Transmutation through Gratitude
In our last issue I stated that we would talk about transforming our thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions through catching our thoughts and changing these thoughts towards a more positive affirmation. Along with this I briefly talked about gratitude being a transformative experience in this area as well. We can transform (or transmute) our internal thought process by spending time in gratitude. Just think about this. If upon awakening you spend time in gratitude for the good night’s sleep and the dawning of the new day with anticipated gratitude versus groaning about the alarm going off and it being time to get up and start “another drab day”, how would each of these thoughts impact your day? Of course, we can rationalize that it doesn’t impact our day, that it is just some corny idea that what we think affects how we feel. Or we could experiment and see if there is impact on what we are thinking during the day and how we feel.
In a research project on gratitude and thankfulness, it was found that a daily gratitude intervention with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy when compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison. (Emmons, Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, 2003)
When we talk about being in a state of gratitude, we are talking about more than just thinking the thought. We are talking about going there within ourselves and “feeling” this state of gratitude. Think about one of those moments when, within ourselves, a deep well of gratitude overflowed into our being. We could feel the gratitude in our cells. We were there. This is the place where we are in gratitude. Our entire being is in gratitude. And within this space, we can transform our negative thoughts and really internalize this space of gratitude. It is here that we can feel the love and gratitude for life.
Create the space for this by spending time thinking about a moment when you were there. Was it as you watched your children playing, or noticed the vibrancy of a beautiful flower, or felt totally supported and loved during a difficult moment? Go to some times when you were there. This process will help you center and help you become aware of yourself and your choices. Be in this space. Allow it to flood into your body. Allow the cells of your body to take in the gratitude energy. Allow this energy of gratitude to wrap around you and engulf you as it spreads out beyond you to your environment.
I have found throughout the years that the belief system within me has truly developed this overriding belief that “there are no accidents” and that even those difficult things that occur in my life seem to eventually show themselves as positive things towards my inner growth of life, on a soul level. Therefore, there is a fundamental belief that what is happening in my life is what my soul has called forth in this moment to learn from on a soul level. This belief about life for me allows me to go to gratitude for the difficulties that life can bring.
Sondra Ingerman, in Medicine for the Earth, writes about our fears and how what we focus on is what we will bring into our lives. She states that if we are fearful of losing our home, we should step into gratitude about how much we love our home. Staying out of the negative fear-driven thoughts and taking yourself into the appreciation and gratitude of your home will help you transcend the fear and move into gratitude.
Mary Kay Meuller says that if you change your thoughts for 21 seconds a day for 21 days you will become a magnet for miracles. It is possible to find something to be grateful for in every moment, in every person, in every circumstance. I call it guidance (red light, green light). When I hit a roadblock I am in gratitude as it is a red light guiding me to a different direction. It is guidance and I can be in gratitude for the red light as we can be guided through closed doors as well as opened doors. Try the exercise below for yourself. (Ingerman, Medicine for the Earth) Spend time in gratitude filling out the worksheet and then spend time during your day being in gratitude.
The key to our work here is to change our perception of our world, which in itself transforms our world. To transmute pollution in our body and on the earth we must appreciate and give thanks to everything that composes our body and our world. To work with this, you need to create time in your daily schedule to make this a daily spiritual practice. I will give you some suggestions of what you might be appreciative of, but you might add some things of your own. Please remember to give thanks for all that you are appreciating.
I appreciate the water around me and the rain that comes from above for
I appreciate the air I breathe for
I appreciate the earth I inhabit for
I appreciate the sun and light that comes through the earth and down from the sun for _______________________________
I appreciate the living beings (the plants, the trees, the rocks, the animals, the insects, etc.) which share this great planet with me, for
I appreciate the food I eat for:
I appreciate my feet as they
I appreciate my legs as they
I appreciate my trunk as it
I appreciate my arms as they
I appreciate my hands as they
I appreciate my neck and shoulders as they
I appreciate my head as it
I appreciate my eyes as they are
I appreciate my nose as it I appreciate my mouth, tongue, teeth, and throat as they
I appreciate my skin as it
I appreciate my nails as they I appreciate my hair as it I appreciate my brain as it I appreciate my heart as it
I appreciate my lungs as it I appreciate my liver as it
I appreciate my stomach as it I appreciate my kidneys as they
I appreciate my pancreas as it
I appreciate my chest/breasts as they
I appreciate my male/female organs as they
I appreciate my blood as it
I appreciate my endocrine system as it
I appreciate my nerves as they
I appreciate my bones, joints, and cartilage as they
I appreciate my spine as it
I appreciate my cells as they
I appreciate my DNA as it
I appreciate my friends and community for
I appreciate my coworkers for
I appreciate my job for
I appreciate my house for
I appreciate my creator for
I am in deep appreciation for my life for
****Tags: appreciating our lives, changing fear through gratitude, gratitude, gratitude is a magnet for miracles
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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