By Gina Sendef
Adopting an attitude of gratitude is a popular topic this time of year. The holiday season tends to bring out a grateful nature for many, focusing on our blessings and trying to be more giving. Sometime after the new year rings in, we usually go right back to where we were before; forgetting all the gratefulness and falling back into daily life. But it doesn't have to be this way. This year, we can use the holiday season to launch a spiritual practice for living more thankfully all the time; improving our lives and making the world a better place along the way.
Gratitude is a form of energy; very high vibrating energy. It is a kind of spiritual energy aligned with love, peace and joy. This is why gratitude lends itself so well to a spiritual practice. When we strive to align our outlook and thinking with a more grateful nature, we raise our vibration and can begin to create a very positive flow of energy that not only optimally impacts our lives, but the lives of those around us as well. The energy of gratitude is a magnet for other high vibrating energy, like joy, love, abundance, peace and good health. In short, it creates manifesting magic. But you cannot fake it; living thankfully requires discipline.
That's why a spiritual practice is helpful. You can use it to train your brain to be thankful for everything; yes every single thing. There is always a blessing, even when something seems to be a problem. I'm not suggesting you deny your emotions; you have to face all of them. But learning to see the aspects of each situation for which you can be thankful is a gift we are all capable of having; if we choose to do so. Every situation, relationship, or decision has a negative and positive side; it's just the way the universe operates. We choose which perspective to focus more attention upon with our thoughts and beliefs. Training your brain to see the light far more then the dark is one of the most self-loving things you can do; not to mention the good it does for the world.
Tools help a great deal when it comes to training our brain and creating a practice. To shift your focus and live more thankfully requires discipline, and a regimen is a great way to exercise discipline. A simple daily plan will help you achieve a more grateful approach to all areas of your life. Here are 5 tools for living more thankfully; choose one or all to begin your gratitude journey.
1. A Forgiveness Ritual: Rituals are wonderful ways to honor what's important; often with a detailed process for doing so. Since gratitude is a very high vibrating energy, adopting a more grateful existence is much easier when we have an ongoing plan for releasing negative energy. A forgiveness ritual is such a plan. Executed at the time of the full moon (the lunar phase optimal for letting go of what no longer serves our highest good), this ritual allows us to recall all that occurred in our recent lives which made us irritated, angry, sad or frustrated and let it go. Start by praying and asking spirit to guide you; then begin writing about your negative feelings, holding nothing back. Do not censor your writing, once it is complete you can destroy the page (burning, shedding, garbage etc) and ask spirit to release all the negative energy. Now your energy will resonate more with gratitude and thankful thinking will come more easily.
2. A Blessing Board: Vision Boards are excellent for manifesting positive change. Creating one that focuses on things, places, people etc. for which you are thankful is an incredible way to focus your attention and draw lots of positive energy into your life; literally giving you more opportunities to be grateful. This can be done on a bulletin board, poster board, picture frame or even a Pinterst board (my personal favorite because you can access it any time). Just start with pictures, words, quotes and symbols that give you that glowing feeling of gratitude. When you are having a rough day, view this board to raise your vibration immediately.
3. A Gratitude Jar: This is a great project for individuals or families. Use a big mason type jar or vessel and label it with a word that represents your gratitude mantra or motto. Every day, using small slips of paper, write down something that happened for which you are grateful; it can be absolutely anything. Every month or so, read the slips (if it's a family jar, do this together). It's really fun to relive thankful moments, and you will find it's often the small things that mean the most.
4. A Gratitude Scrapbook: Save your favorite memories of gratitude from your jar and record them in a Gratitude Scrapbook. Again, this is a great tool for individuals or families. Add pictures and quotes along with the slips of paper to make this a wonderful scrapbook of reasons you are thankful. Take it a step further and dedicate a page to each person in your family or life and record all the things about them that make you feel thankful. Imagine reviewing this positive, beautiful book as the years pass; recalling all the grateful moments and memories!
5. Use your Tools: It's easy to be thankful when things go our way; but when problems arise it can be difficult. Yet it's during times of stress, strife or sorrow that gratitude can truly help ease our pain and raise the energy of the situation immediately. Even in the darkest of times, focusing on that for which you can be grateful will show you the light. It is a choice, of course. You can allow your mind to be swallowed by negativity, or you can make extra effort to avoid it by seeking gratitude. Use the tools you have created to help you during these times. They not only help you live more thankfully, they help you focus your brain on gratitude when you feel anything but grateful. In this way, these tools can be lifesavers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gina Sendef is an independent Spiritual Self-Help Author, Reiki Master Teacher and Angel Intuitive. Writing is her life long passion. Her first book, Truth Works: Divine Life Lessons for Kids of All Ages, is a self-help book geared towards older children, teens and young adults. The premise for Truth Works is to undo harmful affects that exist when our children are taught traditional life lessons like "life is not fair" or "money is the root of all evil". The goal of the book is to undo this negative programming at a young age, ensuring the subconscious belief system for our children is optimistic, safe and secure. She also created Angel Works as a means to provide energy healing and mentoring and to work with the positive and loving energy of the angels to offer guidance. Through Angel Reiki and Angel Readings, Gina gives people divine counsel and healing that will improve their health, uncover their life's purpose, enrich their relationships and enhance their lives.