Day 13 of 59 Days: "Expression of Gratitude"
Day 13: “Expression of Gratitude”
May 2, 2019
Original Painting: “Expression of Gratitude”, Acrylic on Paper 18×24, 12/27/15
How is gratitude experienced? Does it have the same influence or sensation for the giver and the receiver? Many “professionals” instruct, focus on being grateful for what you have, where you are, and who you are. Putting the energy into the “positive”. Many spiritual teachers will say, “The Universe doesn’t know “not” or negative tense. Make your request is a positive statement, as if you already have received with gratitude.” If you are a person that has experienced a great deal of loss, or trauma, or suffer from depression or anxiety, or simply thing don’t go your way…. does this Pollyanna idea work for you? Here is a difficult nugget to swallow, our physical health and well-being is directly connected to our beliefs.
There is science around the biology of belief. So, there is healing in the attitude of gratitude, IF (Big IF) you BELIEVE it. Now, there have been times in my life when I was like the girl in “Miracle on 34th Street”, saying to myself over and over again, “I believe, I believe, I believe…” and I truly did not believe. I was in the pit of despair. Does the “fake it til you make it” attitude work? Yes and no. Shifting thoughts takes time, vigilance and practice. We have thoughts that we don’t even know that we are having. The subconscious mind is always working, day and night. This is where the true work of shifting thoughts happens. Have you experienced when you get something new, like a car, you see that car all the time? What if, you settled for the 2009 Red CR-V, but you really wanted a Blue BMW Z3, which one are your going to see? And what will happen each time you see your dream car, while you are driving? The subconscious is playing in the background…what story are you letting it tell you? The inner dialog can turn into something like this: “Wow, isn’t that a beautiful Z3?” “I’ll never be able to afford that!” (inner sigh) “Yes, but if I did, I would look great behind the wheel with the top down.” “Seriously, with my hair? Top down? I would look like I went through a wind storm!! Don’t think that would look good!!!!” Big outer sigh and poof…the belief becomes I will never get one, I would look bad driving it and it is not going to happen.
I have had clients that I coach tell me very challenging stories of things going very badly and because they think adding, “but it was meant to be,” or “but it’s a beautiful day,” or “everything happens for a reason,” make it a positive outlook or that they are living with the attitude of gratitude…UH, NO! How does the attitude of gratitude actually work? Or should I say, does the attitude of gratitude actually work? Either way, it comes back to belief and here is the key…belief IS IN the present moment. When we experience gratitude, it is in the NOW. When I remember being grateful, I am actually feeling gratitude now, for that past experience. Gratitude keeps us in the present. What a gift. Many of us live our life’s wishing for the future or looking in the rear view at the past, or a little of both. Few of us live in the now. Gratitude is a now experience. FEEL IT! Think of a person or experience from the past that you are grateful for…you are feeling that in the present. Think of how you would like to see your life in the future and be grateful for it…you are experiencing gratitude now. Being present is how we quiet the subconscious. The “shoulds”, “coulds”, and “woulds” are not present moment thinking. This is a practice. It will never be perfect AND that is OK!! I am not a master at this, by any means. I do know that when I stay present, I feel better and appreciate my life. When I am in the wants of life, or in the wishes of what could have been, I don’t feel my best and I judge myself…harshly, at times.
This painting, “Expression of Gratitude,” feels fluid to me like fire burning or water flowing. I can turn it any direction and it still has movement. I even see it as part of a wing, maybe of a butterfly. That is what gratitude does in our lives, it creates movement. Movement of the heart, movement in awareness and movement that frees my thinking. Funny thing happened, before I finished writing this…I noticed a red convertible Z3 with the top down and it made me laugh. I appreciated the lesson. What does that say to you?
My hope is that I will continue to allow myself to feel gratitude. I have many opportunities to do so. I also hope that you will explore how gratitude lives in your life and you will open that gift of the present moment. Blessings and peace on your journey.
Beth is a seasoned and experienced bodywork, somatic coach and wellness professional. She is available to present on wellness, bodywork and somatic topics; or individual bodywork and coaching sessions. Bring Beth to your area for workshops, speaking events or team building projects. Personal and business coaching are also services that Beth provides. Consider coaching for individual or small groups/teams. Contact Beth for more information and rates.