Deeply-felt gratitude is powerful, and it happens to be the exact thing we need to be practicing if we want to live a happy and meaningful life. Whether we’re down in the dumps or feel on top of the world, gratitude remains one of the surest pathways to lasting fulfillment (and feeling good in general). Without this sense of reverence for life, abundance in the soul is just another thing we’ll never understand.
Thank you for having a plan that is greater than my own.
Seriously, and with complete sincerity, my breakdowns usually lead to breakthroughs. Training myself to keep my ears, eyes, and heart open to the sweet serendipities of the human experience—like finding joy within the healing that’s only happening because I felt broken at one point—is what gratitude is all about. It’s more than a feeling or a concept or something to practice if you want to be a happy person: Gratitude is a way of walking.
Time may or may not heal every wound, this I’m not sure of yet, but time does bring grace, gratitude, and beauty if we stay open to seeing things anew. The concept of appreciation always sounds like a good idea, but there are times when counting your blessings seems inappropriate and more painful than it’s worth; I hear you.
It remains a deep-seated truth of being alive on this planet, though, that building a genuine sense of reverence for life is essential to reaching our fullest potential. The pain is inevitable, surely, but there’s so much more than pain, and pain doesn’t have to inevitably become suffering, and we won’t suffer any longer once we realize something: Suffering is only necessary until it’s not helpful or comfortable.
Not that suffering is really all that comfortable or helpful, ever, but it’s usually easier than finding a new way to walk.“Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.” @EckhartTolle Click To Tweet
In honor of the road we’re all walking, I offer this affirmation. Gratitude isn’t ignorance of reality, but a conscious zoom into the complex fabric of humanity. We’re a mixture of emotions, and difficult situations don’t always call for our joy, but they do give us a chance to choose a focal point. What will we prioritize now? What can we do next? To what will we contribute? Who can we be from here?
Your gratitude is powerful because it takes in the complexities while asking your brain to also notice something beautiful, positive, or meaningful. Repeating this affirmation is a testament to who you’re capable of being, and what you’re capable of doing from this moment forward.
My Gratitude Is Powerful
My breakdowns lead to my breakthroughs. I honor everything as an opportunity to give love, and that could mean so many things. I could bring joy or sink into the present moment. Maybe I could pause to appreciate something or say something nice instead. While I may not have all the answers, I do know that I can start fresh anytime I’d like, and I’d like to do that right now.
My gratitude is a powerful, instant spiritual tool. I use it to take my brain off of autopilot and create the space necessary for noticing something that I’d otherwise pass over. My gratitude connects me to the joy that’s hidden in plain sight. However small my gratitude begins, I choose to water it because I know that a seed with nourishment won’t be just a seed for long.“Gratitude in advance is the most powerful creative force in the Universe.” — Neale Donald Walsh Click To Tweet
Painful things happen, this I do know. I also recognize my ability to stand in the presence of painful things and still stand in awe of all the light and dark I’m privileged to experience. I’m alive as I am, on this planet, with the people and things I love for a sliver of eternity. That is a great blessing, no matter what happens during my time here. My one task is to experience all the nuances of life, and I can do that best through presence and reverence.
My human brain is wired for survival, but my spiritual essence is here to thrive. There are challenges that come up, but I’m willing to show up for everything. I might be tempted to judge my human flaws, but it’s hard to be positive and negative at the same time, which is why I also practice encouraging myself and others. If I catch myself judging, I pause and deeply contemplate the miracle of being here at all. I can only do this if I’m present enough—if I show up.
If I’m negative, I’m not a horrible person. If my brain is conditioned to lean into the negative, I just ease up on myself. Gratitude teaches me that I can alter the cycle. I just need to keep showing up.True wealth is the ability to experience and appreciate each moment for what it’s worth. Click To Tweet
When My Mind Is Beautiful, Life Is Beautiful
When the mind is beautiful, all of life is beautiful. The mind can see that everything is terrible, or that everything is a miracle. It can plan and plot and worry, or it can welcome and receive and experience. I don’t force the mind to stop, but I zoom in on the seeds that could be watered.
My mind is absolutely capable of being a beautiful place to live, a place where I access the gifts of being alive. Even if I try to do all the right things and I hear the voice within telling me that “you didn’t try enough, you didn’t meditate enough, you didn’t exercise enough,” that’s still just the ego talking. That’s the conditioned mind. I know that my mind can be beautiful, and honoring that ideal is how I invest in my improvement.The struggle ends when gratitude begins. Click To Tweet
My undying gratitude gives me more energy to be the person I know I can be, and who I’m already connected to. When I don’t feel grateful, I honor that too, because it’s a sign that love is needed somewhere and the message is being delivered to me because I am the one who can alter the cycle. I’m encouraged to show up more fully, and so that’s what I’m willing to do.
I know how good gratitude feels, and I keep that memory alive in me during difficult times (the times that are hard to be grateful for). I don’t know the whole story, and I never will. I let the mystery of the unknown ground me in gratitude and awe. The situations that make me uncomfortable let me know that there’s something unhealed within me. For this message, I am thankful. For my presence that’s strong enough to hear the message, I am thankful.
In flesh, the consciousness feels pain. I am consciousness, in flesh, and I feel pain. What an extraordinary phenomenon it is that this organism is giving my whole self an experience of mortality. This body bears pain so that I can be here. I am the presence who sees this, knows this, and respects all of life. When I praise life through the pain, my mind is a beautiful place.
When gratitude is at the forefront of my mind, filtering through my body, altering my awareness, all of life is beautiful.
What’s already thriving in my life? Let me focus on that. What is working? Let me be present with that. What am I in joy with? Let me clarify what I love. This focus enriches my life right here and now, which is the only place I can make a change and accept a new direction.Joy loves when we are appreciating something we love. Click To Tweet
Gratitude is my superpower because I am consciousness breathing through a human experience. My presence is my power. When I stop to just notice how beautiful life can be, space is cleared for new energy to flow through me so that I can make life beautiful. I can bring beauty to life because I know how beautiful life can be, and I am powerful enough to contribute to the kind of world I want to live in.
I’d love to know
Please share your thoughts, grateful moments, helpful practices that ground you in awe during hard times, and any stories of reconnecting with life’s beauty with me in the comments.
Share your superpowers with the people in your life; send them this affirmation to awaken their power.
The next time you make a conscious decision to be present with something you’re grateful for, capture the experience. Write it down, stay with it for two more beats, share the experience with someone—in some way, savor it. You are starting an upward positive spiral. You are teaching your brain what to zoom in on. You’re bringing beauty to life.
Have I told you lately that I appreciate you?
With love, because I’m ultra grateful that you’re here with me,