"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." -- William Arthur Ward
We are well versed in the merits of gratitude. It alters our outlook turning obstacles into opportunities and loss into lessons. Gratitude creates a spiritual viewpoint that allows us to ride the waves of human experience with equanimity, softening the hard edges with grace. Gratitude attracts like a magnet more of what we hold in appreciation into our life.
As with any practice, the virtues are only bestowed once we embody the teachings. In order for gratitude to bless the life we are living we must first weave them into our soul. How do we ensure gratitude does not exist merely as a concept or good idea? How can we ground gratitude into our bodies so the goodness of gratitude informs our actions?
One place to begin a practice of gratitude is to bring appreciation to the body in which you dwell. Do you know anyone who would work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without a break or vacation and never once receive a thank you for their tireless efforts? Think of all the jobs your body performs every day. Your heart has not stopped pumping since your time in the womb. Your lungs continually regulate the flow of oxygen essential to your survival. Like an ever-running steam engine, your digestive system converts what you eat into fuel, providing energy to function. The jobs required to sustain your life every day are endless. Treating your body with appreciation helps heal and restore right relationship between you and your body. Holding your body sacred helps bring the sense of sacred to everything in your life.
In the spirit of giving thanks, I offer Attitude of Gratitude, a guided meditation, to help us embody the blessings of gratitude, not merely as a concept, but as a living and breathing teaching within us. This practice awakens a sacred awareness of your body temple. It offers an opportunity to give thanks for all the service your body so willingly provides. Lie comfortably on the floor, or as close to the Earth as you can. If you are distracted by any discomfort in your body, try placing a pillow under your knees or beneath your head for support.
Take a moment to reflect on your experience during this practice. What stood out or seemed significant to you? What, if anything, changed or shifted in your awareness? Ask your body what it needs to feel nourished and supported? It may require more rest, more water or more greens. Maybe it needs more movement or fresh air. Listen to the wisdom within and wait for a response. What is one thing you can do today to demonstrate this appreciation for your body and honor its needs? What is one thing you can do today to embody the goodness of gratitude?