The Attitude of Gratitude

During the past 30 days I have enjoyed the most powerful experiences of gratitude of my life.  The triggering event is that my wife and I brought our son Wyatt home 1 month ago today.  Now those of you who are parents already know what I am talking about.  The words that we have been using to describe what at times seem indescribable are that we feel blessed and grateful.  Not just for the fact that we now have a son, but also for the overwhelming generosity and support of friends, family, loved ones and even people we don’t even know!!

Our hearts are filled with such love that tears of joy have been virtually a daily occurrence as has expressing our heartfelt gratitude, for Wyatt, his birth mother, our families, friends and of course each other.

This has caused me to revisit the adage “develop an attitude of gratitude.”  Yes it is a catchy little phrase, one that is easy to dismiss as hokey or trite but let’s take a closer look at what it really means and the exceptional power that this habit and framing device can develop.

First of all, we need to acknowledge that on the whole our society focuses a tremendous amount of energy on what we do not have, what is missing, what should be different.  This is a focus and a grounding of resistance.  It makes our lives more difficult; it consumes our energy and our thoughts.  It is the primary means by which our belief system reinforces itself and perpetuates the recurring negative patterns in our lives.

One of the most significant benefits of nurturing an attitude of gratitude is that being grateful eliminates resistance, which provides the opportunity for growth, evolution and transformation.  We cannot be in resistance and grateful at the same time.

There has been some fascinating research carried out by the Heartmath Institute that reinforces what we all intuitively and experientially know, which is positive heartfelt emotions such as joy, gratitude, appreciation and kindness make us feel better, seem to make our lives easier and assist us to flow with the rhythm of life.  Heartmath’s research proves that positive emotions such as gratitude create harmony in the heart’s rhythms and the nervous system.  Other bodily functions sync up to this rhythm, which is called coherence.  Coherence has many powerful and positive benefits such as increased mental clarity, creativity, resourcefulness and functioning of the cortex is measurably improved.  There is a caveat to these results and that is we must genuinely FEEL the emotions.  It does not work if we are simply going through the motions, such as unconsciously making a list of what we are grateful for without being fully present and associated to the emotions and the experience.

So here are my lessons or reminders of the past month regarding gratitude.  When I choose gratitude it supports me:

1)    To bring my attention to the present, the here and now

2)    To focus on what is amazing, beautiful and blessed

3)    To truly see and acknowledge the people in my life

4)    To connect to the divine, both the universal energy and the divine spark that exists in all human beings

So this Christmas season when the stress of parties, shopping, family visits and holidays simply seems too much, try to create some space to focus on and deeply feel gratitude. Living in Canada, each of us has countless people, events and experiences to be grateful for.  When you connect with that feeling in your heart let it simply radiate out from you, emanate from you.  Not only will you feel better but also observe the impact it has on those around you.

If you have trouble with this assignment, I have a suggestion that has worked wonders for me.  Hold a baby in your arms, look into their eyes and try not to feel wonder and gratitude for the entire universe.

In gratitude and love for the many people in my life, especially my son Wyatt.

Author's Bio: 

Jay Fiset is a powerful speaker, a risk-taker, and a leader who reaches his goals by assisting others to achieve theirs. He has over 20,000 hours experience conducting personal development seminars. His company, Personal Best Seminars, is a leading seminar company that provides workshops promoting self awareness and stimulating personal growth. Jay enjoys living life to the fullest. He continually challenges himself and expands his comfort zone by participating in such activities as bungee jumping, sky diving, and fire walking.

His interests include television and video production, restoring vintage sports cars, running, Macintosh computers, real estate investing and learning new technology.

He is committed to personal development, conscious parenting, lifelong learining, the end of extreme poverty, community contribution and discovery.

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