November 16, 2014

My Gratitude Journey

I am currently on my second gratitude journey. Between the two, I found that I slipped back into old habits and let life slip by without appreciating anything. This second journey is teaching me how important gratitude is to my transformation. Not only do I get to join in on the exercises but this time I have been blessed...I also get to create them. Creating gratitude exercises that go beyond the journals that only name 3-10 things you are grateful for has really given me a deeper understanding. We are trying to get to what truly matters to us and trying to profoundly incorporate gratitude at our core. We want it to become a way of life so much that it just comes natural without trying.
I felt compelled to share this particular exercise because I do believe gratitude is essential for us to become more happy. If you are interested in taking part in the journey with us, check out my friend, Essence Turner, on her Facebook group. Be sure to like the page and feel free to share your comments with us! 
Gratitude Reflection:
We tend to focus on things that are the most important to us in our lives. Some of the more common ones include: family, friends, people who have affected us in... a variety of ways, faith, freedom, health, happiness, and possessions that give us comfort. We have even started learning how to be grateful for our challenges and struggles for the lessons and strength they give us.
Does having a home for your family deserve more gratitude than a nail or a piece of wood? Is the air you breathe into your lungs worth more of your appreciation than a tiny seed? You wouldn't have the house you live in if you didn't have materials to build it and you wouldn't have oxygen to inhale if that little seed didn't grow into a tree.
“What about the mundane? The common? The usual? The overlooked? The unconventional? Our happiness depends on our ability to feel and express gratitude. The more grateful we are, in fact, the deeper our happiness will run.” ~ Ken Wert
Throughout our gratitude journey we will be randomly focusing on the little things. Aglets was just the beginning. We want to practice gratitude until it is ingrained into our psyches, until it becomes such an automatic way of life that one day we look around and find we are surprised that we once took anything for granted. We want to manifest all of our heart's desires, and gratitude is the way.
If you practised only one principle for the rest of your life, gratitude would be the most crucial. Joe Vitale believes that if each of us would practice gratitude in the moment, all worries would vanish, all problems would resolve, all miracles would come easily — in fact, if we really were in gratitude in the moment, we’d realize we are already happy, already peaceful, and already living the miracle.
“Active Gratitude means noticing the good in every moment. When you actually come from gratitude, you wouldn’t judge the moment as good or bad because you’d realize the jury isn’t in yet and so every moment can be seen as good.” ~Joe Vitale

Gratitude is a key ingredient in having an abundant life. How important is gratitude to you? How often do you practice? Are you just beginning your journey, off to a great start, or are you becoming a pro? Do you feel gratitude is an essential part of your overall happiness? Why? What benefits or opportunities have you received or hope to obtain because of the gratitude you express? Have you gained any insights since you have become more thankful? Are there ways you can incorporate more gratitude in your life? Are you able to stop yourself the next time you catch yourself taking something for granted and show some appreciation?

My Answer:
Gratitude is becoming very important to me because I see its worth in my life. I will admit that I don't practice as much as I believe I should but I realize that I am a beginner and I have faith that each day is bringing me closer to having a deep appreciation for gratitude itself.

I have had many experiences throughout my life that prove to me that gratitude is definitely one of the MOST essential parts of happiness. I can feel it within when my spirits are up but when I am down, the lack of gratitude consumes me. That is when I need it the most. When it becomes imperative to look around and think about how much worse things could be without those little things that may seem insignificant and even unneeded and unwanted in the darkest moments.

I am a firm believer in "if you want more, praise what you already have". Everything in existence vibrates; gratitude raises vibrations just as love does. I have greatly benefited from my gratitude. I have been directed to a path of self-discovery, found resources to guide my way, and received positive people that support me, became my friends, mentors and role models. I believe because of gratitude, my lifelong prayers are being answered, my vibration is rising, and now I have unlimited access to infinite opportunities. I know the possibilities for me are endless if I keep practising gratitude daily, stay connected to positive outlets, and never give up on my goals.

I am not an overly materialistic person; the only object that I ever really desired was a house that I designed myself, and only because I want to feel the joy of seeing the beautiful completion of something that came from my own creativity.

My hopes is that gratitude will send me to those who will show me the way and guide me to those who need my help. Through gratitude, I hope to recapture the wonder of all life has to offer. I hope to be able to feel joy and see the world through the innocent eyes of my daughters. I hope to feel excitement the moment I wake, and peace as I close my eyes at night because then I will know that I love life enough to live each moment to the fullest.

What I really want is to live a life of Active Gratitude. The most important insight I have learned is that you MUST feel gratitude. When you feel, really feel it at your core, that is when miracles happen. I have seen it happen for me on occasion but I want to feel that again and again. I love the sensation I get inside when appreciation overwhelms me.

There are so many ways that I could incorporate gratitude into my life more. I think the most important aspect to focus on throughout my day is the little, the common, the overlooked things that I don't give much, if any thought to. I don't know if I can stop myself from taking things for granted but from now on I am going to put more effort in being mindful of what I do and say, the things I touch, the places I go, the people I see. I want to question my thoughts. I want to imagine what life would be like without these things. I want to see why these things have importance to me. I want to express my gratitude for the value they bring into my life.

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