In the last post, I wrote about how gratitude can make you strong. Today, I will share with you the practice of gratitude, the two types of gratitude, and what all you can do to be grateful. Let me reiterate: gratitude is one of the most profound emotions. If you are grateful you become loving, blissful, peaceful and calm automatically. Remaining calm or being at peace, to be able to love anyone and everyone are the natural outcomes of a grateful soul.
In a way, gratitude is not just about being thankful, it is about being gracefully thankful with tolerance, with acceptance and contentment.
As part of your emotional transformation, so that you become a stronger, better and a happier person, I cannot stress enough the importance of gratitude. You can be appreciative with your actions, words, and thoughts. The first two directly benefit others. Before we get to the actual practice, let me expand on the two types of gratitude, both are not mutually exclusive and many noble ones practice both. As follows:
Being grateful to God
Some people are grateful to God, to the Supreme Soul, to someone they feel is up there. It can give them a huge psychological boost, help them survive difficult phases in life, give them the motivation to stay course among numerous other benefits. Those who believe in the existence of God, regardless of the religion they follow, have someone they can be grateful to. Even daily prayer is a form of gratitude.
Being grateful to God is not complete gratitude, however. Imagine being thankful to the mother but being careless, indifferent or irresponsible towards her children. It is of little use. Far more important than being grateful to God is to be grateful to his children, his creation. This leads to the gratitude of second type.
Being grateful to others
Love and gratitude are soul mates; happiness and harmony are their offsprings. It is not possible to be grateful unless you accept that someone has done something for you. If you feel, out of ego or ignorance, that it was your right, you will fail to feel grateful. Consequently, you will not experience any happiness, much less peace and bliss. Any relationship with gratitude present in it is bound to flourish.
Practice gratitude and I promise you will experience the dawning of a transformation within you, keep at it, and you will amaze yourself before long. Gratitude is not always about grand gestures, it may range from a sincere thank you to an act of extraordinary compassion. Let me spell out the practice for you.
You need to make two lists to effectively carry out the practice:
List 1. To God: Make a list of things you are grateful for. Examples may include health, shelter, clothes, food, family, opportunities or anything else that matters to you. Your list should have line items stating I am grateful for abc, Thank you God for xyz and so on and so forth.
List 2. To others: List all the people who matter to you, people who have made a difference to you, those who made an impact on your life. They could be your other half, parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, or even those who you may not have met but those who inspired you.
The actual practice
Do the following for an initial period of forty days and then adopt it and make it part of you, your life:
1. Read out your first list of everyday in the morning and before going to bed every night.
2. For the next forty days, express your gratitude to at least one person on the second list every day. It could be a simple email across thanking them genuinely, a phone call, a little gesture of treating them to a cup of coffee, sending flowers across or anything else you can do to express yourself. During the period of practice, you must make someone feel special everyday with your gesture of gratitude, be that in words or actions.
3. Mark a simple yes/no journal entry or a detailed one every night ticking that you did not falter. If you miss it any day, reset the counter and start again.
That is it. Simple. Feel free to add to your lists as you prod along. The important thing to remember is that you must consciously express your gratitude without any expectations for reciprocation. It is hard but doable. True gratitude makes one generous, compassionate and infinitely loving. Here is a nice article from wiki how – how to start a gratitude journal.
Try this practice to judge its effectiveness for yourself. You will gain incredible emotional strength. If you are emotionally strong, you can succeed at anything, anything at all. Gratitude makes you emotionally pure, such purity allows you to love unconditionally.
Both diamonds and coal are found in the same mine. They both are the purest forms of carbon, albeit with different molecular structure. However, A diamond is not treated as coal. Whether you want to be burnt in a furnace till you lose your existence or be studded in a wedding ring marking commitment to love, it is a matter of choice, of attitude, of mindset, of perspective. Sharing with you a story for your contemplation- A Blessed Life.
If you pay attention, there is plenty to be grateful. Be happy, be thankful. I hope you know how lucky you are.
Go on! tell someone how much they mean to you.