There are times throughout the year we sit in our reflective state, collect our consciousness, and we give thanks.
We think about all of the things we are thankful for and take a moment to make our lists of these things.
For some, it takes a holiday on a calendar.
For others, it comes in times of desperation, to find our glass half-full.
For others still, it occurs during a miracle, realizing that hope and faith delivered.
While many experience the trials and tribulations of this thing called ‘LIFE’ – giving thanks can be a daily or hourly occurrence or merely an annual one, depending on where your consciousness sits.
Gratitude, by definition is appreciation, which is often expressed by words.
However, sometimes gratitude is expressed in the way of a smile, a hug, or other gesture of generosity in reciprocation of kindness, or in some cultures, a bow, or prayer.
No matter how you LINK yourself to gratitude, the idea of your own connection can vary in size based on your own awareness, recognition of your blessings and for the most part taking the time for reflection.
Within each of us, there are seeds of gratitude waiting to grow, emerge, and blossom into something greater. Sometimes it takes certain life experiences for you to see just how many seeds of gratitude lie within your own heart and being. These seeds are just waiting to be awakened at any given moment.
It is in those moments we are able to see and recognize gratitude deep within ourselves, but also within others.
So how do you link your own seeds of gratitude? What does that actually mean?
It takes more than merely just being thankful, grateful, and appreciative of WHAT IS.
Gratitude is also linked to WHAT IS NOT (yet happening/or is not in your world).
It is in combining these two things, we extend and expand our chain of gratitude linking to everything that is a blessing as a stand-alone item, though when combined with the alternative, it doubles in size.
But how many times have you taken a moment to not only be grateful for all of your blessings, but to also be grateful for the hardships that you do not face, which others do?
This may be new territory for you, but you will expand your consciousness exponentially when you can be grateful for things that do not occupy your mind, heart, and being.
For example – You can be grateful. If you take a step outside of yourself and your own act of gratitude, you also can appreciate your own ability to be grateful.
Is that a thing? YES.
Some people sit in such a negative, dark place of criticism, judgment, anger, and whirlpool of complaining, they are NOT able to rest in a place of appreciation at all.
Imagine not being able to see the light and the goodness… and when you do, you are then able to be grateful for even more than you are grateful for.
While you know this is true, have you ever said aloud, “I’m so grateful that I do not live in that space of not seeing my own blessings” in the same breath you are grateful for your own ability to be thankful for what you give thanks for?
This duality of gratitude is how you LINK your own seeds of appreciation together to expand thankfulness in your entire psyche and soul.
Pretty neat, huh?
Try it again…. “I’m grateful for my health, and I am also grateful for my ability to heal and get well when I happen to get sick.”
“I am grateful for my ability to think and feel joy, and I am also grateful for my ability to overcome heart break and sorrow and bounce back again.”
You get the picture. See how you have now just doubled your gratitude links by one more thing to be grateful for?
Every blessing can continue to provide greater insight to gratitude expansion for what is, what is not and what CAN BE when our own gratitude seeds grow into something more.
We can shift our own perspective in how we see gratitude and plant new seeds of gratitude within ourselves and within others for the things we appreciate and CAN LEARN TO APPRECIATE in a new way that we may not have thought possible.
Every human goes through challenging times. It has been said that when you think you are going through something tough, there is always someone else going through something even tougher. You can be grateful for where you are at any given moment, even on your roughest day, because in every challenge, we are also given a gift. This gift is an opportunity, which gives you something more to work with.
How? It gives you experience where you can give and help someone else who may not have experienced that same hurdle before. They get to pay it forward from there and it keeps spreading strength and assistance, expanding your links even longer on a chain of things to be grateful for. You can now be grateful for your newly acquired wisdom you did not have before you experienced your own challenge.
It is in the times when we have the strength, tenacity, endurance and courage to overcome our challenges we can see light through darkness. This is a tool. That’s right, it is a tool you can now put in your toolbox you did not have before and when life becomes twisted again, you now know what to do, having been there before.
There can be appreciation in survival when we see the gifts that come from the times we have to appreciate what IS and then what IS NOT when we come out the other side of any and all adversity we face.
It is in this growth, we evolve.
This is when the seeds of gratitude sprout into strong reeds of becoming something greater than they started out to be.
Every little complaint you have also has a brighter alternative because you are able to take action to CHANGE how things are by what you do, say, think, feel and create the initiative to not sit in complacency of complaint.
You are able to create appreciation for what IS and ISN’T as much as you can be thankful for your creative freedom to cultivate, foster, develop and manifest something positive, even from the negative.
What can you do?
What can you say?
How can you think or feel if you take the pro-active initiative to make things different?
What if you could do something to shift perspective in a new light by placing gratitude for an awakening of greater awareness within yourself?
If it can begin with a simple gratitude shift, what if you can do that with everything you think about?
Let us take something basic you are grateful for, say maybe an extra hour of sleep. You may think you are only listing one item to be thankful for, but in truth – this one thing can be ten things.
By getting an extra hour of sleep, you can be grateful for:
*Boosting your immunity so you don’t get sick
*Improving your mood to enjoy life so you are less cranky
*Being more conscious and alert to prevent injury
*Having more energy to do more things you want to do
*Burning a few extra calories (since sleep does this!)
*Looking better (no blood-shot, tired eyes)
*Giving your body organs and brain the ability to function better
*Allowing yourself a chance to dream
See how your one item of gratitude actually expanded by ten more ways to be thankful as a “result” of the one appreciation of just one item such as sleep?
TRY THIS with anything you have on your list and watch your gratitude list expand.
You can also take any negative thing in your life and turn it around by finding the POSITIVE aspects of any challenge.
Say you are tired, and you have been lacking sleep. This may be something you complain about incessantly. However, if you take your complaint and step away from it, you will begin to see just how your gratitude compounds for every wink of sleep you do get to have.
It allows you to not take sleep for granted, because when you actually have it, you get the bonus of those ten other things to be grateful for. So while you may be tired now, you can look forward to the rest you will get and enjoy it that much more. Life provides us with being able to appreciate 'what isn't' when we appreciate what can be.
WHY? Because change is constant. While change may be uncomfortable, you can actually appreciate what you view as 'temporary lack' or 'void' and be thankful for that, too. This will change and you are then able to appreciate and have deeper gratitude for when things flow back to what you can appreciate even further.
Every item on your complaint list can actually make you appreciate what you DO HAVE and this returns you to being grateful for what IS and what IS NOT, because nothing stays the same forever. Change happens daily. We can shift our awareness to the simple place of appreciation for every new thing to be grateful for as much as we can for every old thing we took for granted and maybe did not see that we can be grateful for.
While every life has its ups and downs, its light and darkness, it is in the seeds of gratitude we choose to plant and nurture to sprout into upward spiraling growth of expanding our own well-being into newfound places of appreciation for LIFE.
Appreciate every little and big thing that is, and isn’t and you will soon find that you are surrounded by a bounty of blessings you did not know you had.