Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Gratitude is the Gateway Emotion to Good Things
After I lost just about everything (money, men, apartment, and job), the only thing that got me back was GRATITUDE.
By experiencing true gratitude for my family, my friends, and the opportunity I had to rebuild and rest, I learned that in all that was lost, I had been found.
I believe, and once I'm done writing my capstone I will publish something official on this, that GRATITUDE is THE GATEWAY emotion to all the good stuff.
By gratitude I mean HEARTFELT "thank YOU." Not the BS thanks we sometimes mindlessly express. I mean the kind where your heart expands and you FEEL it. Here's why GRATITUDE is the shit:
GRATITUDE helps you SAVOR.
It induces you to SAVOR small things you can easily take for granted. Like running water, clean sheets, or your honey who just made you breakfast and wished you a good day.
In the process of SAVORING, gratitude gently, effortlessly, helps you become more MINDFUL, more PRESENT. Only if you are HERE and NOW can you be truly grateful for what is. (This is a relief for people like me who can't meditate regularly).
Being GRATEFUL opens your heart; by experiencing it you are automatically acknowledging all that you are able to RECEIVE and experience. So you are OPEN.
Lastly, true gratitude inspires you to want to give and serve others (Fredrickson, 2009). Not in the tit for tat kinda way, but in a way that is energized to really make a difference.
I have so much more to say about this...but for now this will do. Gratitude is the bombdiggity.
PS Sometimes people think I'm all pie in the sky - like just because I'm me I have an extra canny ability to experience this full-of-wonder-type-of-gratitude...but it's not me.
Anyone can get themselves into Gratitude. It's a process. Here are some ways I do it:
1. If I'm feeling like dump and throwing a pity party or hissy fit, I'll take a mental break from whatever I'm thinking and just list all the things I'm grateful for in my head until I feel better. I'll do this as I walk from the subway to my office or as I take a coffee break. Sometimes it takes a while. Here's how it sounds: "I'm so grateful for my legs that carry me. I'm so grateful for my mind that works. I'm so grateful for safety I feel. I'm so grateful for these cute shoes. I'm so grateful that it's warm outside..." Stay with this for minutes until you TRULY feel and believe just how damn lucky you really are.
2. If I'm about to sleep and feeling icky, I'll write at least three things I'm grateful for and why. The key is to be specific about the things as they relate to the day. So for example, even if a meeting didn't go well, instead of focusing on how it sucked or I suck, I'll say: "I'm grateful that I have a team dedicated to helping me organize our next presentation." Or, "I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to present and learn so I can kick ass next time."
3. If all else fails, just focus on everybody else who has it worse than you. This will zap you into a mindset of acknowledging all the abundance in your life. It may feel like cheating, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
To conclude (again). "If you focus on what you don't have, you'll find you never have enough. If you focus on what you do have, you'll find you always have more."
Thank YOU for reading.
Source: Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson