“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.” ~ Melody Beattie
In November, we talk about gratitude – but so often, we are rushing around, worrying about the details. We know in our minds that we have much for which to be thankful. But to be honest, we frequently just feel tired and stressed.
Gratitude is a practice. A way of being and experiencing Life. Gratitude is felt at the heart level, the soul level. It is powerful and transformative. And it can change everything in an instant.
It requires us to slow down and really experience our lives. That may mean intentionally setting down the cell phone or turning off the TV and experiencing the ever-changing beauty of nature. It might mean taking time to fully connect with a friend or family member and allowing yourself to feel how blessed you are to have someone to love. It may mean sitting in the doctor’s office or hospital waiting room and being grateful for the gift of life and the abilities you have today. Even in the midst of life’s toughest challenges, there is opportunity to find gratitude in the lessons we are given.
A great way to start this practice is with a gratitude meditation.
- Begin by focusing on your breath, gradually slowing it down.
- After a few minutes, bring to mind one thing that you are grateful for in this moment. This might be a small thing or something huge. You may also think “thank you” and/or lift the gratitude up in prayer.
- Give yourself time to feel this gratitude settling into your heart chakra in the center of your chest. Imagine the heart chakra as a sphere of beautiful green light.
- The gratitude rests within this sphere of light which radiates in all directions. As you slowly breathe, allow this feeling in your heart to gently expand until it fills your heart space.
- Take your time and continue until your heart space overflows with this feeling of gratitude, filling your entire body with light.
- Now feel and visualize the light and feeling of gratitude radiating out in all directions.
- Gently inhale and exhale gratitude. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath, the heart and the feeling of gratitude here and now.
- Stay as long as you like. When you are ready, bring awareness back to rest in your heart center.
- Carry this feeling in your heart space with you as you move through your day.
Here’s a You Tube link to a brief guided Gratitude Meditation to help you with your practice.
Blessings, love and light,
Nov2019 Shelley Carpenter, Physical Therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher is a practitioner at Ommani who offers group (Tuesday and Wednesdays) and individual therapeutic yoga sessions, physical therapy, and Reiki care. Call our office at 262.695.5311 to schedule an appointment.