“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast
Gratitude is what connects us to joy, love, courage, connection, a sense of belonging – these all in some way connect us back to ourselves. In a recent Oprah video, a group of panelists talk about gratitude. When we are grateful there is no room for fear, anger or separation. Gratitude is calming, loving, it negates fear in a world where somehow along the way we have become fearful – afraid of each other, afraid of feeling, afraid of loving, afraid of trusting. Fear, anger, stress, are isolating feelings and the opposite of being grateful. But, when we are coming from the place of gratitude our hearts are open and we become no longer separated. We are able to give and receive freely, without attachment to the outcome. We come from a place of love. There is a recognition of something bigger, greater, a shift in perception. Gratitude doesn’t keep score, it doesn’t have expectations; it is simply being thankful and loving what is, from the learning, to the stumbling.
Tony Robbins says, “Gratitude is the reset button. It is the cleanser of the soul.” In giving thanks, the “you” disappears. Another panelist, Deepak Chopra, mentions that everything you see, touch, feel is a gift and where there is appreciation there is duplication. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life, and reminds us that we already have everything we need, the key is to simply slow down, get still and notice.
So this month, take time to honor the little things…everyday…it’s all about the means and not the end. Notice the things that make you smile, and when you find them…smile. Every day, find something to be grateful for. It’s there.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley