Spiritual Practice – G

G – GRACE & GRATITUDE

GRACEhandcandle

Acceptance of God’s Love ~ Watching for gifts ~ Reading spiritual memoirs and biographies ~ Awareness of synchronicities ~ Gift of tears ~ Lighting candles

Grace, to me, is so much about living with what you got rather than envy what you do not. We are all given the gifts of body and mind. How you choose to receive and use those gifts are up to you. Grace is conducting your body and mind in a manner of gratitude and growth. Not only being grateful for your today and what you have and looking forward to new gifts and how to share them. We also grow by learning about those whom we look up to. Not only in a spiritual sense, but personality, career, political, etc. All of these lend to our sense of self and spirituality, or connection with others.

47a8247029aab1795c15cc371fd8fd9f  GRATITUDE

Gratitude journals ~ Naikan ~ Blessings ~ Greeting the dawn ~ Mealtime grace ~ Offerings

I have written about gratitude before. It is one of the aspects of “Happy” people. When we are grateful, for everyday things, we are focusing on our blessings and not shortcomings. It can be easy, especially in our culture, to get caught up in what we don’t have. This creates angst, resentment, greed, etc. Keeping a gratitude journal helps us remember that everyday we have things to be grateful for. The journal is simply writing down good things that happened that day and events, people or things you are grateful for.

Naikan is a the Japanese word for “introspection” It is a practice of self reflection, which includes gratitude. It can be a simple and easy way to include gratitude daily. It can also be a reflection of those who given to you throughout your life.

Naikan reflection is based on three questions:

  1. What have I received from __________?
  2. What have I given, what have I done for ___________?
  3. What troubles and difficulties have I caused __________?
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Gratitude

I have written quite a bit about gratitude. It is one of the main characteristics of happy people! What is so important about being grateful and thankful?gratitude2

 

Sometimes, we think of things we don’t have rather than the blessings and gifts we do have. That can cause us to feel insecure, sad, anxious, discontented, jealous, and lacking. Our society advertises to the part of us that is insecure. We need a certain car, make-up, shoe, vitamin, exercise machine, etc to be who we should be, ought to be, to be more. Well, that kind of scrutiny should come from within. Those people who want to sell us some stuff, even magazines about how to be better at… everything, don’t know you. They just know people and how to hit insecurity buttons.

You know you, what you need, want and “should” be. Gratitude is about recognizing what you are starting with, what your power and tools are to move forward. I work with many people who feel worthless and hopeless with no future. They have tremendous difficulty seeing what they are blessed with, even the small things. One of the tricks with gratitude is to not belittle or demean the blessings. No, “yeah, but,” “so what,” “who cares,” “not really” or any other follow up comment that may totally erase the good thing. It’s still there!

A grateful heart will open you up to new wonderful feelings, ways of seeing the world and relationships. How do you get a grateful heart? How do you find the silver lining? Start with saying Thank You, for anything, and really meaning it.

TRY THIS

Gratitude journal: Get a notebook. Everyday, yes, every single one, write down 3 things you are grateful for. They should be different things that you have to think about. Write down why you are grateful for those things. Do this for at least one month. You can continue as long as you would like or just when you need a pick-me-up.

Thank you notes: Write a heart felt thank you note to one person in your life. I would suggest one a day, everyday for 2 weeks or once a week for a year! You can email it, mail it, message it, put it in their lunch box. Make sure they get it, even if it’s on their gravestone.

Practice Gratitude and being Thankful.