It’s a fairly easy thing to say that you are thankful for your life, your family and everything else that would be viewed as the standard good stuff surrounding you.
Lip service is something that we all become very good at. Think about how often people ask you how you are, and your immediate reply is “good thank you.” Your entire world might be falling apart, you feel like you are losing it and your dog just died but you have taught yourself automated responses that you use all the time as standard.
There is a lot of automation going on in our lives.
It all stems from our subconscious, or unconscious mind and is entrenched in our neural pathways. We develop these deep rooted habits and automations over the period of our lives and it is a mechanism that we develop so that we can keep focusing on whatever is in front of us without having to be consciously (with effort) thinking through the processes that have already learnt.
What does all this have to do with gratitude? A lot actually.
Gratitude is a powerful force when you really tap into it, but we rarely do when we are living automated. Our protection mechanisms are always looking for threats and negative circumstances that could bring an end to us. So naturally we gravitate towards all the areas of life that need work, aren’t happening, or aren’t good.
To shift this takes effort. A daily gratitude habit is powerful to shift this natural inclination.
To really feel gratitude in your gut, you have to stop yourself from just rolling out the top three things that everyone says “grateful for my family, my friends, my life…etc”.
The best way to step out of automation and into your soul (gut) is to start with the easy stuff but don’t stop there. Start to really reflect on all areas of your life and keep listing things off. Suddenly you will start to see that there is a lot of quite detailed elements that make up who you are that you are overlooking.
Writing a list of things is one of the most common practises of people who are actively practising daily gratitude. The more you write the more you will unfold the world around and within you and then have a visual presentation of all the positive aspects of your life that really satisfy you.
True gratitude pulls you into the present moment.
It makes you stop, look around, and truly connect with what is happening right now. Too often we live in the future – we are constantly looking for what’s to come, what we don’t have yet, and the always moving finish line. This can leave you feeling quite empty and disillusioned. True gratitude reveals to you the fullness of what you have already achieved, the progress you have made and the amazing moments you have or are experiencing.
True gratitude expands your potential.
This is not new for you, but maybe a shift in your focus. What you focus on expands. So if you are practising true gratitude daily it is concentrating your creative efforts in the direction of the positive stuff in your life.
True gratitude also shows you the direction you should move your life in. The things that come out that you are grateful are usually a good indication of the the things that make you happy. The fastest way to get ‘unstuck’ and get rid of overwhelm is to focus on the things you are grateful for, that make you feel alive.
I love this quote I found today:
“Confusion is a state brought on by a lack of gratitude. If you want your life to make more sense, begin with a list of what you’re grateful for. Opportunities flow from clarity.” SOURCE
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