That’s how gratitude feels. I don’t mean the “Thanks for taking the garbage out” gratitude. (Which is important and should go without saying.) But the full out, “Yes! My life may look like a total train wreck. But look at how many AMAZING blessings I have!” kind of gratitude.
I’ve been trying to live this way for the last six months ever since I became fully aware of it’s power.
About a week ago, while with my son, I was freaking out about something (which seemed pretty serious at the time) .
“Mom! STOP!! Look at all your blessings!” He blurts out.
“You’re NOT living in a war torn country. We aren’t starving in Sudan. We aren’t living in poverty. Everything is gonna be fine! WE HAVE SO MUCH! Focus on that!”
“You’re Absolutely Right!” I replied. (This is one of those times when you’re grateful to have your kid throw in your face one of the lessons you taught him.)
Think I’m nuts? TRY IT! It only takes a couple minutes. Just find a place to sit and be still with yourself. (It’s fun to do outside if the weather is nice.)
Close your eyes and just let your body relax. Take a short break from all the bullshit in your life.
Focus and breathe in all the great stuff, whatever it is for you. Let the rest fall away. Re-live a time when you were worry free and how it feels. Maybe it was the relief you felt after discovering you had more money that you thought. Or getting a clean bill of health from the doc. Or knowing your child is safe.
Whatever takes you to that place of relief, knowing that everything is fine, use it!
FEEL IT! Let it permeate your body. Once you’ve got a hold of it, stay there for a minute. It feels great! Right?
Let your mind expand into thinking about how lucky you are to be having THIS moment. Focus on all the great stuff in your life. Maybe it’s spending time with a lover, or people who make you laugh your ass off or just knowing you’re in good health.
Throw in a quick exercise in contrasts and reflect only momentarily on those who have less, whether it’s emotionally, financially, socially, mentally, whatever.
Feel how lucky you are to experience things like curiosity, intellect, joy, compassion and love.
Be grateful for the unique person you are, no matter how “goofy”. You’re here for a reason! Celebrate that. Feel the joy and excitement you bring to others and they to you.
Finally, take that feeling of fullness and imagine that you already have the things you WANT in life and FEEL Grateful that they are there! If it’s a lover, feel his or her embrace. If it’s prosperity, feel the joy of being able to give to others freely. If it’s acceptance by those you love, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is. Just feel it as though you’re reflecting back on something that already exists. Kind of like it’s old news. As a salesperson might say, “Assume the close!”
Starting to feel that sense of contentment and gratitude?
It feels like you are being enveloped by warmth, trust and a powerful sense of connection that opens your mind to endless possibilities because all the crap has fallen away for the moment. It’s like floating, but you have never been more present than you are in THIS moment.
It takes a bit of practice. The more you do it the easier it gets.
I used to hear about the power of gratitude and think “Gratitude. Yada yada yada. I always thank people.etc. Ok. I’ll start a gratitude list.” But it never lasted.
But actually experiencing it within your body? It’s bliss! Seriously. There is little that makes you feel more alive, than living in the moment and loving what you already have. The world is your oyster and the possibilities…endless.
If you have trouble totally embracing it the first time, no worries. I assure you, you’ll get better at it, to the point where you’ll look forward to it. And much like sex, or exercise, you’ll miss it when you skip a day.