I Am Here: The Art of Being Grateful

Today is the day to be grateful. 

That’s our focus word here today at THM – Grateful. Like any other, this day is filled with wonder and promise – only you can choose to look at the world and see the mundane, the uninspired.  No matter where you are, what you’re doing…there is beauty. 

There are more people than you realize practicing the wonder of daily mindfulness, gratitude for the live and love that exists all around us.  Check out the GratitudeLog, a free “facebook-ish” sort of community that is built on good vibes.  Find me as a friend under “AlisonRodgers.”  I will be happy to cheer on your gratitude journey.

Why do I focus on these daily words as we study the G.R.O.W. idea?  Simple.Gratitude is an emotion…yes…but it is also a PERCEPTION.  It’s how you are processing.  Here is a definition of perception.

Perception : act of perceiving, 1 a : a result of perceiving :OBSERVATION b : a mental image : CONCEPT 2 obsolete : CONSCIOUSNESS 3 a : awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation b : physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience 4 a : quick, acute, and intuitive cognition : APPRECIATION b : a capacity for comprehension.

So if your positive psych thoughts are based on real gratitude, and in consideration of the definition above,  we can conclude that a perception, more importantly YOUR perception of something is an observation, interpretation, or a mental image that you hold with regard to some event, condition, or circumstance. In other words it is how you see all of the emotions, people, situations and the circumstances in life around you.  It’s the lens that you live through.

I read a most amazing article on “Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy” today and noted the beauty of the following:

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

Many days, I try to humble myself and hold a 2-minute gratitude session. I simply sit or kneel, with no distractions, close my eyes, and think about what I’m grateful for and who I’m grateful for.

I don’t do it every day, but let me tell you, on the days I do it, it makes me very happy.

Why should that be? Why should the simple act of thinking about who and what I’m grateful for make such a big difference in my life?

Just a few reasons:

  • Because it reminds you of the positive things in your life. It makes you happy about the people in your life, whether they’re loved ones or just a stranger you met who was kind to you in some ways.
  • Because it turns bad things into good things. Having problems at work? Be grateful you have work. Be grateful you have challenges, and that life isn’t boring. Be grateful that you can learn from these challenges. Be thankful they make you a stronger person.
  • Because it reminds you of what’s important. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you give thanks that your children are alive and healthy. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are grateful there is a roof over your head.
  • Because it reminds you to thank others. I’ll talk about this more below, but the simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life. Calling them, emailing them, stopping by to say thank you … just taking that minute out of your life to tell them why you are grateful toward them is important to them. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. It costs you little, but makes someone else happy. And making someone else happy will make you happy.

Like most people who have been in an abusive relationship, there are times that my most grateful statement is "I am still here." It didn't actually make me invisible, kill my soul or even end me. I'm not that girl abandoned anymore. I was...and am...here. For that, I am grateful.

Often as I traverse my day, I will leave little reminder notes for myself, in a book, on the computer, in my folio, tagged to the front of my snazzy bronze high tech EeePad tablet.  They are sayings much like these gathered by Janet Callaway, designed to inspire you to thinking of all that you’re living and how amazing the day truly is.  Remember – don’t look back unless that is where you want to live.  Henry Thoreau said that wise phrase, one that I love so dearly.  Look to the horizon, the possibility, the amazing love and light that is part of life.  Make a change in the world for the better.  Be the blessing.  Here is Janet’s list:

“The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. And the more grateful you are, the more you get.” Oprah

 

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melodie Beattie

 “Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life

and into the lives of all those around you.” Eileen Caddy

 

“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” Alfred North Whitehead

 

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.

Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

 

“To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” Albert Schweitzer

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day

for the abundance that exists in your life.

And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law:

the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”

— Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

“What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it – would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.” Ralph Marston

 “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings,

turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

 

“There is a law of gratitude, and it is . . . the natural principle that action and reaction are always equal and in opposite directions. The grateful outreaching of your mind in thankful praise to supreme intelligence is a liberation or expenditure of force. It cannot fail to reach that to which it is addressed, and the reaction is an instantaneous movement toward you.” — Wally Wattles

 

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether

you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F Kennedy

 “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward

2 comments for “I Am Here: The Art of Being Grateful

  1. October 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Alison, aloha. What a delightful surprise to find myself over here. Thanks so much for including my quotes on gratitude.

    Also, I can tell if will be a pleasure exploring your blog. both the name and the concept speak to me. Until later, aloha. Janet

    • October 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Hi, Janet!

      I was so blessed to find you on the internet, and we have such a great energy toward the same thing – healthy, happy human beings that live authentic lives. People are the most amazing, blessed, talented beings….if only they would see beyond the moment to the possibility. 🙂 Please, feel free to guest write any time that you would like, it would be such an honor to work with you here. I would welcome your wisdom and positive energy.

      With light and love,

      Alison

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