I AM Alive with Gratitude
November 21, 2018
“I AM Alive with Gratitude. “ This is one of the I AM affirmations from my personal list of 25 I AM affirmations around energy, an exercise we discussed in my last Blog, The connection I feel when I am deeply grateful is the emotional energy of joy.
Please pause and take a couple of minutes to look at this exquisite photo of a sunset that was taken down the road from my Lake House overlooking Lake Erie. Thank you, Greg Peiffer, for allowing me to use one of your sunset photos. Greg is the CEO of WPCR/WPIB Radio, a friend and neighbor, who has a passion and talent for photography – and a journal of amazing sunset photos.
We all have a sunset experience or a sunrise experience. What is the experience you remember of a sunset or sunrise when you paused and allowed yourself the five minutes to fully and deeply be in the moment, when the sun so quickly and amazingly disappears over the horizon? What do you feel when you experienced this beautiful sunset?
Just to jump start your reflection, here are a few examples of words we often use when we feel positive emotions:
When I witness a sunset, I am always in awe. Sometimes my heart fills with contentment and peace. Other times, my heart is filled with inspiration and hope. I am always deeply grateful for the day.
What do you feel when you look at this beautiful sunset or pull up a memory of your beautiful sunset experience?
The key point: Gratitude is an emotion.
Some people tend to think appreciation is a synonym for gratitude. Others believe there is a difference between appreciation and gratitude. Some think of appreciation as external and gratitude as internal. What resonates with me is the idea that appreciation comes from the mind and gratitude comes from the heart.
Ever the analyst, I decided to look back in my Gratitude Journal entries this year and reflect on whether they expressed appreciation or went deeper and expressed the emotion of gratitude. For example, I often think of my dear Aunt Mary and how grateful I am for all the support she gave me over the years. I will now add that I feel the love and joy of Mary’s support. Always learning.
What is your daily gratitude practice?
There are so many options. When you first open your eyes in the morning, you can simply think of five things or people you are grateful for. You can create a Gratitude Jar and periodically write down a blessing and add to the jar. At the end of the year, you can literally count your blessings.
Perhaps you will want to write a Gratitude Letter or make a Gratitude Call this holiday season. One Christmas season many years ago, I received a voice mail from a business associate. He said: “As we near Christmas, I think about one or two people in my life that made the year so outstanding and so enjoyable and so memorable. You are on that very short list.” He went on to explain why he was so thankful, with specifics about how I had enriched his year. I cherish this memory.
In addition, you can add inspiring gratitude meditations. One I revisit often is Cathy McDonald's, Gratitude Meditation, a 28-minute guided meditation. on Insight Timer. Cathy is from South Africa and is a meditation teacher, Reiki Master Healer, Zhineng Qigong Hunyuan Qi therapist and hypnosis practitioner. In addition, she has done undergraduate work in physics, mathematics, chemistry and has practiced law. One of the reasons I love this meditation is because it helps get you in touch with your emotions when you are grateful. You will feel gratitude in your heart and it will course throughout your body and being.
For a further discussion of the positive benefits of a daily practice of gratitude, please see my Blog from August 28th, "Saying Thank you."
In closing, I would like to share some amazing news from my week. “Be Happy NOW!: From Wall Street Ambition and the Illusion of Success, My Path to Happiness,” my new book with coauthor, David Prudhomme, is an Award-Winning Finalist in the 2018 Best Books Awards sponsored by American Book Fest (New Age, Non-fiction category). I am filled with gratitude – a mixture of joy, satisfaction, surprise and confidence – by this national recognition of our book. Here is a link from my website to preview and purchase our book, ”Be Happy NOW!
Till next time,
May you be happy now and always, Alison
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