Gratitude is an amazing state to be in. There are many books written about it. And some of their advice is really good. But imagine being able to step into that state more often with little or no effort at all. Well, the good news is, that it is possible and I experience this on a regular basis more often now since I have learned the principles behind a clear mind.
It often happens at night when my mind naturally settles down from thinking so much because I’m going to sleep and my mind is naturally emptying out of all those ‘busy’ thoughts from the rest of the day. So what’s left with and open and empty mind? For me it’s gratitude and I find myself going to sleep in gratitude for the very simplest of things in life.
I find myself feeling lucky that I can breathe to such an extent that I’m almost consciously saying thank you for each breath I take in and out as I go to sleep. Then I find myself saying thank you as I wake up in the morning because my soul has been returned to this body to allow me to share my gifts with the world for yet another day! But we usually take this for granted. Am I alive? Yes! Can I breathe? Yes. Then I’m so lucky. Do you know how lucky you are that you can actually breathe freely?
They haven’t found a way yet to charge you for. But don’t worry, they’ll come up with some vendor machine or something in the future that you’ll have to put in some coin or plastic card to get charged for oxygen in the future.
But hey, this is not a Post about what to think about of how lucky you are or to have a go at the government for charging me every time I want to breathe. I’m just letting you know that you can get high with gratitude over the most simplest and basic things in life from a computer keyboard to a pencil to write with. I’m so thankful to both because it allows me to communicate and share my love with others. But I better slow down here. I’m getting ahead of myself with excitement and gratitude right now, as I write this.
What I really want to share with you is how you can have this too. It’s where it becomes a natural organic part of your own life that you find yourself in these positive states with no effort at all. I know its sounds counter-intuitive, but there is nothing to do and no steps to take.
It started when I first learned this understanding. I came to my office at work in the Spec Ed Dept one morning. I was switching on my computer and for no reason, I was in a very blissful and happy state. I didn’t know why at the time. But now so many years down the track, I know exactly why.
This understanding teaches you to not to take your thinking so seriously because we are making it up all the time. And when we’re in a feeling that doesn’t feel good, it’s usually a signal from our body telling us to stop taking our thinking in this moment so seriously because it’s not going to serve us well. You can’t make healthy life decisions when in a dis-eased state. This is a time to do nothing till the dis-ease, eases and you’re in a better place to think clearly again.
So, what does dis-ease have to do with gratitude? Well, actually they are quite opposite experiences, aren’t they? In fact, they are mutually exclusive. In other words, if you’re feeling dis-ease, unhappy or dissatisfied, you’re not going to experience gratitude at the same time.
And this is key to know in your access to gratitude more often. When you’re not focusing your thinking on how life sucks, or how bad things are, that’s when you’re open to something fresh and new. I’m not saying that life is always going to be perfect. Far from it. But you always have the choice on what you want to focus on. And that is your key to your experience of gratitude.
It doesn’t mean that I am now going to cross my legs and meditate on gratitude although I’m not against it, but you can naturally shift into this state just by knowing the fact that you think and the fact that every thought elicits a feeling in your experience. And you always have the choice of what you want to experience moment to moment. It’s your choice. And your power is in your choice of what you think next.
Now don’t come along and think that I’m telling you to force yourself to make choices of things to be grateful for. I could give you a long list. But it is much more powerful when the list gently and organically comes up in your head of what you can be grateful for when you’re coming from a mind that’s at ease. And speaking from experience, your list will become endless once you experience it.
I just spoke to a client that was feeling very scared for his child that had one of the neighborhood kids threaten him with a knife. The child who threatened was a special needs child who is not usually violent. Nevertheless, the situation is a long complicated one. Too long for this Post. The main advice I gave was to get in a quiet place and make a decision that comes with ease, confidence, and power on how to best protect your child and your family. That’s all that counts. Should he go to the Police? I myself am not sure at this stage. But it’s not out of the question. But that decision needs to come from a place of understanding that isn’t tainted with hate and animosity to the other parties concerned.
If there was an immediate danger, certainly go to the Police. But he was feeling angry, scared and rightly so and I decided to tell him to give himself a break for a few hours till he and his wife calm down on how to better deal with this situation from a place of love and understanding for all parties concerned. It’s very common for mothers to be in denial of their own child’s behavior, but that just adds to the wider picture of what they have on their plate when dealing with the other parents.
I know that their insight will come of what they need to do when they calm down for a few minutes and get beyond all the angst. I have worked with them on this understanding for several months now and have full confidence they’ll come up with a good decision that will be in the highest interests of all parties concerned.
The same thing happens with any insight including gratitude. When you finally get out of the way by not taking the reactive thought so seriously, you move organically into your natural set point of Love, compassion, and understanding as well as gratitude. This can even happen towards your enemies. Yes, there is always a lesson to be grateful for that you can learn, even from your enemies too. That doesn’t preclude me from doing everything in my power to protect myself and my family but on a deeper level when I reflect and I’m safe again, I might be able to see the ‘Diamond’ in the ugly rock. There is always a higher lesson to be learned.
It’s amazing to know that you could even be grateful for deepening yourself and your understanding of life through all experiences you have if you’re willing to let go of your Ego and move into the quiet space that is always safely and securely sitting beneath the wild waves of life.
And now when I think of it, I’m grateful for writing this post because I know it will touch many lives and let them deepen their understanding of how you can look at life when the going gets tough because there is always the gem lying under the mud. The question is, am I open to seeing it, are you open to seeing it?