“I am grateful for what I am and what I have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Before neuroscience confirmed the numerous benefits of gratefulness, this sentiment shows that 19th century poet Henry David Thoreau already knew the importance of experiencing gratefulness in his life…
We humans tend to focus on primarily what we lack (or perceive as lack!) rather than the many privileges we already enjoy. I believe gratefulness is a function of attention; it can be cultivated through daily sincere self-reflection. I have personally experienced the benefits of engaging in gratefulness practices during the last eight years. I was immersed in the process of working on a book and teachings about pursuing balance. I am very grateful because I was able to complete this endeavor during that time against all odds. It was during one of the most painful grief periods of my life so the practice of gratitude became fundamental to my writing. The creative process was both exhilarating and arduous, stretching me sometimes to my limits. Whenever I was on the verge of falling into a negative thought pattern I focused on my heart center, gradually shifting my attention to the countless blessings in my life.
A personal “gratefulness list” is a simple yet powerful tool we can all apply regularly. I was (and still am) moved and humbled as I realized that I never seemed to be running out of things to be grateful for. This practice also allowed me to gently redirect my awareness back into the core of who I truly am. The beauty of gratefulness is that it is not dependent on our life circumstances, as challenging as they may be. I read a quote that was the last words of David Steindl-Rast: “Our approach to gratefulness has to be big enough to embrace all the difficulties of the world.” Indeed, we need a perspective bold enough to hold all paradoxes of the human condition. This is especially true at this critical evolutionary juncture where we find ourselves today, individually and collectively.
I believe our deepest sense of gratefulness always comes through grace with the humbling awareness that, ultimately, we were created from love. That we have an open invitation to return to love at any given moment in our lives is a state of awareness...
With a thankful heart and acknowledgement of gratitude for your support and love through the years. May you be blessed, staying safe and healthy, and feel peace with your life.
All my love,