“When you are grateful you are not fearful, and when you are not fearful, you are not violent. When you are grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share. If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people and respectful to all people. The grateful world is a world of joyful people. Grateful people are joyful people. A grateful world is a happy world.” Brother David Steindl-Rast
While gratitude is everywhere this month, but far from being ubiquitously meaningless, it can be a life changing practice. Whether we find ourselves in the narrowest of circumstances or in the midst of plenty, when we practice gratitude we move from an inner world of scarcity to abundance. Something shifts in us.
A gratitude practice can be very simple. Notice how you feel before you begin. Are you tense or calm? Do you feel stressed or at peace? Now ask yourself, what three things am I grateful to have received today? And what am I grateful to have been able to give? Savor the experiences around these simple things. And afterward, notice how you feel. Are you tense or relaxed? Happy or sad? Stressed or at peace?
You can’t be fearful when you’re grateful, David Steindl-Rast says. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to get through a day? What would it be like to go through a whole day feeling confidently joyful? It might feel like the difference between dancing and trudging, between boredom and intrigue. It might feel like the return to your truest self and a world of new possibility. Even if nothing were to change except your perspective, what would you have to lose? We’ll be practicing gratitude together over at the ERUUF Practices Facebook Group (this is a group for ERUUF members). Let’s go!