I was thinking about how gratitude is a door we open to Life’s energies. We only need to open the door a little. Frankly, that’s all the energy I have most of the time. Thinking I’m responsible for creating and holding this huge dream of peace on the planet is overwhelming for me. I can, however, crawl to the doorknob and push the door open just a crack.
Through that crack comes a wide range of energies that ebb and flow. You could think of them as radio stations that we tune ourselves to. We can label those radio stations as universal needs. Examples of these needs could include the need for respect, safety, clarity, or understanding. They are energies of life moving through me and through all people. When I say a thankful yes to dancing with any and all of those energies, it allows me to live in the flow of life more directly and opens me to a spontaneous experience of gratitude and joy.
Sometimes we push one of those specific radio preset button voluntarily.
When you share a joke or funny story, you could be dialing yourself into Joy. If you follow through on something you said you would do, you could dial yourself into integrity.
Other times, you seem to just land there. “Welcome! You’ve just tuned into Need for Belonging Radio, along with the rest of our listeners.”
It is different than focusing on what I might call “positive” and pushing away what I might consider “negative.” I embrace my experience in its wholeness, feeling the fullness of all feelings and present to the underlying needs When I am tuned into one of those radio stations that is uncomfortable, I match my dance to the music on that station. When I’m connected in that way, accepting what is present, I sense a vitality and authenticity that brings me to life. Just that presence is enough to lead me to gratitude.
This practice is so powerful and can have a great effect on your own daily living. It tends to be noticed by people around you, whether they are new faces in the line at the grocery store or your closest friends and family. Gratitude is one of the best ways I know to connect with our children. Sharing your gratefulness with them gives them a sense of really being seen for their beauty. It’s a splendid way for them to become aware of the power they have to make life wonderful for themselves and others while experiencing how good it feels to use that power.
Self Gratitude Exercise
- Pause 2X daily spontaneously or during planned times.
- Connect with Life reaching out through you now.
- Notice ways you are living, savoring, embodying, and sharing the things you most value.
- Give yourself gratitude for whatever is alive. This could be just stopping to notice and savor a way you are living out your values and your awareness of this process.
- Celebrate that you had the power to give to yourself or someone in a way that was nurturing whether or not it was acknowledged.
Notice what thoughts and feelings come up for you when you start to give yourself gratitude. Is it easy or hard? Are you nervous or relaxed?
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