Sunday, October 19, 2014

Soul Sunday

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation. It is a mindful acknowledgment of all that we have been given. When we focus on the abundance in our lives, we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment.

Expressing gratitude is a rewarding habit that affirms the grace of the giver. Gratitude opens our hearts, encourages us to savor each gift that comes our way, and magically frees us from jealously guarding our possessions. It lets us celebrate today rather than waiting for the next level of accomplishment or wealth. It is a reminder that one can always find reason to be glad.
 
 Experiencing and expressing gratitude is an important part of any spiritual practice.  It opens the heart and activates positive emotion centers in the brain.  Regular practice of gratitude can change the way our brain neurons fire into more positive automatic patterns. The positive emotions we evoke can soothe distress and broaden our thinking patterns so we develop a larger and more expansive view of our lives.  
 
 To begin bringing gratitude into your life, you can deliberately meditate on all the things in your own life that help you or give you pleasure.  You can also write a gratitude diary, posting pictures and writing about the things you feel grateful for each day.  Give, help, listen, do and be there for others to show your gratitude as well.  Gratitude can lead to feelings of love, appreciation, generosity, and compassion, which further open our hearts and help rewire our brains to fire in more positive ways.
 
Gratitude is an emotion of connectedness, which reminds us we are part of a larger universe with all living things. We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

Be thankful for what you have, you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. Live in gratitude.
 
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