For countless generations we all grew up to the admonitions such as “Be grateful, say thank you”. No wonder that we now universally believe that the only way to have gratitude is be able to say thank you. Most practices to cultivate an attitude of gratitude has one needing to express thanks to God or some higher power for basic things such as providing us with the air we breathe and the water we drink. This is of course a good practice and it does work, well at least most of the time it does!
The important point to note is that for countless generations humans have recognised the benefits of having that attitude of gratitude. It benefits the one who says thank you in a deeper and more profound way than the one who receives the thanks. The only folly then is the notion that gratitude needs the other. You need someone to have given you something and to whom you can say thanks for you to feel grateful!
I shall first deal with the benefits of Gratitude and then give you a better understanding of actually what is Gratitude and how to go about cultivating a default state of gratefulness. The original Positive Attitude is; Gratitude. When you have gratitude, you begin to experience an almost magical life of synchronicity and flow rather than one of chaos and hurdles. We start to emit a glow of radiance and joy when gratitude is deeply cultivated in us. Even the physical body seems to become healthier, fitter, sleep better. Gratitude also improves your mental health and fosters better relationships. Just Google “Benefits of gratitude” and you can read about scientific research findings on this.
What then is Gratitude?
Gratitude is a state of mind, it is a mindset, a paradigm, a stance, a back of the mind being thing rather than an action oriented one or a doing such as saying thank you. In fact the state of being grateful is already the default state of being for all human beings! At the core of our being, we are already grateful. When we are born, we are already grateful and we keep shining with radiance and joy; just see the face of a tiny baby to know this as a fact! To cultivate a default state of gratitude therefore, we need to learn to stop doing something rather than learn to do something.
How then do we cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude?
By learning to stop being distracted and carried away by our thoughts all the time.
Just for a moment stop engaging with the thoughts in your thinking mind and look around and notice.
The simple act of noticing what is, in the here and now and then following it up with acknowledging that which we notice, is all that is needed to open that lock on our hearts allowing the energy of gratitude to flow out and fill you up.
If you look around to see what is in the here and now and notice that there is a threat, a problem, an opportunity, a foreboding, a bad feeling, a good feeling, etc it doesn’t work because you are still trapped within your thoughts and emotions and are unable to notice the simplicity of this moment in the here and now.
Instead you can notice all of the above and say:
-That your thinking mind is here- in the here and now and there are emerging thoughts about wants and don’t-wants in the thinking mind.
-You can notice your feeling-emotional mind is here in the here and now and there are emerging emotions of likes and dislikes occurring in it.
-You can notice your sensing body is here and there are painful or pleasurable sensations emerging in it.
This just says that life IS in the here and now in its multidimensional, phenomenal panorama within us and all round us. This observation is a disengaged observation of the reality of what is rather than what appears to be and it takes us back to our core state of gratitude.
On a day to day routine basis, it would further help to just pause and notice simple little things around us and acknowledge them:
-Simple acknowledgement of the air around me,
-The ability of breathing within me and the presence of oxygen in the air that sustains the life within me, gets me instantly back into the state of gratefulness.
-You can notice the clothes on your body,
-The furniture on which you are sitting,
-The roof over your head,
-The device on which you are reading this,
-The possession of language skills that enable you to read this, anything.
Just notice what is in the here and now or in other words just acknowledge the ISNESS of this moment.
Gratitude as a state of being and requires consistent coming back to. PfP’s SelvanS Daily Online Guided Meditation helps you foster your new habit of being in a state of gratitude all the time to experience and enjoy a radiant joyful life of synchronicity and flow.