How To Practice Gratitude So It Works?
Few weeks ago in my Sunday Vipassana sitting one woman said something that got me thinking about my gratitude practice. (If that is a subject so overdone for you that you get nausea – a la Jean Paul Sartre – hearing about it, I apologize. I feel the same… but this…)
Studies have been done. Practicing gratitude suppose to increase our level of happiness. But despite of practicing, my happiness meter didn’t go up. I have been doing it wrong recently.
And what she said made me realize that instead of feeling it I was thinking about it. I would do the whole process in my logical mind. I would think of all the things that make my life better, easier and thought of all things I am grateful I don’t need to endure. I would thank for people, things, events, my luck, my coffee, the fruit I can reach for in my garden, and the luxuries that were not luxury 100 years ago, and that I don’t need to sit in traffic every morning.
And I changed something. Now when I’m being thankful every cell of my body feels the thrill.
The difference: I moved the process from my head to my heart.
How? You don’t even need to use any words. Just bring the image or a sense of the person you are grateful for, or the vision of your life to your heart and spend a minute or two with it.
I bet you will feel the difference. Tell about it…
(Correction in the video: in the heart space should be: how, not why)
how to practice gratitude so it works
I never feel graditude for what I have, only guilt. What makes me “deserving”? Nothing. Why should others suffer in ways I don’t? It’s not fair.
Dear … Anonymous… Your answer hides so much compassion for others between the lines. I think I would want to respond in 10 different ways to your comment, and I’m realizing I would be answering my own hesitations and lack of greater ability to enjoy things, which I’m learning.
At the same time you started a topic that is too difficult for me to answer now.
This is what we humans are good at: we avoid joy and gravitate towards suffering thru self sabotage or “i’m not deserving”. But who deserves good? Is there anyone who deserves it more or less than you, and what would it be based on? And what is fair? Fairness is an idealistic concept. You have your own share of pain in this world, like others, but it may not always be evident, and others have their own. Some have much more than others. But those who have more joy and compassion are in the position to help those that suffer. That will do more good than joining them in their suffering.
Who knows what the guilt you feel come from… There might be so many reasons. Even not consciously realized. But guilt is one of the lowest vibrations ( see David Hawkins chart of levels if consciousness) and you can change it because it doesn’t feel good. Guilt usually brings punishment.
I just finished today chapter 6 of Marianne Williamson ‘s the law of divine compensation. It was on Guilt. But there is only so much we learn intellectually. The biggest difference happens when we change perspective.
Thank you for reading and commenting.