pay attention. Experience how feelings become sharper, more intense, filling your heart with gratitude if you just notice those little moments during the day.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT UNTIL IT’S GONE.  For so many people access to clean water is a norm, but for so many people clean water is an unaffordable treasure. Imagine not having access to clean cold and hot water for a day or a week. That would be inconvenient, but we can deal with it. Imagine not having access to clean water at all. Would it make you feel I bit different when you take a shower after a long tiring day?

Health problems… we never say thank you to our body when we don’t feel any pain or discomfort. However, it is hard to describe the tremendous job that our body does every day to keep us healthy and we take it for granted. We only notice and appreciate our healthy body, when something happens with it and we feel poorly. I will not go into a relationships’ topic in this section, as I hope you’ve got the point.

you don't know what you've got until it's gone
You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone

ALWAYS SEE THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE. I know it is not always easy to accept and see something positive in some unfortunate or even dramatic situations. It takes time and courage to look at the situation from a different perspective and find positive sides of it. Life often throws challenges at us testing our mental, physical and emotional strength. I believe that there are no mistakes or incidences in life. Every challenge is given to teaching us something. We have to be grateful for the lesson, as it will contribute to our growth. I also believe that there are no absolutely negative situations, there is always something even tiny, but positive. We just have to see it.

GRATITUDE JOURNAL. It will allow you to take a moment and clear the space in your mind for those good things that surround you. It applies to everything that I said above. All the small things that actually matters a lot, everything we take for granted, all the positive sides that we can find in the unfortunate circumstances can go into that journal. You just have to be persistent with keeping the gratitude journal. When you fill the first few pages you will see how many things you are grateful for, therefore you appreciate that life is actually not so bad after all. There are definitely a lot of things you can be happy about.

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Everyone has his/her own path in this life and it is not a straight line. It has lots of ups and downs, exactly as a line on a cardiogram. The Jumping line on a cardiogram shows that the heart is beating meaning the person is alive, which is already a gift. We all know what a straight line on the cardiograph means. So we have to embrace whatever life phase we are in right now and stop comparing our life path to others’ paths. We don’t know for sure what is going on deep down in the heart of our successful friend or lucky colleague, even if their Facebook posts are picture-perfect. We are all unique souls who came into this world to give and receive love.

Every day is an opportunity, a gift that is given to us and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.

With much love

Julia

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