The Power of Gratitude
by Jennifer Dinoia
The importance of gratitude is no new subject within the field of new age, self-help and healing. Maybe you feel you have overheard the importance of gratitude. This is one lesson you can not over learn however because you can always become more grateful and increase your awareness of the totality of WAHEGURU! (I’ll get to that in a moment for those that are wondering what the heck I am talking about).
We hear a lot about the power of gratitude but how many of us actually live a life where we deeply feel and express our gratitude for all of our blessings AND our challenges.
I always saw myself as someone who was grateful but with time I have deepened my level of gratitude and awareness of how blessed I am. Travel definitely deepens ones level of appreciation for the freedoms and luxuries all Americans can enjoy. I remember practicing yoga in Paris and one of my teachers would often say, “Now don’t worry if your foot isn’t where you want it to be today, be grateful you have a foot at all.” After teaching in Nepal, I understood on a visceral level what my teacher meant. I remember leading the Naam warm-ups in Kathmandu, which used to be done to the mantra WAHE GURU, and I was sooo thankful for each body part as I stretched my wrists, hands, legs and feet. Returning to America, I felt true gratitude for the little things, which aren’t so little, like clean drinking water and clean sanitation, which many people in the world still do not have access to. As a female in America I feel very grateful for my freedoms and the education I received that many women in the world are not allowed to pursue.
So, what does WAHE GURU mean?
Wahe Guru is a beautiful mantra which you cannot translate. It means roughly indescribable ecstasy. It also encompasses that immense gratitude and joy for the simple and wondrous breath of life.
It really isn’t about how much you have but appreciating what you do have that matters. Many people live in beautiful homes and drive luxury cars but are deeply unhappy and feel unfulfilled. Similarly, many people live in squalor and have no money to their names but seem to be full of joy and enjoying the blessings they do have.
We are always in charge of our thoughts, our attitudes and the amount of thankfulness in our lives.
Here are a few tools you can implement today to increase your attitude of gratitude.
1. Start carrying a gratitude rock in your pocket.
Simply put a small rock in your pocket. You could also pick a small crystal that you are drawn to but any rock will do. As you come across the rock, think of one thing you are grateful for. This tool is simple, costs nothing and it will catch you at interesting moments and inspire you to remember new things that you are grateful for.
2. Gratitude lists
In the morning and before going to sleep list 3-5 things you are grateful for. They can seem mundane like “Wah, I am thankful for my comfy pillow.” or may seem deeper like “I am thankful for my daughter’s health.”
You can also be grateful for things that are not yet in your life which affirms your faith that G.d is providing the best path for your highest good. For example, “I am thankful that I am now ready to release my sugar addiction.”
3. Express your gratitude verbally or by writing.
Yesterday marks the one year anniversary of Robin William’s passing. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone and it is important to tell your loved ones how much you love them and appreciate them now before it is too late. If you haven’t yet told someone you love that you are grateful for them in your life, do it TODAY!
Here are a few rules for gratitude to keep in mind.
- What you focus on expands.
The more grateful you are for something, the more the Universe wants to shower you with those blessings. If someone gives you a gift be sure to say thank you. If you complain or say it is the wrong size or color, believe me, that person will never give you a gift again. It doesn’t matter if the gift lacked thought or is wrong for you. You can always give it to someone who can appreciate the gift.
2. G.d takes away that which you are not grateful for so that when you receive it again you will be grateful.