The following blog was originally posted in September, 2012. I’ve been thinking a lot about the “attitude of gratitude” as a way to counteract all the political and personal negativity/challenges that many of us have been experiencing recently. I am posting this for myself as well as the rest of my readers. Having an attitude of gratitude can be the way to heal the rift!
You’ve heard the adage, “Have an attitude of gratitude”?
I’ve wondered about this. Why gratitude? Sure it’s nice to give thanks for the good things in one’s life. But how does that help one individually? So I’ve been reading about and meditating on this idea and have come to a realization of what gratitude is. It’s not an emotion or words of thanks. Gratitude is an actual energy field–an energy field one can easily access!
“Energy field?” you might wonder.
Yes, absolutely! And to understand the concept of an energy field, consider the idea of the sun. If the sun is shining brightly, but you’re in the shade, you are out of its field. Walk into the sunshine and you can feel its warmth on your skin. You can’t touch it, but you can walk within it; there is no doubt that it is there. The wind, too, is like this–you feel it, but you can’t see it.
So…energy field. Yes. Invisible to the naked eye, most probably; but its presence can be felt, just like you feel the difference when you are in or out of the sun or the wind.
So to help you experience this, I have put together an exercise here so you can access the energy field of Gratitude for yourself and move from there into the Heart–the field of Love.
To begin, find a place where you won’t be disturbed for awhile, make yourself comfortable, and gently close your eyes.
Now, to access the Gratitude Field, simply think of things you are grateful for. This is where the idea of counting your blessings comes in. Some will have no problem finding their blessings, while others will find it more challenging. For instance, someone in severe chronic pain may be able to only find one tiny place on themselves that doesn’t hurt. But that one place they can be grateful for it. If you are depressed, find one thing no matter how distant and be thankful for that—a bird singing outside your window, the running hot and cold water in your house, a refrigerator that is working, or the electricity that runs your computer. It can get very basic. But find something. And then if you can, grow the list. If not, stick with the one thing you’ve been able to find.
Next, hold onto that gratitude feeling; breathe into it. Imagine each exhale filling it up and expanding it, like a balloon, getting bigger and bigger and bigger…Now just float in that balloon of gratitude, eventually allowing yourself to let go of, then totally releasing, the original thoughts that triggered the thankful feelings. Stay there in that sensation; feel it. This is you floating in the energy of the Field of Gratitude! Enjoy!
While you are in there, play with your awareness. Can you imagine a color or colors? Perhaps there is a physical sense—a sound or smell or even a definitive taste. Yes, think about what gratitude tastes like! Let your imagination play! Stay here in this space as long as you like.
From here, it is a very short step into opening your Heart, opening it wide. This will be easy to do now because you are presently in the field of your best tool, one that removes layers of resistances, the most easily accessible Key to your Heart— Gratitude!
So while still in the Field of Gratitude, put your attention in the middle of your chest, in the area of your heart. While focusing in this area, close your eyes, and bring up memories or thoughts of objects, situations, or places that evoke the feeling of love for you. It may be the birth of a child, a puppy or a kitten, your grandchild, your favorite place on the beach, a lover, a sunset…whatever brings up what you know is love for you. Then breathe into it, like you did before, letting that feeling build up. The feeling expands, getting bigger and bigger and bigger… overlaying the field of Gratitude, intermixing and intertwining as Gratitude morphs into Love.
Once again release the original thoughts that triggered the love feelings and allow yourself to float in that sphere of Love. Like you did with the Gratitude you can imagine a color or a physical sense to go along with it, but most importantly, just relax into it and enjoy this most intense and satisfying sensation. From here you can send out your Love to anyone, anything, anywhere with no attachment to the outcome. This is easy while in this field because here you know, without a doubt, that all is well. Stay here in this space as long as you like.
When you are ready to come back, wiggle your fingers and toes, open your eyes, and smile! Look around the room. Does it look brighter? Less dense? Notice any differences you may have throughout the day. And know that you can repeat this exercise at any time. And enjoy your most beautiful experiences today!