The Heartset of Gratitude

be less stressed Nov 30, 2021


A Heartset of Gratitude

November 30, 2021


I so look forward to writing on Gratitude in my Blog every November! Last year the reader response to The Heartset of Gratitude was so terrific, I thought it made sense to revisit and further explore its deep meaning.   

I choose the word “heartset” with intention – because gratitude is an emotion and comes from the heart. “Heartset” changes the focus from the mind and the ego to our heart. More importantly, “heartset” also brings to the fore our passion for how we are living our life – how we are seeing our world – as we move forward on our own unique journey.

In my experience, gratitude practices typically evolve over time. That has certainly been my experience. Often, gratitude practices start with thinking about 3 things or people we are grateful for... and progresses from there to Gratitude Journals, Gratitude Letters, Gratitude Meditations, 10-day and 21-day Gratitude Courses.  

The key is for gratitude to become a daily ritual -- a consistent ritual. 

A Heartset of Gratitude takes it deeper -- it is a way of looking at the world through both the good times and the challenging times. There is a level of awareness that even in the dark days we can feel grateful.  Deeper yet, a Heartset of Gratitude sees change and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. We have a choice. We always have a choice in every moment … to choose Love over Fear. 

My dear friend and accomplished poet and author, Donna Lueke, recently wrote a beautiful poem, "Giving thanks," which reveals her journey through a range of gratitude practices and arrives at the deeper level of awareness, which I call the Heartset of Gratitude. I invite you to read Donna's poem: 

Giving thanks

We have long known
That gratitude practice
Is an essential element
In finding peace.

In my restlessness,
At various times
And in diverse ways,
I practice gratitude-
Imperfect practices
Of gratitude prayers,
Gratitude journaling,
Walking in gratitude,
Speaking gratitude,
Silent gratitude,
Thank you cards,
Thank you letters,
Gratitude verses,
Gratitude circles,
Gratitude yoga,
A gratitude jar,
A gratitude tin,
A gratitude sweat lodge,
A gratitude candle;

Gratitude for family
And for friends,
For all who touch me
For a moment or a lifetime;

Gratitude for nature,
For man-made wonders,
For heaven-sent surprises
That amaze and delight.

The latest revelation
In my slow-learning soul
Is that when I worry,
Or am self-critical,
Or am fighting pain,
That head and heart
Can be soothed
By finding gratitude
In their other side.

In that practice
I find moments of peace,
And I am deeply grateful.

D.M. Lueke


Well and truly said, dear friend! Thank you for sharing your gifts and your gratitudes. 

The Heartset of Gratitude lights the path to go deeply within to figure out how we see to the other side of the abys -- when we are in pain, facing challenges, worried about the future, and so on. 

Many people have faced challenges in 2020 and 2021. I know I have. As you know, words are important to me. Challenges is the word I choose to use rather than struggles. When we say we are struggling, when we say we are overwhelmed --- we are re-enforcing the mindset that we are struggling, that we are overwhelmed. I choose to say challenges --- because that is motivational, positive and forward looking.  We can and will rise to the challenges and figure things out. 

Going deeper into the Heartset of Gratitude is about facing our challenges and accepting change. The Heartset of Gratitude allows us to see to the other side of the abys. 

A beautiful way to start to explore a Heartset of Gratitude is a meditation by one of my favorite teachers on Insight Timer, Sarah Blondin. This 9-minute meditation is about "Learning to come to a place of love and acceptance in the sometimes challenging place of change.”  Accepting Change. Sarah Blondin has 449 thousand followers globally on Insight Timer and this meditation, posted in September 2016 has had almost 1,000 plays. I am one of her many followers. 

To create a Heartset of Gratitude, we must first do our inner work and learn to break through the clouds – the clouds of negative self-talk, doubts and limiting beliefs -- and see our light. May Sarah’s voice and message be the perfect inspiration for us!  

I love her line “We cannot see the gift in what we resist.”  

