Are You Letting Gratitude Open A Door?

“Gratitude opens the door to…the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe.

You open the door through gratitude.” 

Deepak Chopra

Gratitude opens the door to sleep, as well! Gratitude opens the door to peaceful and loving feelings. When we are feeling peaceful, we more easily drift off to sleep.

Opening with gratitude is part of the ebb and flow of life.

Opening with gratitude.

 

Reading the quote below from Carloine Myss, teacher and author, I think about gratitude being a powerful fuel for our spirits and bodies.

“What drains your spirit drains your body.

What fuels your spirit fuels your body.” 

Caroline Myss

Appreciating Cicero’s wisdom, I’ll share this quote with you also.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Now I smile at how slow I was to “catch on”. At least half of the reason I practiced gratitude initially, was to fall asleep more easily. It worked for improving my sleep and more. Eventually, I wanted to expand my practice of gratitude. I took Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation experience.

Happily, I am awakening to gratitude’s deeper gifts. Mark Nepo’s words convey my experience well.

“Gratitude is how the heart opens our inner eye to the majesty of life.” 

Mark Nepo

A Simple Practice of Gratitude Before You Sleep

Gratitude is as simple as remembering to think of things, experiences or awarenesses you truly appreciate. Below are two steps to give you added support.

#1  Set up a reminder to practice gratitude. You can do this in many different ways. One example would be to put a note by your bedside lamp, reminding you to “practice gratitude”. Another idea might be to put a note between your sheets. That could be a fun surprise as well as a timely reminder.

#2 Get comfortably settled under the covers before you begin. Think of 1 to 3 things you are grateful for from your day or in your life in general. Give yourself a moment to feel the good feelings your grateful thoughts bring up. Do this for each of the 1 to 3 experiences or things you are grateful for.

Examples:  I’m grateful for hugs with my children.

      I’m grateful for pushing my grandchildren on the swings.

      I’m grateful for diving off sandstone rocks into a refreshing river.

                            ….. being alive!

                            ……for my comfy bed.

                            ……for those who love me.

Enjoy. Sleep will likely come more easily as you open the door with gratitude. Your sleep may be especially peaceful, as well. As a secondary plus of practicing, your life may transform in other positive ways too.

Bonus: A Personal Story

The choice of attitude is all ours.

Simple daily events reveal a growing heart.

I noticed a change in perspective within myself, this past week. I feel the change came from regularly opening to gratitude. And also I practice dropping negative thoughts, whenever I become aware of them. Adding the gratitude and letting go of negative thoughts seems to work well together! Now, on to the story.

I was parked on an slight incline in a mall parking lot. A woman came by with a shopping cart full of bags and items she wanted to transfer to her car, in the next row. She was trying, unsuccessfully, to get the cart to stay put. My old self would have been grumbling about how she would likely be damaging my car by letting the cart roll and smash into it. Instead I had a new idea: I could get out and hold the cart for her! I was a little too slow to get out and save the paint on my car, this time.

Yet, I’m so excited because I’ll be ready next time something similar happens. This will be so much more considerate of everyone than my old default habit of standing by out of inertia or out of a habit of giving people space.

I would love to hear about your experiences with gratitude. And, I have included resources below if you are wanting to explore more on the subject of gratitude.

Resources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/science/a-serving-of-gratitude-brings-healthy-dividends.html?_r=1

Deepak Chopra and Oprah lead you through 21 days of gratitude meditation and journaling. https://chopracentermeditation.com/store/product/109/manifesting_grace_through_gratitude_streaming 

A Transcript of the Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 Days of Gratitude Meditation is free for the reading:  http://myoprahlessons.com/2015/07/14/manifesting-grace-through-gratitude-day-1-the-path-to-grace-begins-today/

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful

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