I’ve been a spiritual seeker since I was sixteen when I saw Deepak Chopra on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the early 90s. I discovered many more teachers along the way, including Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Neale Donald Walsch, Abraham-Hicks, and many more. Many of them have inspired me to new insights and deeper levels of awareness.
It has become clear to me that emotional well-being is at the basis of all these teachings. Emotional well-being could be defined as inner peace, joy, contentment, confidence, grace, creativity, or love. When we dwell in these glorious states, miracles occur. Life takes on a magical quality, and things start to fall into place almost effortlessly.
Gratitude is one of the highest forms of emotional well-being. It is a concept that gets thrown around a lot and I’ve noticed that it’s often misunderstood. It seems like people think it’s about escaping a close call or being free from something unwanted, but there is another level of gratitude that consists of noticing what you are grateful for, even when conditions are good.
It’s a feeling of deep and rich contentment. It is acknowledging, savoring, and enjoying what’s in front of you right now. It is the ultimate in being present. You can feel grateful for a beautiful flower, someone’s friendly smile, or any number of “ordinary” moments. Gratitude makes these moments extraordinary because you are noticing and enjoying something that you might normally overlook.
The trick is to dwell in these good-feeling states more of the time. There are many ways to keep gratitude alive in your life, and here are three simple ways to get started:
Take pictures of things that inspire you.
Throughout the day, be on the lookout for things that make you feel grateful, and take some quick snapshots. If you go for a walk, look for wildflowers, interesting cracks in the pavement, or beautiful cloud formations.
This group can have about two to six members. Email each other with the things you feel grateful for each day, and watch your experience of gratitude grow. I’ve been doing this for over a year and it has had a profound effect on the way I live because I’m always looking for and finding things to share with my group!
Write thank-you notes, tell your loved ones you’re thankful they are in your life, express your gratitude wildly and fearlessly, and watch your relationships transform.
If one of these ideas has inspired you, commit to applying it your life. It’s nice to feel inspired for a moment, but implementing these practices is empowering and potentially life-changing. When you start cultivating this feeling of gratitude, you’ll notice that you will keep experiencing more and more things to feel grateful for! That’s just how it works.
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