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Being Grateful is to be Present

“When you are in gratitude, you are already in abundance.

There is no second step.

The moment you are grateful for your life, and all that’s in it, good and bad, painful and joyful, tragic and comic, you are already in the Kingdom, overwhelmed by riches.

When you are grateful, you are fully present in your life. You are not caught up in past and future, in what could have been, or what might be, in regret or anticipation.

You appreciate deeply what you have and what you are. How far you’ve come and how much courage and strength it’s taken to get here…” Jeff Foster

When we are in a state of anxiety, we are projecting our thoughts into the future, doom mungering and when we are depressed, we are projecting our thoughts backwards into the past as well as forwards into the future. This starts a cycle of both anxiety and depression.

Choosing for gratitude to replace these habits is a big help to keep bringing the mind back to the present moment.

So try this for yourself. Take time to sit for 2-3 mins and at the end of the day, reflect on the things that you are grateful for like having a roof over your head and food to eat. When eating you may pause and reflect on how the food got to your table, the many hands that it passed through and people who may have been involved, from the seeds that were sewn to grow the produce, the farmers who tended the harvest, the transportation and lorry driver who brought the produce to the shop and your own hands tending the food that you now see on your plate.

Notice how this takes the mind away from jumping backwards and forwards from past to future. And notice how this makes you feel., how you become the observer of the food journey, and how you are completely at One with everything observed when in a state of gratitude. Here lies fertile ground to start a short daily sitting practice of Mindfulness.

I noticed today how a car let me out of a side street leading to a busy road and then again when I had parked the car and came to cross the road, two lanes of cars stopped to let me cross. Not only did I think that was unusual, I smiled to myself with a felt sense of gratitude. In that moment. I felt the kindness of others as I was present to their actions and noticed how their acts of loving kindness helped take my mind off projecting into anxiety about whether I was going to be late for meeting, or how the meeting was going to turn out, which is very often the way the mind moves throughout the day.

So a simple short daily practice of reflection helps us to connect to what is actually happening to us and we are able to notice that when we recall our gratitude it has the effects of feeling loving kindness towards our own heart as well as towards the hearts of others. Classes are helpful to dip in to strengthen the resolve to practice at home and One to One gives the opportunity to inspire you with your very own personally designed practice to suit your ever changing personal needs. Contact Kathryn to ask for more information.

Resource: Jeff Foster, TheWay of Rest. Finding the Courage to Hold everything in Love


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