True gratitude calls us to feel grateful not only for our successes, but also for our problems, our mistakes, and even for people who treat us unkindly. We can actually feel gratitude for our most difficult struggles because these are seen as ultimately beneficial in our lives even if the intention is not always immediately clear to us.
Gratitude can solve all that ails us; because when we are truly grateful, we immediately rise above our fear-based needs to dominate, control, or retreat in to cynicism. And when we approach people and situations with gratitude, we will naturally be drawn to positive action, discovering new possibilities that we could never have imagined in the protective shell of self-isolation. These actions can take many forms, depending on the needs of the other person and the situation in the moment, but will always be beneficial for humanity.
Although gratitude is a feeling, it must be cultivated through action. The following offers several suggestions for developing gratitude:
Make a gratitude list: Srikumar Rao, who teaches a hugely popular class at Columbia Business School, and is author of Are You Ready to Succeed? recommends that we write a daily list of the things that have occurred for which we are grateful. These do not need to be major events, but can be the little occurrences that we usually ignore - the train arriving on time, good weather, a satisfying meal, a stranger's warm smile - and the wonderful people and things in our lives that we all too often take for granted - our families, spouses, friends, jobs, homes, health, bodies.
- Say "thank you" to others: Stay alert for opportunities to express gratitude to others as often as you can. You will find that even when you are not feeling grateful, simply saying "thank you" will connect you to others, and will have an impact beyond the moment.
- Develop a daily gratitude prayer: All religious and spiritual traditions stress the essential nature of gratitude, and place it as the bedrock of faith. Within many of these traditions the first prayer that a practitioner says every morning is "I am thankful for having awakened to another day." This is a prayer of gratitude to our Creator for the very miracle of our lives.
These practices remind us that gratitude is available to us at any moment and under any circumstance, even - or especially - when we are not feeling particularly thankful. Seen from the highest perspective, gratitude is the door that opens to individual and world transformation, revealing our true nature, binding us to each other, and to the Divine.” ~ see more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-alan-lurie/gratitude-the-great-heale_b_266952.html
Know you are blessed,