In our ever changing lives, it is important that we practice grateful living. What does it mean to practice grateful living? Grateful living is active. It asks us to step into our lives and participate and to cultivate all the possibilities that live on the other side of our busyness. Sunday morning I woke up with feelings of gratitude. Which leads me to my subject for this week and what does it mean to practice grateful living.
Step one – Stop – by stopping and listening you cultivate a presence of being aware
Step Two – Look – Look for ways to be grateful
Step Three – Go – Going for what is possible
STEP ONE – Stop – by stopping and listening you cultivate a presence of being aware.
Being Present opens us to vulnerability and with vulnerability comes messiness but magical, tumultuous, yet tender, and a serious sacredness to us. Being present allows our eyes and hearts to be open to life. Being fully present can make life’s experiences of belonging as well as isolation, beauty and heartbreak, it will usher us into an awareness of the preciousness of life and will lay a foundation for our capacity of gratefulness.
STEP TWO - Look - Look for ways to be grateful
Having perspective allows us to be fully present in our experience and lets us see something from a “birds eye” view. In having perspective we can have the direct experience and also be gaining insight about that experience as the exact same time. This is called “perspective-taking” which allows us to experience compassion, empathy and deep consideration for ourselves and others. This is a key building block for connection, intimatcy and grateful living.
An important reason to practice cultivating perspective is that it can help wake us up and keep us awake to the gifts in our lives without needing an actual "wake up call” experience. “It was a wake-up-call” happenings are often those wherein we lose – or almost lose something we deeply treasure but can take for granted: health, home, money, job, family, friends etc. We also know it best not to need them in order to be/stay awake to what we truly love. Better to remember to appreciate it all now.
Grateful living practice means practicing gratitude even when, redirecting our thoughts in when life experiences hit us. We can ask ourselves, what perspective would help me feel grateful now? Or What perspective will help me open a sense of opportunity for me?
STEP THREE – Go- going for what is possible
When we are present to life – with perspective – and aware of the opportunities around us, then we are called to act. Then it is time to go. Time to generate a new or renewed experience. Time to cultivate possibility. Time to make a change.
With perspective and possibility, our experiences of "not enough" can shift to "more than enough", and we realize that we do not need more, different, or better in order to lead our lives fully, gratefully, and generously. This shift makes more of life available to us. We become more aware of the vast resources and possibilities life is offering us in every moment. Seeing what is possible allows us to create and act in ways that reinforce having a world for which we, and others, can feel truly grateful. The magic is in the fact that the more that we act with intention, showing gratitude, the more grateful we all can become.