I want to ask to what level do you experience gratitude? I have made every effort to keep a gratitude journal expressing all the events, people and connections that I have been grateful for throughout the day. And while I may not be as consistent with it in the past, I recently discovered a way to go deeper into my gratitude.
What I found is that gratitude is all about receiving and acknowledging my capacity to receive. In this discovery, I have been excited to write down in detail at least one thing that I am grateful for each day and WHY I am grateful for this person, event or circumstance in my life.
I encourage you to find a way you can connect on a deeper level your gratitude for life, living and all that is given, without judging it as good or bad. I especially enjoy the challenge of being grateful for those things that don't go the way I thought they should. There are true gems in these events. This has trained me to always look beyond and to invite something greater to come forth for me to receive.
Recently, I wrote in my journal:
"Today I am grateful that our poker table didn't sell for $400. This allowed me to re-post it for $500 and to receive more for it. I am grateful that it didn't take long to sell it to a buyer who was excited to pay full price for it. Taking this extra income, I was able to donate more money to my dear friend who is facing medical bills that are more than she has available."
As I wrote that, I was able to connect to the energy of all that is being created from this experience. Now every time I think of this situation, I get to be that energy of generosity and gratitude.
Even as I write this, I get that just in the act of BEING grateful we are creating a greater future. As we are willing to receive, more is given.
If you aren't keen on writing in a journal, consider maybe drawing, singing or connecting to your creativity in your own unique way; whatever allows you to bring forth the richness of your gratitude. See what changes in your life after you have connected to your gratitude on a deeper level, I am sure something will change.
Two points of interest come to mind when I speak of parenting and gratitude.
Of course modeling gratitude to your children is vital. It isn't as much about making your children be grateful as it is about inviting them to the energy of BEing gratitude. I would even venture to say that kids freely express their gratitude through their excitement and freedom of receiving. Just watch a child who opens a gift that they truly wanted. That is gratitude in its purest form. No formal thanks needed.
Incorporating the why into the gratitude allows our children to connect to receiving fully and acknowledging the gift and its true contribution. Showing kids that we can be grateful for unfortunate situations as well as the good things that come along will allow kids to see that greater possibilities do exist. It teaches them that they do not need to be the victims of any situation and that they can rise above and explore where gratitude exists in all things.
The second point about gratitude is for parents. In what ways can you be grateful for all things that occur with your children? The good, the bad and the ugly. Where can you step into receiving greater possibilities where your children are concerned? In those times when you feel tired, frustrated, beaten up on, confused, scared, and lost as a parent, what if you asked to find some a place to be grateful. And I don't mean it as being grateful by making amends about something else.
For example: Your child has been caught stealing at school. Your gratitude is to be about this, not something like, "I am grateful that at least my child didn't get hurt, or expelled or ... " It should explore more about the situation. Such as, " I am grateful that my child is experiencing this and that I have this opportunity to better understand my child. I know that this experience will allow me to know my child better and to learn how to offer guidance, even though I am not sure at this point what that is. This situation will allow me to call on assistance from the Universe as well as others who are willing to help me. Through this situation, I will know that I am not alone in this." Notice that this will allow you to receive even more.
Take the time to explore going deeper into your gratitude practice. And if you are new to this, I invite you to move right into going deeper.
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