Gratitude

Blog Published on December 15, 2022 by Margaret Nies

We are at the time of year when daylight is precious in the northern hemisphere. The light comes and goes quickly. The days are usually cold, cloudy and gloomy. This time of year is one of introspection. A look inward and outward. Reflecting on our lives and how we see the world.

Past and future

This is the time of year when we reflect on the past and focus on the future. We anticipate the return of light and with it clear skies and warmer days. We consider what we want for the coming year. Our past and our future are both on our minds. We look for ways to change; ourselves and circumstances. Gratitude is the spark. It can light the flame in our hearts and souls. It can feed the flame and turn it into an incredible bonfire of warmth. A fire that warms us and the world around us. The fuel for the fire is our thoughts; how we perceive the world around us. One spark and a little fuel and our world can change dramatically. Gratitude is a feeling that arises spontaneously from within. It can be joyful, with and tear, playful and so much more. However, it is also a choice we make.

Advantages

Much has been written about gratitude and its benefits. The benefits are quite obvious. Being grateful can make your day one of peace and calm. This simple act can reduce stress, free you from anxiety, block negative emotions, help you sleep better, improve your physical health, offer hope and help you understand what is really important to you. It can change your life.

Gratitude can also change others around you. It is as if those around you catch a bit of the flame you are experiencing and expressing, and it warms them as well. One grateful thought and/or expression has the potential to change so much.

Practicing and practicing

Because it has been talked about so much, we can say, "Ahhh, yes, that makes sense." But, do we actually practice gratitude. The answer is often between "Yes" and "No." Some days gratitude is easy, some days completely forgotten, and some days it seems impossible to find something to be grateful for. Some days we would rather just be grumpy and leave the world for what it is. As we know, it is easy to let something slide. But on the days when one does practice, a change can be seen and felt. The world becomes more sparkling and alive. It is as if our lens to the world has been cleared of fog. Just one moment of gratitude can change your perspective. And this change in perspective seems to creep into the following days as well.

So how do you make gratitude a practice? It may take a little effort, but it can also be fun. You can put bills about what you are grateful for in a bowl, stick them on the refrigerator, use sticky bills on your mirror, make a board, write in a journal or "notes to self" on whatever is at hand. You can add drawings, photos, clippings and more. Add things you find in nature, a bright leaf, stone, pine cone....

Each day, week and month can bring new things as well as some of the same. It is amazing to go back and look at what you have created, a physical trace of your changing perspective and world. On difficult days, just looking at gratitude from the past can rekindle the fire in your heart.

Being sick and gratitude?

Can we be thankful for our own life and health? Even when we are felled by a virus or have something more serious, our cells and organs continue to work for balance. Something we usually take for granted when we are healthy, we expect our bodies to just keep functioning as they should. Is it possible in both health and illness to be grateful for the amazing miracle of our bodies?

Through gratitude, you can find a peaceful place within, bring joy into your life and witness the abundance in your world. Gratitude is one of the rungs on the ladder of well-being.

Sometimes we need more support.

Recently, a massage therapist, a healthy and vibrant person, called one of us and said she had an annoying "something." She asked to meet in a parking lot with some "magic water" for a helping hand. That evening she wrote how grateful she was, "I have been taking the Recover drops since 11 a.m. this morning and I already feel better."

This is why Bengs exists - to provide another potential rung on the ladder of well-being.

I'm going for that rung on my ladder