Practice Being Grateful
Previously published on September 4, 2014
“Gratitude brings light into our hearts spread warmth throughout our bodies and radiate positive energy into the world. The more we consciously and consistently grow in our practice of gratitude, the more benefits we will experience.” Michele Wahlder
“Practice makes perfect.” How often have we heard this saying? I say it very often to my son and every time that I do he asks me what does it mean.
We would not get far if we did not practice whatever tasks to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Be it playing the piano, scrambling eggs or applying make-up (for those of us who powder our noses) and many other skills. This saying is also true of gratefulness.
Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. Ralph W. Emerson
In All Things…
Looking back on my formative years, I was taught by grandparents and parents to simply GIVE THANKS. We were instructed to practice gratefulness. Over time and through repetition, I learned how to be grateful even when things did not turn out the way I anticipated. I was taught to thank God for small mercies.
My experience is that, unlike other lessons, practicing gratefulness brings instant gratification. Every other practice that I have done might take some time to bear fruit. Not gratefulness.
The practice of gratefulness brings immediate joy.
Being grateful is more than being thankful, in my view. It is an inside gesture and an attitude from which a meaningful thankfulness will emanate. Often, there are things or circumstances that get in the way of practicing and assuming this attitude of gratefulness. It could be bad news about your neighbour, a waft of pain in your chest or an unexpectedly high utility bill. Just about anything. Someone else’s ingratitude could annoy you and block or hinder your assuming your own attitude of gratitude.
My gratefulness opens me to the flow of abundance, fill me with joy and connects me with the Source of my flow or my joy. I will not pretend that there are no obstacles to my gratefulness. None of us are infallible. I get overwhelmed, I worry, I become anxious about getting things done, I become distracted and feel weighed down with responsibilities – all of which are obstacles to my expectancy of “all things working together for good.”
Gaze At The Bright-Side
However, when I recognize the blockades to my gratefulness, I replace them with the ‘bright-side perspective’. As I embrace the ‘bright-side’ of whatever the seeming obstacle is, my joyful, grateful flow returns.
There are various methods we can use to practice and pursue a grateful attitude. The chosen method(s) for each of us will depend on the individual personality, goal or needs. I have a few suggestions on practicing gratitude.
- Count your blessings often. Even the every day ones. The so-called small ones. Do so every single day. However, to avoid your blessing counting practice losing its meaning, vary your methods.
- Express your gratitude directly. It may be to someone who has helped you, mentored you, perhaps an old teacher, a coach or a supervisor.
- Write what you are grateful for. Sit down with pen and paper or at your computer and start, “I am grateful for … .” Maybe you will have to stop there for a minute and wait because you just cannot think of anything. Just wait. Something inside you will shift. The words will come.
This Gratefulness Force that you are tapping into is bigger than you and it is bigger than your problems, no matter how big that is. That tide of fear that is overwhelming you is not all. There is so much more to you than that.
Your gratitude practice is your ride across those troubled waters so put your oars in!
Clara Brown is a monthly Contributor and has been a Member of Claudette‘s Facebook group, Daughters of Sheba, for a few years. She is a mother, first, an Insurance Executive and lives in Kingston, Jamaica with her spouse and son. Read Clara’s most recent post here, and Subscribe to receive updates of her future articles and that of other Contributors.
If you are a 35-year-old or younger woman – or if you know one – check out and/or share Claudette’s upcoming FREE Webinar, “A Practical Spirituality for the Young Woman,” at the Spirituality Centre. It is designed for young women, having challenges and questions about growing through life changes. Come have a frank and open conversation with Claudette, a woman with a past wishing to support your journey today!