What are you grateful for? How often do you practice gratitude? How do you practice gratitude? Practicing gratitude allows us to welcome positive thoughts, which makes us happier and healthier. Gratitude changes the heart’s rhythm faster than any other positive reaction or feeling, and when we vibrate with the energy of gratitude, we impact those around us. When you feel and express gratitude for something, you honor, emanate, and magnetize it. In a profoundly beautiful way, your thankfulness is the affirmation of life, creation, and creator. Here are 10 ways to practice spiritual gratitude:
1) Be open to the intention and act of Gratia
Gratia is the root of Grace which is beautifully associated with the Christian concept of redemption and forgiveness. In Latin, its meaning expands to include the concept of a free gift or favor, and also a blessing. Gratia is an offering, which is the fundamental principle of Sage Goddess: to give and receive fully and abundantly and be in Divine flow. Giving and gifting are sacred practices in any form. I like to use the metaphor of planting seeds without any expectation of growth – planting for the sake of sowing and offering nourishment to the Earth alone. That is Gratia. And it’s as much about the intention as it is about the act.
2) Be open to receiving
When you fully receive the gifts of each moment, and the beauty in all that surrounds you, life gives you more of these very things, and so much more. Gratitude is more than a simple, “Thank you”; it is the powerful opening of your heart to receive your blessings. And the more you open to receiving, the more your blessings abound. It is no secret that what you send out into the Universe comes back to you, in equal proportion, creating a snowball effect, collecting more and more substance and momentum.
3) Accept gifts with authenticity
If you offer someone compassion, a helping hand, or a home cooked meal, it is hollow without genuine acceptance. And acceptance goes beyond the offering – it translates into the acceptance of our interconnectedness, inherent value, and a united Spirit. Every prayer, heartfelt moment, second of acknowledgment, and authentic praise makes a difference, raises the vibration, and releases a magical shower of shimmering light upon us all.
4) Have faith
As the Native Americans have done for ages, we can pray in gratitude, from a place of fullness and wholeness, that attracts the very things we seek. This requires coming from a place of trust in already having exactly what you need, even if you cannot see or feel it, yet. When you are ready to receive, you will. Everything is available here and now.
5) Commit to action
Spend time actively listening to others. Gratitude needs to move toward action because the Universe acts when we act. It’s a constant cycle of action, reaction, action, and more reaction. When we take a step that honors or symbolizes what we appreciate in our lives, we co-create more of what we love, more of what we value. Being in gratitude is important; acting in gratitude is powerful.
6) Incorporate green aventurine into your practice
Green aventurine is the stone of prosperity, fertility, growth, and abundance. Having a tangible representation of gratitude will help you focus your energy and attention to harness all the energy and property this juicy stone carries. Gratitude is not so elusive when it becomes part of your routine. Remember that no matter what the day brings you, there is always something to be grateful for!
7) Create a winter altar to honor the departed
Winter is the time for rest and retreat. It’s a time to meditate on our past accomplishments and look forward to the new year on the horizon. It’s also the perfect time to honor our ancestors with rituals of gratitude for more abundance. Place a glass jar in the center of your altar offerings. Write down passing memories of your departed loved ones on slips of paper and place it in the jar, saying a prayer in gratitude for their time on Earth. Allow any guests in your space to contribute their own memories to the jar. At the end of the year, gather around candlelight and share these memories aloud with your loved ones to celebrate the connections you shared with those who have passed on.
8) Be present
Make the most of every moment. Being present and mindful reminds us of the fleeting nature of life, and pulls us to feel gratitude for every blessing we are given. Mindfulness teaches us to accept ourselves and all our emotions, to feel them, to let our thoughts pass through the mind objectively, all while being consciously aware. To live in a state of enlightened mindfulness is to just be. Without judging yourself or anyone else. Being mindful and present is one of the greatest acts of gratitude because it allows you to appreciate yourself and your surroundings with patience, compassion, and awareness.
9) Choose silence and meditate
Silence can be louder than words. When you meditate in silence, you are able to listen to the voice of your Higher Self. And when you heed your own advice or the advice of your spirit guides who come to you in meditation, you’re honoring yourself and those ethereal beings who guide you and embrace you. Listening is an act of respect, and when you listen, you act in gratitude.
Who needs all that clutter? Not I, said the cat. It’s easy to distract ourselves with things we don’t need and avoid what we already have. Have you ever had an abundance of beauty products? Dresses? Little objects that end up in your junk drawer anyway? Have you ever seen someone throw trash out their window? When we buy things we don’t need (and yes, all of us do it) we forget to be grateful for what we have. It ends up being a cycle of (possibly mild) gluttony. When people desecrate the environment, they are not being grateful for what Gaia has given them. When you understand your worth, the importance of what you already have and what you’ve been given, and take care of those things, you act in gratitude. Simplify your life. Take out the clutter. It’s all going to end up in the junk drawer anyway!
All gratitude is spiritual gratitude because it tends to your spirit – your breath that brings light and love into tangible form. Gratitude comes from within and it’s not something you can buy or sell, it’s something you practice and gift, which starts the never-ending cycle of abundance. Gratitude is so powerful, it can change the world. Start by being grateful with what you have, then spread the love until the whole world catches your magic.
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