“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life” - Rumi
Because of a 12 step group, I started a gratitude list with a friend. That list changed my perspective in ways I can only be, well, grateful for. It turned my world upside down and opened my heart. Life became a journey instead of a series of unfortunate events - it gave me the distance from disappointment. I understood that yes, there are still things in life that made me happy and those things, no matter how small, became gifts no matter what life was dishing out. It's also a fun game of mental gymnastics to find the good in what seems like overwhelmingly bad, a game that gets easier every time.
Sometimes, it was just the simpler things: that I had breakfast, that I had the energy to get out of bed, and that I'm not dead. Or It can be about the mysterious and divine design of the universe ushering in opportunities and abundance, high vibrations, the ability to continuously discover myself, or to be able to give joy to others. From getting a new pair of socks to finishing college, nothing is too small or too big for gratitude.
I often get disillusioned from the strife and pain in the world, and I want to give up, but seeing people I love or anyone, having beautiful things that they can treasure and live for, gives me deep joy and hope. I might have started this here because I selfishly need to hear what others can find gratitude in, but I hope you get just as much out of it as I have. Let's shed some of our shame and shout from the rooftops that we're each amazing, and life has beautiful things just for us, even if it isn't fully realized. To all you atheists and agnostics out there, gratitude doesn't have to be based in faith and can be for you too.
“In fact, gratitude can be understood as resulting from evolutionary processes – humans depend on others to survive and being grateful helps build the vital social connections that increase the likelihood of survival and reproduction. This is not a challenge to religion or the existence of God, but instead a recognition of a common humanity, something that transcends personal belief.”
A person's capacity for gratitude isn't based on faith as much as it isn't based on how much a person has, but instead, it is a choice to regain the right perspective of their lives. “It becomes a powerful tool and personal power. In a world full of distraction, let's take some time to be the people to cultivate our own personal power. Lets pick up our power, power that we each possess, they are not tied to rank, privilege or circumstance, they are each powers cultivated from within. Gratitude is a choice to see beyond the surface of instant gratification. Gratitude is when we orient towards that attitude, that perspective in the world, to see what we are grateful for. And in that we are then forced out of unconscious entitlement. And for those who enjoy rank privilege and power culturally and don't think about it, then your entitlement is unconscious, and its important to recognize where we position ourselves unconsciously. In that entitlement, in that privilege, we orient ourselves 180 degrees away from gratitude. The practice of gratitude allows us all to turn in to the real energies that are around us, to see under the surface and to engage with what is really going on in our world. And once we do that we can see the effects of our own internalized sexism, or racism or any of the other systems, or hatred or fear that we are unconsciously participating in."
Join in on our Group Gratitude List located on our sidebar and tell us what you're feeling grateful for today!
why shamanism now podcast, the gratitude episode