Everywhere we go, whether it’s the rolling mountains of the south, the hot deserts of the southwest, the rushing rivers midwest, or the oceans along the coasts, there is an ever-present Essence that greets us with each breath. It accompanies us with each step, surrounds us with each passing second and fills us with Its presence. This companion throughout our experience is the gift of Life, untainted, whole, perfect and complete.
When the days get long and weighed down by stress and burdens, when chaos swirls around the planet due to ignorance, or when we find ourselves in the heat of challenges, this ever-present Essence is still with us. It cannot be taken from us but our minds can try to distance us from the conscious union we share with the Divine.
It is during these moments of seeming separation that suffering takes the place of peace, worry replaces ease, and fear outweighs compassion. This causes many to forget the beauty of life and all that is going right each moment of each day.
This list of all that is aligning with perfection each passing moment, regardless of the difficulties or stress, is something that our minds and hearts can center upon when going through dark patches of life.
As I think about some of the most difficult times my family and I have gone through, there have always been countless things to be grateful for.
Things like the planet spinning with harmony, the abundant sun sharing its light, water flowing across Mother Earth, seeds sprouting, fruits and vegetables ripening, food to eat, shelter in which to live, love amongst friends and family, the heart that beats, blood that flows, body that moves, eyes that see, a mind that thinks, cells which are dividing, atoms that are thriving, and the Divine dwelling at the depths of all of these things.
I have found that when our minds, spirits, and hearts are focused on one or all of these things which we have to be grateful for, negativity doesn’t have territory to construct its shacks in our inner worlds. It is as if the light of gratitude and appreciation illuminates the darkness within. As this light increases, you live fuller, happier and with more peace while stress, worry and fear dissolve.
It all comes down to how you use your consciousness, what you will focus on and what you will allow to rule your experience.
When centered upon a foundation of gratitude, while difficulties will still appear, your life becomes unshakable.
Breath of Gratitude
We’ve all heard of gratitude, and if we were asked to write a list of things to be grateful for, it wouldn’t require much thought. Most of us could jot these things down with little effort. Because there is always something to be grateful for and because it can be accessed with such ease, many people overlook these things.
When hardships arise, instead of reverting back to these items of appreciation, some shift their attention towards the hardship which only adds strength to their problem.
It is during these negative and difficult experiences that you can use your conscious might differently to immediately bring gratitude to the surface of your mind.
There is one simple practice that allows you to do this at any moment of your day. It is a conscious breath of gratitude. This breath serves as a reminder of all that is going right.
It is incredible when you think of all that goes into one breath you breathe; from the oxygen of the universe, to the planet upon which you live, the ancestors who’ve assisted in creating your life, your parents, your body temple, lungs, cells, atoms, and Life that flows through all these things.
A breath of gratitude connects you to this moment and gives you strength to shine a light of truth upon the seeming darkness. This breath of gratitude can only be as powerful as you will allow it to be in your conscious mind.
One breath can realign your life upon a path of truth, peace, and abundance.
3 Keys to Remaining in a State of Gratitude
1 – Clear the Untrue – If you are focused on all the false beliefs, negative ideas and stressful situations of your life, then you construct a false you. This is a you that is built with the untrue. The untrue captures joy and pushes people into ruts and stagnation.
This untrue you can be altered by allowing your mind and heart to focus on all the things that are true. This includes realizing that you are a child of the Infinite Universe filled with greatness and endless abilities. The truth that there will never be another you and you are as valuable and worthy as anyone who has walked the face of this planet. As you focus on the truth, you invite in more life, peace, appreciation and connection as the false falls away. From this state of awareness, gratitude flows with ease.
2 – Thought Sifter – Be willing to recognize you are the thinker and not at the mercy of your thoughts. If you are pulled by every thought that floats through your consciousness, especially the dark ones, you can end up in a place that seeps the power from your spirit. But if you can see you are that which gives thoughts their power, the watcher of thoughts, not the thought itself, you can rise above all thoughts, both the positive and negative, and see that you are an expression of the Infinite.
Use your mind in a way that is focused on the abundance of life, instead of feeding the negatives. While negatives will take place, you need not be at the mercy of them and you can at any moment reconnect with the Essence of the Divine that dwells deep within each part of your being.
3 – Build Momentum – Speak peacefully to yourself, recognize the impact you have on others, embrace your connection with the Earth, draw closer to spiritual truth and suddenly you’ll see that if your mind, heart, and spirit are focused on all that is going right, it is nearly impossible to leave a state of gratitude and appreciation. As you build this momentum towards the positive, the only thing that could steal your peace is the consciousness that creates it.
Opportunity for the Week
Each morning bring to mind 3 things you are grateful for. If your mind slips through the day, then remind yourself of these 3 things with one breath of gratitude.
Allow this little list of gratitude to propel you as you go throughout your week. If you’d like to take it a step further, watch the thoughts that flow through your consciousness and feed only those thoughts that lead to the true you.