No matter what the dictionary says, Gratitude is a VERB. A verb is a word to describe an action or a state of being. So Gratitude is either a state of being, an action, or nothing but a word. The actions and state of gratitude are powerful, it sets us into action to make reality of our theories and concepts. But when ideas (or hopes) remain just words - captured in words - our entire lives seem to become meaningless!
When gratitude manifests as actions then we create our meaningful reality! So…. Practice NOW. Stand up and raise your hands above your head. Let the fingertips meet. Lower your eyelids so that you can only slightly see the floor in front of your feet. Breathe deeply in. Breathe deeply out. Let your shoulders slip down your back, away from your earlobes. Say THANK YOU silently. Say it again. If others visit you in your mind, tell them thank you. Say : thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now, sit down.
Wonderful things are happening. If we try to categorize the wonder, however, we underestimate ourselves and our lives - our banal comparisons turn the whole world into everything trite.
What do you look forward to seeing today? Let your mind wonder. The good in the world is cultivated on a daily basis and the Greatest Good is sometimes never noticed. So, do ONE unnoticeable thing today. What might it be? Perhaps you won’t kill the spider or the ant. Perhaps you’ll let someone else go first in line. Perhaps you’ll not do any of those and you’ll come up with your own good will! Will you? Will you?
This is not about becoming a hippie or a gullible goofball who everyone at the corporate function or the yoga retreat just adores! Please! Be real. PLEASE. This is about changing the world - one self at a time!
Try this… For ONE week, try to be conscious as you go to sleep. Don’t exhaust yourself throughout the day so much that you can’t be conscious before you rest. Don’t drink alcohol after work - for one week! - just so you can feel presence before you rest! Gratitude here is acknowledging that you are about to close your eyes only because you fully expect them to open in the morning. But are you sure your eyes will open in the morning? Are you so sure you will live through the night? Based on what, is your trust? Showing gratitude in the act of your presence just before going to sleep is saying Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to your heart and to your lungs - and acknowledging how your body works independently, 24-7, to keep you alive.
But you don’t really care about seeing do you?
How often do you say Thanks Eyes! Thanks for seeing! And if you’re blind… then I don’t know how you’re reading this, but thank that thing helping you do it! and, while you’re at it, Mr. Blind man, thank the overdevelopment of your senses exchanged for your sense of sight.
Mornings. Do you stop even once in the morning after your feet hit the ground - do you slow down, do you pause at all?
How can you think that saying thank you four times to the barista is going to help you along in your day if you can’t fully put gratitude into action for yourself? Saying thank you is nice. But rushing out of the house without pausing is just pure violence. You’re not doing anyone any favors by doing that!
So just pause at the door long enough to become aware of which foot steps out the door first! Start there! Later, you’ll be able to see how that has everything to do with your blocked nasal passage. Then maybe then you’ll get to nourishment!
Gratitude (the action) for the body, mind and soul is the only way we can change things in our lives. Later we might get to volunteering at a soup kitchen! OR - how about this - to not letting any human on the planet starve to death!
For now, just start paying attention. That’s enough. Just pay attention to yourself. Become aware of your thoughts, anger, fears, how you walk, how you smell when you cry, how you look when you’re smiling… Donate your time to this!
Otherwise, nothing is gratitude! no matter how well you package it or try to spin it or explain it…