Being grateful for all that we have is one of the keys to true happiness.
Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for tangible or intangible gifts an individual receives.
It’s the spotlight we shine on otherwise invisible blessings or that beaming smile that radiates from our hearts and swells with joy and love on the people who give freely to us or when we give freely.
But is there more to gratitude than meets the eye?
Over the years gratitude has been a neglected virtue but it seems through spiritual practices this virtue is making a come back.
Our daily life is fast-paced and with it comes many distractions which makes forgetting the importance of gratitude easy. It’s true, and we’ve all been guilty of not showing appreciation at one time or another.
My guru said that gratitude is not an attitude; it is something that flows out of you.
If it is a cultivated attitude, one of little meaning, mumbled in passing or mentioned without looking up – it is not of much significance, like the magic words thank you most of the time; those words are over-rated sometimes.
Gratitude is when you are overwhelmed by something or somebody’s gesture.
It’s a moment or many moments strung together where you are touched by an experience and it doesn’t necessarily find expression in the form of eloquence; it could be a quick glance, a soft touch, or a teardrop.
The only way for us to be truly grateful is by understanding and recognising all the wonderful things we have in our lives.
Think of your breath, the food you eat, or the sun rising and setting, a dark starry night, the full moon beaming white light to the earth, aren’t these things worthy of your gratitude?
In our busy world, take three minutes to experience peace, love and an overall connectedness with everything – feel gratitude.
The simplest form of yoga is Namaskar or better known as Namaste. It’s closing your palms together and if you look at someone or something with loving attention, you will naturally begin to feel happier, more peaceful and gracious.
Your palms have a lot of nerve endings something medical science agrees with.
When you place your hands together; your likes and dislikes, your cravings and aversions, your yin and yang, your polar sides all level out. There is a oneness as the energies function together.
WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR TODAY? Ask yourself…
There are many studies that have found that recognising your blessings on a regular basis not only leads to feeling more optimistic and enjoying a greater overall satisfaction with life, it can also have some pretty amazing physical and emotional benefits.
- Enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- Increases self-esteem
- Lower levels of depression
- Increases resilience, better able to cope with stress
- Improves mental alertness
This is only a short list, there are plenty more side effects of gratitude, actually, quite a comprehensive list can be found if you want to take the time to GOOGLE.
The point is once you become aware of all the things you have to be grateful for, you’ll find you begin to appreciate the simple pleasures in life more and things that you previously took for granted.
Gratitude is not just a reaction to getting what you want, but cultivate an all-the-time gratitude; the kind where you notice the little things like the colour of a flower or a butterfly flitting by, or a smile from a stranger, a gesture of kindness to be next in line at the checkout, or where you see the positive in unsavoury situations.
Start giving today to experience gratitude!
Gracious Anjali Mudra
I opened the front door one early morn so crisp
The sunburnt sky bought a curve to my lips
I breathed in the cool air as the new day gave birth
And walked down the stairs to the waiting green earth
I stood barefoot upon the fresh soft grass
And looked to the sky as birds flew past
The smell of roses red, yellow and pink
Swayed in the delicate breeze
While I took a seat
I sat with my legs crossed beneath my body
And raised my palms to begin my samadhi
My face angled up as I breathed in deep –
immersing myself in a dreamless sleep
I gave gratitude for my children
For keeping me young
I showed gratitude for my health
Because it allows me to live fully sprung
I was thankful for my career
Which helps to feed my family
And showed thanks for my garden
And the produce it supplies me
I was thankful for my loving sisters
Who make me spiritually complete
By sharing their experiences so divinely sweet
Be open to see and feel magic in your life
By keeping a tree in your heart and
Inner light as the source of your life
I offered Anjali Mudra and whispered Namaste
Before walking back up the stairs
To start my blessed day…