There is much to be gained by approaching life with grateful hearts and minds. Scientists have found that practicing gratitude can have many benefits. Grateful people experience positive emotions; they are more joyful, happy, optimistic, generous and compassionate. Grateful people feel less isolated and lonely. Those who are grateful have stronger immune systems.
Gratitude has been part of spiritual practice for centuries. It is encouraged in many spiritual disciplines from Taoism to Judaism. For example, Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad in it.” This is a simple, beautiful reminder that we can be secure and grateful each day regardless of what that brings.
Most spiritual teachings assure us that we already have everything we need because if we truly live from our connection to the Divine there is nothing to surpass that. The world tries to teach us the opposite. It runs on the scarcity principle that warns there is never enough. That notion never comes from truth. The great Chinese sage Lao Tzu tells us, “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” A Course in Miracles teaches, “Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything, have no needs of any kind.” (Text pg. 11)
The Guys have talked recently about paying attention to those times when our perception becomes deception. The perception that we lack anything, or that there is a scarcity of love or resources, is one of the great deceptions of this plane of existence. It is what allows the ego to thrive here, and perpetuates the fear-based nature of the world.
Many believe that they can only be grateful when their life improves, when they have enough. However, true gratitude is a mindset that does not come from outer circumstances. It comes from living in harmony with what is. It comes from knowing that when you love God, yourself and others you have everything. A grateful person can’t help but raise their vibration, which allows their love to ring out to those around them. The Guys so often talk about letting your temple bell ring, let it ring love and gratitude.
I would like to suggest that we all take a look at our lives, and where we don’t live fully from a mindset of gratitude, we must ask why. Begin to look at where gratitude is most difficult. In those areas, begin to consider what there is to be grateful for in that situation. Ask yourself, what is the gift here? Focus your attention there. Rest assured that when you begin to seek the gifts inherent in all situations, gratitude will reign in your heart and mind.