14 Nov 2018 Deep Gratitude- An Act of Power!
As we prepare for Thanksgiving week here in the US, thoughts about gratitude are upon me in new ways. We live in tumultuous times in many parts of the world. Natural disasters, the political climate, reorganizations at work, difficulties with loved ones, numerous addictions – including to digital devices, the unprecedented pace of change, and other uncertainties consume much of our attention. During such times, feelings of despair, fear, concern, sadness, anger, overwhelm and grief can easily dominate. Gratitude might seem less accessible. And yet, now more than ever, in the thick of such anguish, deep gratitude is perhaps most important.
There is a popular saying that ‘the consciousness that got us into this mess isn’t the consciousness that will get us out of this mess.’ We need an expanded consciousness, one with a higher vibrational frequency, with which to meet life.
To our egos, the practice of gratitude during these difficult times may seem incongruent, weak and naive. Yet, when we allow ourselves to experience gratitude we are tapping into the capacities of the heart. We are activating and awakening a strength unseen to the ordinary ways of our world.
As one of my teachers, Angeles Arrien, said:
“Gratitude awakens another way of being in the world,
one that nurtures the heart and helps create a life
of meaning and purpose. The old barriers no longer
constrict or claim us. Gratitude opens us to freedom,
a sense of generosity, and connection to the wider world.”
In our language, gratitude moves us toward Presence!
It is illuminating to notice the etymological connection between the words gratitude and grace. Both come from the same Latin word ‘gratus’. When we experience gratitude our hearts soften and we’re able to receive ourselves and the world around us more fully. We can see beauty and flow that would otherwise remain unseen.
Practicing gratitude is also a doorway into working with mystery. Because gratitude often entails acknowledging things we didn’t actively seek out, it brings visibility to the creative forces of Life. It causes us to pause and recognize that we are not alone; that our true role in this human experience is to fully show up and co-partner with Life as it unfolds moment by moment.
Gratitude is a turning of our attention to what we appreciate. Taking a moment to acknowledge and feel into those things we are grateful for can be a truly life changing practice. Whether it be an act of kindness we receive from someone, the beauty of nature all around us, the life-giving gift of each breath, or the multitude of other things we can feel appreciation for, with gratitude we are left feeling happier and stronger.
During the Thanksgiving season, join me in making gratitude a regular practice in your life. And remember, practicing gratitude is an Act of Power!
by Ipek Serifsoy