“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
Let me tell you a story.
When I was in my twenties, I slept in a cabin with four other people for three months. One night we were away giving presentations about our work and the cabin caught fire. Burned down with just about everything in it.
Once we ascertained that no one was hurt and that the forest hadn’t been damaged,
Imagine the chest-pounding! Imagine the gnashing of teeth!
Imagine the distraught families! Imagine the blame, the recriminations.
Or imagine acceptance. Focusing on what we had all around us. Noticing what we truly missed and what was purely an inconvenience.
I missed my journals, my photographs, and my violin, yes, AND the overwhelming feeling from the experience was freedom. Freedom to redefine what was important to me.
Gratitude as a practice. Finding the gift underneath the surface.
Gratitude as an act of thankfulness, the way we express appreciation for gifts or services, taken to a deeper level.
Gratitude as an attitude which imbues every aspect of every day—a practice.
It contains everything, as Cicero tells us—it contains the universe.
That reminds me of the William Blake quote:
To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.
My approach to gratitude talks about the power of gratitude as the peace, ownership, and worthiness inherent in the practice of gratitude.
I begin my morning with a rhythm that revolves around gratitude. What are gratitude boosters that you do every day without realizing it?
Listening to music
Listening to birds
Contemplating your coffee or tea
What fills you up? What connects you to your source—the everlasting, ever-full, well of gratitude?
Something we hear about frequently is to write down three things we are grateful for each morning and each evening. Maybe start with listing them in your mind. Maybe start with morning or evening.
The small commitment is worth it.
We now have science to back up our intuition that gratitude heals.
We now have documentation to make the “left” sides of our brains happy.
We have proof that gratitude reduces blood pressure, heals acne, improves our sleep, and increases our sexual satisfaction.
Some interesting studies have been done—and more are on their way, so stay tuned, and keep tapping into your gratitude—like a river that is always ready, always flowing.
Remember, gratitude is a practice, not a thing. We can add and build and begin at any time.
I am going to stop writing now to pause for a moment of connection, of gratitude.
Oh! I did eventually get a new violin and I plunk around with it every now and then. Grateful.
Want to come practice gratitude with me? I couple gratitude with nutritional support and I'm leading a free masterclass on sugar-detoxing and anxiety-busting for women February 15-22, 2021. Here's the link to sign up.