Why is Gratitude a practice?
We hear a lot about having a practice of gratitude...writing down 3 things or 5 things each day that we are grateful for. Have you ever wondered why we need to "practice" it? Why doesn't it come more naturally? It's because our minds are not wired toward gratitude. The mind's job is to find problems. And it does that very well right? But, sometimes it becomes a little obsessive and leaves little room for anything else! On top of that, for most of us, our attention is glued to our thoughts and we are dragged around behind them all day. It affects our behavior, emotions and reactions. The reason a gratitude practice works, is it is basically a meditation. We sit quietly and drop into our hearts, into the present. That is where gratitude lives. But unless we have developed enough strength of attention, when those few minutes are over, our attention slides back to the stream of repetitive thoughts about the past or future.
The way for gratitude to become your natural state is by becoming unstuck from this constant stream of repetitive, often stressful, thoughts. The best way that I know of to do this is through meditation. Clients will often tell me that they can't meditate because their minds are too busy. Everyone's minds are too busy! That is why we meditate! So, in meditation, we gently bring our attention back to the breath, back to the body, strengthening the muscle of attention. Then we begin to have a choice of where we focus our attention. We are not constantly pulled around by our thoughts. We can drop more easily and more often in to our hearts. This is not only where gratitude lives, but also peace, and joy. It is our true self.
If you would like to learn how to meditate, please contact me. I offer individual sessions including energy healing to support a calmer mind, and meditation instruction with audio meditations to follow at home. I will also be offering a group meditation class in January.
Blessings and peace,