Monday, October 10, 2011

Gratitude

Create An Attitude Of Gratitude


"The enlightened give thanks for what most people take for granted ...As you begin to be grateful for what most people take for granted, that vibration of gratitude makes you more receptive to good in your life" - Michael Beckwith

And Shift Your Consciousness

OK. Here's the skinny on gratitude as I see it. Being grateful for what has manifested in your life, even the lessons learned after a rough experience, will change your consciousness and change your life. There is no quicker way to change your frequency than to change your perspective. Changing your perspective automatically changes your thoughts. Coming from a perspective of gratitude will instantly alter your thoughts to positive uplifting thoughts. This will lead to manifesting a more light filled and purposeful life.

Many of the teachers I have been moved by, address gratitude in some form or another.  Here are a few of my favorite exercises:
  • Stuart Wilde has an exercise to end negative thinking cycles in his book, Affirmations. Affirm ten things that are positive about the situation.  That's it. It's that simple.  If you are sinking in negativity and can't see the forest for the trees, get out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.  Sit yourself down and write down at least ten positive things about the situation that has you in an emotional tailspin.  Once you get going, you will probably end up with more than ten things.  What ends up happening is you find yourself being grateful for the situation and its lessons. 
  • Years ago Oprah Winfrey declared that she was looking for a "shift in consciousness" when she suggested that her viewers (and anyone they could influence) keep what she called a "Gratitude Journal".  She claimed keeping this journal had changed her life and I was looking for a life change myself and started keeping a "Gratitude Journal" too. Every day I sat down and wrote down at least five things for which I was grateful.  What happened to me was, over time, coming from a place of gratitude became a natural part of who I was. I changed my thinking and it changed my life.
    • Cheryl Richardson has an exercise in her book, Life Makeovers..., where first thing in the morning, for thirty days, I had to free write at least three pages in a journal.  Among some of the topics she suggested covering, responding to the prompt of "Today I am Grateful for..." put me in an amazing frame of mind.  My "clue" that my thinking was changing was the morning I dreamed I was walking in the woods and I started reciting and answering all of my writing prompts, including what I was grateful for.  I woke up feeling energized and aware of no other reality except one in which I was grateful for everything that was about to unfold in my day.

    Gratitude Expert, Marie Cornelio

    When I decided to do this post, I could not get Marie Cornelio out of my mind.  I kept seeing her smiling Facebook profile image and all of her wonderful quotes and information on living in a state of gratitude.  I took a chance and sent her a private message, explaining the intention of my blog and sharing my idea for this post.

    I was hoping for a comment or two to include with this post, but Marie Cornelio sets a wonderful example for following one's passion.  She not only gave me a comment, she shared some great facts from her upcoming book,  Gratitude- The Ultimate 21 Day Guided Gratitude Journey to Happiness for the Heart, Mind and Soul, which is scheduled for release in early 2012. 

    Following are her wonderful insights and research on gratitude:

    "I am thrilled you're going to write about Gratitude on your blog. The more we spread the message about Gratitude, the more lives will be changed for the better.

    In order for one to enjoy all the benefits of gratitude one must know what Gratitude is. The Ox-Ford English Dictionary Defines gratitude as " The quality or Condition of being thankful; The appreciation of an inclination to return kindness " The word Gratitude is derived from the Latin Gratia, meaning " Favor" and " Gratus", meaning " Pleasing" It's acknowledging the goodness in one's life and recognizing that we could not be who we are or where we are in life without the contribution and help from Source and others.

    There are many benefits to having a grateful disposition. Research done by Miami University Dr. Micheal MC Collough and University of California Davis Dr. Robert Emmons discovered ◦Most people report being grateful (an average rating of nearly 6 on a 7 point scale). 

    ◦Well-Being: Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.

    ◦Pro-sociality: People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002). 

    ◦Spirituality: Those who regularly attend religious services and engage in religious activities such as prayer reading religious material score are more likely to be grateful. Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others (McCullough et. al., 2002). Gratitude does not require religious faith, but faith enhances the ability to be grateful.

    ◦Materialism: Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of others; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful persons.

    From a spiritual standpoint Gratitude is the mother of all virtues to have.

    I love this quote by Melody Beattie, 'Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.'” 
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