Every time I listen to this short meditation, different phrases jump out at me. In meditating on "Accepting Change," these are the lines that resonated with me, followed by my personal reflections which I wrote in my daily Gratitude Journal: 

  • The key word is "accepting" -- the first big challenge!
  • "You watch as your world morphs in front of your eyes." I must step outside of myself and become the observer, watching the changes in my world. 
  • "A canyon so deep you can feel cold air coming up from its depths." I connect to my breath. On the in-breath, I feel the cool air. On the out-breath, I feel warm air, the warmth from my body. My breath comforts and grounds me. 
  • "When faced with great change, we must trust what comes budding forth." Trust... the next big challenge! I must trust my heart, trust my gut, trust my God and the Universe. I am safe. 
  • "The longer we fight our current and therefore only reality, we remain in limbo … far from the present." A gentle reminder to come into the the present moment -- the only moment where I am truly alive. 
  • "Our lesson is to learn the knowledge of our divine being." My lesson is to listen to my heart and honor my Higher Self, my Soul.   
  • "Know there is no need to fear this new world, only a child-like sense of awe and exploration..." I connect with my inner child and start to feel my innate curiosity come forward. I think about the awe my grandmother taught me in witnessing a grasshopper. 
  • "You can choose to see the cavern as a terrifying unknown darkness or you can choose to pour sweet honey into its cracks." Indeed, I have the power to choose. I have the power to be in control of my emotions. Yes, I do. 
  • "Stop... look not into the abys with fear, but with creativity and a renewed outlook for your life." I choose Love over Fear -- and I nurture my innate curiosity, creativity and think of the infinite possibilities opening before me. 
  • "Don't hold back dear one, don't stop yourself from creating the most vivid and wildly beautiful existence you can imagine." I am feeling excited now and smiling because I never could have imagined all the blessings in my life which have unfolded. 
  • "We are all given a powerful choice when change comes and transforms our landscape. Choose to love joyfully in your abundance." Ahh... my daily mantra and gratitude -- I deserve all JOY!
  • "Befriend curiosity and explore..." Be aware and nurture my energy to be curious and to explore... to learn and grow. 
  • "Breathe deep and full … you have been reborn and given a new experience." Change and new experiences are a gift. Remember I cannot see the gift in what I resist....or what I resist persists. It is my choice and I have the power to choose. 
  • "See that with each step you take into the darkness, you bring light." I will shine my light softly .. and illuminate my path forward. 
  • "Allow you heart to fill with hope." I am smiling -- I am opening to new possibilities.
  • "Take a moment to say I love you to all the darkness around you." I say, I love you, little Ali … remembering all the lessons of learning to love mySelf -- that I am never alone. 
  • "Feel how supported you are." The Universe has always had my back. God always loves me, even when I am not at my best. My precious Yogi teaches me about unconditional love every day. 
  • "For the more new land you explore, the more you grow in the direction of your heart." Yes, I am always learning and growing. I am listening to my heart. 
  • "Take this moment to choose more love, more light, more of everything that makes your heart sing." Gosh oh golly -- more Love, more Light -- imagine the infinite possibilities. 
  • "When life changes, when something falls away, remember you are the writer of your story." Yes, I have the power to choose … what I will do with this one precious life. I am feeling deeply blessed. 

I trust you can get some small sense of the power and inspiration I draw from this meditation. I have shared my personal notes in the hope it will inspire you to experience this meditation.

This is one example of the power of gratitude to move you from places of pain, worry, fear, complaining, overwhelm, fatigue or judgment to the other side of feeling curiosity, awe, enthusiasm, hope inspiration, courage and love. This meditation helps us use gratitude to create the world we see -- the world we choose to live in -- with a Heartset of Gratitude. Welcome to my world. It is a lot of work. I work at it every day! 

Thank you Sarah Blondin for sharing your gifts. 

Sarah Blondin is also an author. Her book "Heart Minded: How to Hold Yourself and Others in Love," is a beautiful collection of meditations. When you buy this treasure of a book, you are gifted to the transcripts of all the meditations and access to links to free guided mediations on audio, presented by Sarah Blondin. At the start of 2021, it was my honor to lead a small group through these guided meditations. It opened my heart and we deeply connected on this meditation series. I highly recommend you consider gifting this book to a dear friend. Imagine the possibilities!  


Till next time, with big love and deep gratitude,   

May you be happy now and always

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