You’ve been grateful your whole life. In fact, among the first words you learned as a child are the words “thank you”. Your parents taught you when to say it, who to say it to and that you should say it every time something good is bestowed upon you. As you grew up, you found that when you said these words, it made people happy. You probably also enjoyed hearing these words and found some pleasure in being thanked by someone for something you gave them, something nice you did for them or something nice you said. You learned that the words “thank you” had something to do with feeling good. You learned that these words served you, and you learned that they served others.
Saying thank you is meant to be a heartfelt response for something or someone, but it seems that often it is a perfunctory gesture, uttered without real thought or feeling. This has happened with other initially heartfelt sayings in our society too; “God bless you” when someone sneezes, “How are you?” when we greet someone and “See you later” as we say goodbye. The actual meaning of these phrases has been lost and the words are often said in passing without thought to the message – much like a reflex.
So how can we return to the true meaning of the words? How can we say “thank you” and know that we really mean it? It all starts with being in the present. It starts with a conscious awareness of your thoughts, your actions and your words, and the knowledge that when you are authentic, these three are aligned. And when you are in complete alignment as you use the words “thank you”, you are in a position to experience true gratitude.
Gratitude is a feeling that exists within in you. It is not a word uttered, a card sent or something you do to pay someone back. Gratitude cannot be seen or heard. It is not physical or concrete. It is not a person, place or thing.
Gratitude is a feeling in your heart.
More correctly, gratitude is a feeling that starts in your heart and emanates through your whole being. When you are in a space of pure gratitude, you will notice that your whole body feels lighter and freer. You will notice that your thoughts flow easily and your breathing slows. You may even call this state you are in, one of freedom. Feelings of gratitude often morph into other feelings of a high vibration such as joy, peace and love. And know this, when you get yourself into a feeling place of pure gratitude, all things are possible.
Gratitude holds great power – it holds the power to transform and the power to heal.
In my own experience, I have found gratitude to be the antidote for pain, both physical and emotional. When you are in a state of gratitude, and you focus only on that, you cannot think about or feel anything that is negative, hurtful or painful. When you focus on gratitude, you do not feel a sense of loss, loneliness or emptiness. And when you express gratitude to someone else who is in pain, you will see their body looking physically lighter and their face looking less tense or strained. Yes, gratitude eases pain and suffering, and it replaces these with hope and grace.
How to get into the “Attitude of Gratitude” … This is the easy part! There is one single step and no more. To get into a feeling place of gratitude you must simply shift your attention to that which pleases you and focus only on that. You must place your focus on that which brings you joy, that which shows you beauty and that which illuminates all that is good. What you think about, you bring about, so think of being happy, healthy and strong. Think of feeling abundant, hopeful and prosperous. Think of being joyful, light and free. Think of being in your favorite place, with your favorite people, doing your favorite things. When your thoughts are on the things that bring you joy and you are feeling really, really good – maybe even wonderful – simply say “thank you”, and let it fill your heart. This is what gratitude feels like.
Once you have experienced true gratitude, you will never again hear the words “thank you” without taking them to heart, and you will never again say these words without feeling good inside. And the more you practice feeling grateful, the more easily it will happen for you, until one day you will be aware that you are grateful pretty much all the time for pretty much every thing. And that, dear friends, is an attitude of gratitude. Now, that’s Powerful!