A Practice of Gratitude

by | Nov 26, 2013 | Empowering

What does it mean to be truly grateful? Is it enough to be grateful when things go well? How about being grateful when life is challenging, when we don’t get what we want? Can we experience gratitude then, too?

And why is gratitude, as a practice, not just as a word, so important?

I can tell you from my own experience that there was a time in my life that I did not feel grateful. I felt impatient that my life wasn’t going the way I had planned. I felt bitter at rejection. I felt envy toward others who’s lives seemed more prosperous, easier, better.

The more resentful I felt, the worse my situation became.

Then, one day, I had a mind shift. I was introduced to the idea of gratitude as a form of meditation. Gratitude could be nurtured, cultivated. I set out to introduce more gratitude into my life.

Instead of looking at a successful person and envying their success, I celebrated their good fortune.

Instead of looking at a skinny woman and hating her for her looks, I congratulated her on her appearance.

Instead of complaining about what I did not have, I offered thanks for what I did have.

At this time, I was not practicing gratitude because my situation had changed. It hadn’t. At least not right away. But the way I was looking at life shifted. Once I realized I could still be grateful even when things weren’t going my way, an incredible thing happened.

My life changed. For the better.

The more I meditated on gratitude, more and more elements of my life were reflected back to me as good, as happy, as worth celebrating.

If like attracts like, then it makes sense that bitterness attracts more bitterness, but also that gratitude attracts more gratitude. By changing my thoughts, I changed my life.

So, I challenge you to accept gratitude into your life—not just gratitude for what you have, but for all of the blessings this world has to offer to not just you, but to everyone. And watch how good your own life can become.