It’s easy to declare “I am grateful!” when life is obviously going very well and looks blessed from all angles. How could we possibly be grateful for everything, though—the lows, the “bad,” the mistakes and failures, the pain and suffering? We’re bound to experience all sorts of resistance to gratitude during more difficult experiences, but maybe we’re here just to be here: to show up, to experience being alive. Perhaps, the experience of being alive is worthy of appreciation all on its own, in all its glorious tragedy and messy beauty.
“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” – Michael Josephson
Gratitude is the very injection of spirit that allows us to show up in the present moment with a quiet knowing that all is well. We more readily savor the good events gone by; the emotions from our past are graciously lifted higher. The slate has been cleared so that today really does become new, unlike all the other days that felt (and thus were) the same.
When the words “I am grateful” ring true within the walls of our heart, it’s clear how sacred this experience really is—all of it (even the not-so-sacredness) and all at once.
If you want to experience life from a wholehearted place of awe, appreciating and honoring life as it breathes through you, I hope this affirmation serves your journey.
I Am Grateful to Be Here, Knowing That All Is Well
Through gratitude, I am expansive enough to see how deeply my soul has been woven into the fabric of conscious life.
I imagine what it feels like to be connected to everything in nature. I imagine that everyone is my brother, my sister, a child. There, the process of judgment automatically halts and there is just appreciating and honoring. Where there was once judging, now there is respect and cherishing. I feel like I’m participating in life, like everything on the surface was fused together a long time ago.
It’s not all going to be clear. The ultimate significance of my acts of service, the gifts I have to share, the pain I’ve gone through, and even my entire life may not be clear. I continue to do everything I can to lead a life that feels meaningful, and yet I surrender my attachment to how I want everything I’ve done to turn out. This surrendering brings me back “home,” so I can participate in life instead of standing back and judging it.
It doesn’t all need to make sense to be well. Gratitude is the recognition that, ultimately, all is well.
As I stand grounded in humble respect and appreciation for all the work involved in my lifetime—the constellation of right and wrong, dark and light, suffering and softening, competition and compassion, confusion and clarity—I move with this joy as a guide. If faltering cannot be a friend, it can at least be a catalyst, and another guide, for the inner work that sustains my energy and inspiration.There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy. – Ralph H. Blum Click To Tweet
As I imagine how souls might understand their inherent connections with all that is, my humanness sees past the obvious and I feel like a drop of water falling back into the ocean. For this moment, I remember the truth, and the whole ocean opens up to me.
With this kind of appreciation, it’s as if there’s no differentiation, no separation and no judgment. There is only “a calmness,” as Blum has said, “a quiet joy.” There is eternity, right now beating in my heart, and everything suddenly makes sense (though it’s more than words can touch, and much higher than reason can reach). It’s a level of total connection, total oneness, and total ease.
A Few of the Ways I Express How Grateful I Am Becoming
When what I have is enough, it becomes more than enough. Through gratitude, I open myself up to more.
Gratitude is a daily practice that requires my devoted presence, and though faltering is in the stars (I am human, after all) rising above and catching a glimpse of the intricate masterpiece I’m part of is also my destiny.
My grateful devotion takes me to this realm where all is well; it’s like I’m given new eyes with which to see the larger picture.
Each time I affirm that I am grateful, and I allow these words of affirmation to soak into my system until I’m vibrating their very truth with every ounce of my being, my mind opens, and so does my heart. I am open to the abundance that was always available, and I dip my toes in its endless ocean. There’s space for love to not just come in, but to come through.Give, receive, inhale, exhale, in, out, come, go—this is the rhythm of a grateful heart. Click To Tweet
I practice where I want to go and how I want to feel in this experience of being alive. These are some of the ways I make contact with the quiet joy—the sound of reverence—that lights up my heart and soul:
- I capture my appreciation in writing. It could be every night or once a month, but I keep my gratitude journal active and alive with the beatings of my heart. I may write down three or five things I’m grateful for, or maybe just write freely and in depth about one particular object of appreciation.
- I honor mindful living. As I strengthen my awareness of my thoughts, words, and actions, I see all the reasons I do and believe certain things. I am grateful for the insight mindfulness brings: gems of truth, touchstones for transformation, beliefs needing a shift, a life lived with intention.
- I throw my cares to the Universe. I don’t give up on what matters to me, but I remain flexible in the ways I walk the journey. If I’m feeling doubtful about my gratitude, I practice trusting and surrendering every “must” and “should.” I can appreciate and honor and still get done what I need to get done.
- I write thank you notes. When I need a lift, I consider all the ways someone has helped me along my path, in any particular way. I write them a heartfelt letter, letting them know how much their support still means to me. I feel good sending these letters, and the compassion contained in them sends an immeasurable ripple out into the “great ocean.”
- I lovingly meet my ungrateful thoughts, face to face. When I feel like gratitude just isn’t in the cards today, I dispute that thought. I am the detective, hunting for the root belief behind each thought pattern—not the thoughts themselves but the one who sees. I am an active participant in the rewiring of my brain; I consciously seek the ways I can dig up gratitude right in the middle of a hardened thought pattern. The key is always to remain conscious, aware, judgment-free, and compassionate.
Ultimately, all is well and I am grateful for the constellation that is my life.
- Name just one “thing” you are grateful for today—grateful for having, for experiencing, for being, for knowing, or for not knowing. How do you describe the feeling this brings?
- What’s one practice that keeps you feeling connected and in tune with all of life, and feeling like all is well on the highest level?
As always, please share your thoughts, appreciation, and any helpful stories with me in the comments.
Be a spokesperson for gratitude, and share this affirmation with someone you are blessed to be here with.
Start every new phase, each new activity and season, and even a new breath, with these three space-making words: I Am Grateful. See what happens.