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Gratitude Has Hidden Boons

Gratitude, you may have heard, is a practice you can do. Get a journal with a gorgeous cover, and every evening, reflect over the day’s happenings. Select five things you feel grateful for. Be as specific as possible—that is the key to this practice. Each day you want to write something new. It is the precise quality of a moment you want to capture, not vague feelings of gratitude. Blessings are in the particular.

This is my list of blessings from yesterday . . . I’m grateful for a perfectly ripe fig, one of the last of the season, grateful I could reach the branch to pluck it, grateful for its juicy sweetness spread over my morning toast!  (That’s actually three in one . . . !)  I’m grateful for my neighbour who appeared with a cup of coffee, just when I needed a break; for the funny text from my son; for the goggles my sister gave me, so now I can swim free of saltwater in my eyes. 

You get the idea . . .  and all of that was just around breakfast time! Today started serenely, so blessings felt abundant. But yesterday evening was different. I was on live-chat with a tech problem, with no resolution even after two frustrating hours! Yet one serendipitous discovery emerged, and then I saw the sunset!  Despite all the grief and pain life presents, blessings abound, always and everywhere. You may lose your job or get divorced, but violets still bloom with the most evocative fragrance. Drink deeply of that perfume and feel your spirit levitate. 

Gratitude opens the heart. It lifts crestfallen spirits, focusing our attention on life’s gifts instead of its burdens. It helps us weather the tragedies, because the sun always rises, because grief and  joy contain each other, turning as they do like the seasons. 

Gratitude as a practice fosters happiness supreme. Try it and see. Happiness is not only the key to harmonious living, but it promotes physical health as well. A constant state of peace and joy keeps your blood pressure, immune system, and digestion all in order. You feel vibrant, so you are vibrant. Mind creates reality! 

All this is very good. But there’s something more, a hidden benefit, not well understood by most people. For the practice of gratitude—undertaken regularly and with profound awareness—can awaken your consciousness to the profoundest spiritual truth. 

Day after day, as you list your blessings—those little pearls of experience—the awareness dawns that all grace comes from the outside.  (Heartaches come from outside too and also serve this awakening. But gratitude focuses on gift. Your path to illumination is one of joy.)

You see that absolutely everything comes from the outside. Boundaries of ego-identity soften. Humility grows. Your heart expands to embrace the gifts. You are them and they are you. All merges into a borderless, fluid dimension, where everyone and everything ultimately belong in Divine Oneness. This you know in your bones: Boundaries are illusion. Peace is All. Peace is You. 

 

Om Shanti

2 thoughts on “Gratitude Has Hidden Boons”

  1. Thankyou for articulating something I feel at times but could never put into words.
    That rush of gratitude that happens internally when the mind stops grasping and I can experience the flooding in of gratitude for the here and the now,for everyone and everything that has been and is.
    You are a shining light Marianne.

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