Excerpt from Chapter 31:
Wellness Wisdom by Susan Tate
Expressing gratitude ignites the light within us and is a sure path
Adopting a conscious attitude of gratitude can bring increased joy into our lives. Remember, what we focus on expands! Oft-quoted Meister Eckhart, the medieval Christian mystic, said, “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
Gratitude for what we have makes us appreciate everything even more. If you awaken in the morning and give thanks for the sky, the birds, the air, the wind, the rain, your heart beating, your ability to breathe, the people in your life—the list is endless—you can’t help but to step into a more joyous day.
My former husband told me more than once, “It’s hard to stay sad when you’re in gratitude.” He was right. I’ve tried switching my thoughts to gratitude when sadness gets overwhelming and it works for me. It doesn’t eliminate the sadness or its cause, but I’ve learned that if I take time to observe and feel the sadness, I can then move away from the painful thoughts through that doorway of gratitude. The more things we are thankful for, the more things to be thankful for will show up in our lives.
Taking time to craft a hand-written letter of gratitude to someone for their kindness is an act that makes at least two people feel great. Please don’t wait for Thanksgiving to consider writing a gratitude letter to a family member, co-worker, or friend. E-mail works too, but there’s something special about receiving a hand-written letter, especially if it was penned with gratitude.
You may want to consider keeping a gratitude journal by your bed. Making a gratitude list at bedtime can help to create a peace-filled sleep, as well as become a wonderful addition to your spiritual practice. Or, you may just choose to close your eyes and rather than count sheep, count all of the things that happened that day that created gratitude.
Several years ago, my friend Roberta gave me a small circle of ten beautiful beads. Each night, I gently touch each bead and say “thank you” for a specific person or event that day. Her simple gift has provided a great way for me to magnify gratitude and it invariably sends me into a peaceful sleep.
The Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in California, shared a powerful statement about gratitude during his 2007 guest appearance on Oprah. He was discussing the Law of Attraction as he said; “Nothing new can come into your life until you are grateful for what you already have.” You may want to read that sentence again.
Celebrating and magnifying gratitude is a wonderful practice that brightens the light of wellness wisdom that resides within each of us. With gratitude as your guide, I invite you to laugh, love, play, and pray your way into the continued nourishment of your mind, body, and spirit. Honor your wellness wisdom within.
. . . I am grateful for you.
Ways to Magnify Gratitude
- Start the day by giving thanks. As you open your eyes, you might say, “Thank you God! I get another day!”
- Don’t complain. The universe typically provides us with more of what we speak or think about each day. So the more you complain, the more you’ll find reasons to complain! The more gratitude you acknowledge, more things to be grateful for will appear in your life.
- Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Having a gratitude journal by your bed and writing just a few things in it each night can be a beautiful closure to the day.
- If journaling isn’t your thing, call to mind ten things you are grateful for before drifting off to sleep.
- Write and send thank you notes, not just for something given to you recently but to acknowledge appreciation for something someone did for you in the past.
- Don’t wait for Thanksgiving or a special holiday to express gratitude, love, or appreciation to those you love. Call someone now. You’ll make at least two people feel better.
- Consider gratitude as a way of being. The suggestions above offer things to do that are supportive in developing the practice of gratitude. The next step is to know you can go even deeper and allow yourself to be the place where gratitude flourishes.
Excerpt from Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit by Susan Tate.