Gratitude gives us the power to reclaim our joy and puts everything into perspective, like looking at the stars in a dark sky. It melts away want and self-centeredness and plants our feet firmly back on the ground.
It's easy to remember on a beautiful, sunny day like today, as I write, sitting on the banks of Barton Creek. The times I am most in need of this sacred practice are when I find myself, intolerant of others, afraid of a future (and unlikely) event, or lost in the past. Gratitude brings us back to the holy now, this moment. The moment that nourishes, engages all of our senses and, reminds us of oneness. Often, I need to be reminded. When I'm struggling, when bombarded by negative, subconscious thoughts or when I've eaten poorly, the day (or two) before, and feeling depressed or unmotivated. Establishing regular practices of gratitude keeps wind in our sails and allows us to tap into our most humble, authentic self.
Practices for Gratitude:
- Meditation and Prayer
- Surrender – When stuck or overwhelmed, a simple acknowledgment that our control is limited and often an illusion. We can instead, turn over the outcome to the God of our understanding.
- Gratitude List – at times I have done this daily, it is a powerful way to re-center
- Be of service - a simple act of kindness
- Embrace or engage with a child
- Say thanks before every meal
Gratitude has the power to reset our priorities, allow healing tears, and deeply connect us to the state of joy, the root of happiness. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for my life, this moment, the nature that surrounds me, my family, my beautiful, sweet twins, my health and the health of my family, my teachers (i.e. everyone I attract into my life), my self-awareness, my commitment to personal and spiritual development, my assets and all potential areas for growth.
In the Lakota tradition, the word Aho implies agreement and is loosely translated, "Amen." The simple practice of gratitude offers so much. Aho.