“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” ~ Dalai Lama
Gratefulness is something I practice every day. It is an emotion, connected with a cognitive element.
Accepting, being content and being thankful for receiving ‘gifts’ from the world around us.
Sometimes these ‘gifts’ can seem rather ugly from the outside. But once you accept, you know you can be content. As in difficulties we can find a challenge which will lead to ultimate gratefulness.
The Eight Limbs of Yoga
Even though there is no particular limb in Raja Yoga about gratefulness, there is a Niyam (daily habit) about contentment (Santosha).
Contentment has a lot in common with gratefulness. As when you are grateful, you will appreciate and accept life as it comes now. Contentment has to do with being happy with all you have at this particular moment, but also the events and people that come on your path. There is no need to get more and more, better and better. You accept your life as it is now, you are content. If we live in this way, we can diminish our ego and start being grateful for what life brings us each day.
Why would you practice Gratefulness?
When you stand still every day and consider your life and what you have, you’ll get a more positive outlook on life. Instead of focusing what is not there (that new car, better career etc.) you focus on what you have. In that way positivity will come as a flow into your daily life. It is a way of thinking that is connected with a deep emotion of thankfulness and love. Knowing that everything is good as it is. Living in the moment, in the now. Instead of the future longing for something else and thus suffering in the present moment, you bring the present moment of acceptance and joy to your present life.
What can I be Grateful for?
Gratefulness you can find in every aspect of your life. It can be in material things; a roof above your head, clothes to wear, food in your belly. But also gratefulness for people entering and leaving your life. All with their own special gift. Know that the more difficult a situation with a person can be, the deeper your gratitude can become. As the challenge is the biggest in these cases. Gratefulness as well for your body, that is working hard to keep you going. As well as gratefulness for the sun on your face, for attentive words, gifts or people caring for you. I can get very emotional when I feel that someone did something especially for me. Or when I see the lesson or reason why someone entered my life.
Exercise your Gratefulness
If you feel like starting to change your outlook on life and see the challenges and world more positive, then start a gratefulness diary. Write down every day what you are grateful for. Easiest time to do this is just before sleeping. Not only have you had enough daily experience to draw from, you will also go to sleep with gratefulness and contentment in your heart. This will help you to have an even better night of sleep. See that every day shows other things on your path that can bring gratefulness. And by seeing this every day, will exercise your gratefulness more and more.
Trust the Universe
Gratefulness can take an even bigger scale when we understand that challenges and people enter our lives with reason. That it is not just a twist of bad luck or luck when things happen to us. Once you live from gratefulness you understand that life has its lessons and all will come in the right time and place. Live from your heart, follow the signs. The universe will be backing you up, every step of the way. Gratitude will guide you through the best experiences in life!
Special thanks to a wonderful person who entered my life very recently and made me remember and feel so, so grateful! Thank you for your inspiration and bringing you on my path!
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