This Holiday season, take the risk and go for the gratitude that scares the shit out of you. Most of us *think* about the things we are grateful for. That's great - but there is a deeper and more fulfilling experience to have if you're willing to take the risk to experience it.
Many people report that when they focus on what they are grateful for, this automatically generates a fear that they will lose those things. This, in turn, causes many of us to avoid gratitude - consciously or unconsciously. We think that if we hold back just a little bit, we can be saved from the future pain of possible loss. But loss is part of life, and living a little less fully doesn't save you from it.
In fact, research shows that gratitude actually helps us cope with crisis. As we cultivate a gratitude practice, a psychological immune system forms that helps to cushion our fall when we encounter adversity. There is scientific evidence that grateful people are more resilient to stress, whether minor everyday hassles or major personal upheavals.
I'll bet that there is something - or many somethings - that if you allow yourself to really FEEL your gratitude for it, you will cry like a little baby. You will shake, you will shiver, you will be brought to your knees. You will be humbled, frightened, elated, ecstatic, startled, in-awe... raptured. This is gratitude from the soul.
This is the kind of gratitude that wakes the Universe up and puts Her at your command. It moves obstacles in your life and opens doors. This soul-shaking experience of gratitude is your 'magic beans' and your pair of 'ruby slippers', and the more you practice it, the easier it is to live from this space allowing more 'magic' to seep into your everyday.
Taking the time to focus on the subtler treasures of life - such as a fresh breeze, a breathtaking view, a stranger's beautiful facial expression, or a blooming plant - takes life to a new level of fulfillment a pleasure. Once you learn to cultivate it - you'll never go back. Life passes us by, and the magic of the present moment often eludes us. As humans, we miss out on opportunities to connect with humanity, savor our lives, and recognize all we are grateful for and appreciate.
Happy Thanksgiving week to each of you, and may you each find a million moments this week to experience awe & gratitude for:
And just for fun, one of my favorite videos about gratitude:
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Mindy Amita Aisling