Heading into week two of the Grace through Gratitude Meditation Experience with Deepak and Oprah … so much WOW!
My own journey with a gratitude practice started about 8 years ago along with my Mindfulness Practitioner Training; at the height of my ‘raising three out of control teenagers’ stress!
Things weren’t going well, I was in over my head, all my efforts to keep up appearances were failing! We weren’t a shiny happy family anymore. I didn’t have complete control of my children, and I was running out of ways to stay ahead of their consequences! Yes, you read that right I was taking care of their consequences! Everything from spending beyond their means that I was taking out of our pocket, issues at school, with landlords, with the police; I was trying to avoid judgement by everyone around me and it had me spinning out of control!
My focus was limited to what was negatively happening around me; I was looking for a way out when I found mindfulness and gratitude. It’s eight years later and the while the external issues still happen; internally I am in a much different place. A place of peace and grace; a place where I can stay no matter what my external circumstance are! There are only two rules here, stay in the moment and be grateful!
I get a lot of raised eyebrows when I talk about the simplicity of this practice versus the complexity of the impact it has on your life! People think its all about being a shiny happy person with a positive outlook; and while that is certainly true, the depths of the benefits are so much more!
This simple practice rewires your thought process, keeping you out of scarcity mindset and ensuring that you always have enough.
The mental shift from ‘why me’ to ‘thank you’ made a profound difference! I mean seriously; who says thank you when their life implodes? I do! I do; because what I have learned is that when the house of cards crumbles it is the perfect time to check out the foundation I am building on! It didn’t crumble because it was perfect, it crumbled because it was flawed! Not ‘I was flawed’; this is an entirely differently thing, the situation was flawed!
We do not exist in a vacuum, when things go wrong the search for blame is a terrific waste of everyone’s time. While we absolutely need to look at what went wrong; this is about understanding it and learning from it! Placing blame on ourselves, or someone else; does nothing to fix things moving forward – that’s an ego game! In this environment, of looking as an observer, without judgement we can assess and make changes; rather than regress and wallow stuck in blame!
Gratitude is born of understanding, in finding it; we invite grace into our lives!
If you are just starting out with a gratitude practice I encourage you to start small with things that are good in your life, bring your focus to them and let yourself feel this gratitude in your whole body! Notice how when you shift focus to what you are grateful for there is no room for worry, anxiety, or any other negative emotions? Consciously shifting from the negative throughout your day will increase your natural tendency to look at the positive, think of it as a workout for your mindset! The more we focus on gratitude, the more we will find to be grateful for!
When you gain ground and find healing in this practice you can begin to dig into the less-than-positive experiences you’ve had and finding the gifts from those times will become easier. The biggest thing to remember when practicing gratitude is to meet yourself where you are in the moment and work with what is most readily available to you while you journey on toward greater happiness and healing.