Gratitude is a Force
Gratitude has always been a core piece of my spiritual practice. Before meditation, before yoga, before divination — there was gratitude. This simple practice — of being mindful and giving thanks — has seen me through some decidedly hard times. It is like a beacon.
I want to be clear: this is not about counting blessings.
This isn’t even about positive thinking. It’s not glossing over harsh realities, but rather using gratitude as a support mechanism to deepen our relationship to our own lives. It about broadening our gratitude beyond a journal and using as the framework for our lives. When we view life through a lens of gratitude, that’s where we find the magic.
It’s not about counting, but gratitude is an honest accounting of how lucky we are.
Gratitude wants to be set free.
One of the traps I see in gratitude practice is that people spend years scribbling notes in their journals — listing who and what they are grateful for. When, really, we should all be telling those people every day. We should be expressing our gratitude out loud, often. It’s common to complain, but rare to verbalize what brings joy and healing to our lives.
It can even feel uncomfortable at first. It’s vulnerable to express gratitude.
It can feel equally vulnerable to receive thanks, but these skills are learned. We can grow into giving and receiving appreciation.
If we set our minds to it, we can become adept at putting words to our gratitude. Send a note. Call a friend. Send flowers.
However you choose to do it, make sure that your gratitude doesn’t go unexpressed.
It’s not supposed to be a secret. When someone (at work or at home) does you a favor or is making your life easier, say thank you — and be genuine and specific. Over time, it will become natural. It becomes part of the fabric of who we are to frame our experiences — positive or negative — around gratitude.
What does this have to do with justice?
Everything. When we exercise our gratitude, when we set it free, our relationships are more resilient, our bonds deeper. We are less susceptible to corporate narratives of less-than and not-enough. Because we have another narrative that we know to be true. That we are valuable, inherently – not only in a way that is connected with our monetary worth, productivity, or status.
We don’t need what they are selling us, if we are grateful for what we already have.
We learn to trust and love one another. To sustain ourselves through the intangible value in our lives: community, laughter, shared experience, trust. When we ground ourselves in gratitude, we develop the strength to fight for what we value deeply: each other, our freedom, our homes, our lives.
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Gratitude is a mighty force.
It’s a way of declaring that you are already enough.
It is a force for resisting the urge to fill our lives with more empty stuff. It is a force for freedom and joy. When we see that we already have enough, we can enjoy that. We can settle into the ease of our lives, rather than chasing the external.