How significant this word has become for me in the last few weeks. Gratitude has always presented itself to me over the years in various metaphorical situations and stories, but I never really seemed to acknowledge its existence in my own life.
I still remember vividly a few months ago driving back home on a particular chilly afternoon. Let’s just say I was feeling complete frustration…frustration with people, with my career, with society….frustration in life in general. A peculiar moment occurred during this particular day that would change the way I felt about Gratitude.
As I walked into my home, I observed how my energy seemed drained, particularly when days ended and I grudgingly trod myself over to gym before heading back home, feeling robotic in some of the mundane tasks I would normally do. I noticed how this was becoming routine, dangerously routine! I realized a feeling of Gratitude had disappeared from my life, even for the smallest, seemingly most insignificant areas of life.
I observed how my constant complaining, both non verbally and verbally actually started my days off in a rut, eventually getting me to end off the day feeling drained, perhaps mentally exhausted from the millions of movies I was playing in my mind, wondering what new fatal chapter would arrive that would give me more reason to not feel Gratitude.
Once this epiphany presented itself, I knew something had to give. I have watched countless documentaries and short videos showing the power and benefit of expressing Gratitude (read The Secret), fleetingly acknowledging from time to time how I had to start practicing this ritual. Perhaps in this explosion of frustration I knew it was time to start somewhere now or turn into the abyss of self pity.
Slowly I began researching the various ways to practice gratitude, not least by mere sayings of simple Thank Yous. One book in particular caught my attention, a book about a man who describes how his project of writing Thank You notes to people for over a year transformed different areas of his life bit by bit. It must have been some transformation for him to even write a book about it!
I realized I had to apply some simple habit or process that would involve me really expressing a strong sense of Gratitude. It didn’t need to be something that felt like a daily chore; I had been there and done that and the last thing I really needed was another spiritual chore to imbibe.
I realized how I started and ended my day was going to be absolutely critical in my new practice of expressing Gratitude or giving Thanks. By writing something to be grateful for while waking up and before retiring for the day, I felt it would really impact my general energy during the day. The most simple approach was to write just one thing to be grateful on each of these moments. Thankfully a friend of mine gave me one of the best gifts and reasons to start this habit, and I found new vigor to use the gift for it’s fit purpose.
It’s been a few short weeks since I started adopting this new gratitude habit. I have to say without sounding cliche, the results have been amazing. I have slowly started noticing many small positive changes in my life in general. Sure, not all is always hunky and dory, but what this practice has helped me to do is realize that by expressing Gratitude daily, I am also reminded to be in the present. Being in the present has often given me cues and reasons to find something to be grateful for.
A clear example of how this practice has been significantly positive is in reacting (or not reacting) to people’s energies that are draining; I find once I experience such energy, it acts as another reminder to learn from the situation and to find the good out of that situation which I can be grateful for.
It’s hard to tell how practicing this in the long run will benefit me more, but it’s the process of my energy shift which really shows the power of expressing gratitude. I learnt how I made things complicated in my life, which is why I often started feeling frustration.
Most people will be grateful for the more common things like a house to live in, a good car to drive, a great family or partner, or the ability to have lots of money to spend on luxuries. While these are all great and good reason to show gratitude, forming the gratitude writing exercise has also taught me to recognize the intangible aspects to be grateful for. I believe this is very crucial because some days it’s hard to find tangible areas to be grateful for as you run out of the more common ones.
There’s a reason mystics, sages, and gurus have often expressed how expressing Gratitude or Thanks is one of the most powerful ways of transforming one’s life. We live in a complicated world and this is why I believe people have forgotten such simple principles which would help them revitalize and live an idealistic life with passion and zest. This is what all the experts have been trying to teach for years, if not centuries.
It’s a moment of thanks that I can express this in my blog as well now. What’s there for you to be grateful for? When is your moment of thanks? For every moment of thanks, you could be one step closer to living a more abundant and fulfilling life.
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