Being Grateful

“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.” ~ Barry Neil Kaufman

Are you worthy? We all know what it’s like to finally get something we want, only to find ourselves feeling as if we don’t deserve it. Whether it’s a car, a job, or a date with someone wonderful, we suddenly feel as if we are not up to it. Something in us wants to reject this gift, perhaps because it requires that we think of ourselves in a new way or makes us question why we ought to have something that others don’t have. Perhaps the best way to avoid rejection is to simply shift into a state of gratitude, bypassing the question of worthiness altogether.

But who actually decides this? The question of whether we or anyone else deserves something is not really in our jurisdiction. These themes play themselves out in ways we can’t fully comprehend, often over the course of lifetimes. What we do know is that the universe has its own way of shifting the balance over time so that all things are ultimately fair. We can trust in this process and understand that when a gift comes our way, it is because we are meant to have it. Otherwise, it would not be available to us.

Accepting the gift with gratitude and using it to the best of our ability is true humility.

When we receive a gift and find that feelings of unworthiness rise, we can simply acknowledge the feelings and then remind ourselves that they are beside the point. We might say to ourselves, “I am meant to have this.” As we accept the gift, we might have feelings in our heart that naturally shift into a deep feeling of gratitude. As we sit for a moment, consciously holding the gift in our hands or heart, we say “yes” to the blessing, and we also say “thank you.”

Not sure how to express your gratitude; here are three ways:

  1. Make a gratitude appointment. Set a specific time to be grateful each day: when you wake up, when you go to sleep or before a meal. By setting this specific time, you will find yourself thinking all day of what you are grateful for, so at your “gratitude appointment,” you won’t be caught empty-handed.
  2. Ask people about their lives instead of it always being about business or idle chatter. This doesn’t mean you need to pry into personal matters; it means just showing an interest in who they are as an individual.
  3. Acknowledge people publicly. Who doesn’t like public praise? Find a way to acknowledge the contribution of someone, to show your gratitude, in a public way… in your place of work, among friends and family, on your blog, or in your local newspaper. To this suggestion: Thank you, Brad Volz (who blogs at Writing to Freedom ), for introducing me to the wonderful video clip above!

18 thoughts on “Being Grateful

    • When you’ve been coaching for close to eight years around these categories, much of it gets stored for future reference/use. Now, via this blog, seemed like a good time to share it. Look for my first book, centered around these blogging themes, to soon be published. Oh, and to your question, I do my own marketing except when it comes to products. 🙂

  1. Once again your three practical steps are so good. I love the concept of making a gratitude appointment. I think this feeling of worthiness or unworthiness goes right back to our basic feeling of the “right to be here.”

    “What we do know is that the universe has its own way of shifting the balance over time so that all things are ultimately fair.” I struggle with this Eric. Part of me holds to this, but another simply doesn’t see it happening. Just sharing a struggle I have.

    • I think I understand your struggle with my assertion, Don. I believe this to be truthful but the fairness scales may not be balanced within our lifetimes. Which then gives rise to possibilities of spiritual infinity and what may happen with those scales in other unseen or unknown realms. But I digress. 🙂 Always look forward to your thoughtful experiences and perspectives, Don.

  2. Nice post! It’s true isn’t it..no matter how well “put together” we are most of us do have this sense of not being worthy…and to just be grateful is a great way to start over coming this.

  3. Eric, it’s a really good post, thanks for that. “Make a gratitude appointment” it’s such a greai ritual to sit down in the morning or evening and just write down some things yu are grateful for. It truly works like magic! Then you start to notice some things you have never seen – like your biggest problem is what to wear… After couple of months this moment in the morning when I write down all those things became my favourite part of my day, and I feel soooo awsome after that 🙂 Gratitude is such a great feeling, thanks for advertising it!

    • Personal rituals are significant and affirming, D. And when coupled with awareness and gratitude – Wow! I am pleased that you have found and practice something that awakens you to much of which *is* awesome. Be well and grateful. 🙂

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