The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude

I spent most of my life wanting more. It seemed that no matter what manifested into my experience, it wasn’t enough. I believed that this incessant drive and focus that had its roots in my future was the way to get ahead and create the life of my dreams.

Fast-forward to today and I’ve had a major awakening. Perhaps its due to my age and the fact that more and more people around me are getting sick and or dying, but suddenly I am struck by an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

We all know in theory that being thankful is the key to lasting joy but we live in a hectic world where more is often better. More achievements, more love, more money, and more goals. It is a never-ending cycle that leaves us empty and ironically, wanting more.

Giving thanks and having gratitude isn’t just a spiritual practice, studies are now showing that being in such a space may help us to live longer and remain healthy for extended periods of time. When we live in a space of loving what we have now, we surrender more and gently let go of the stress of this perpetual wheel.

The paradox is that the more thankful we are, often-additional things show up into our experience because we let go of the need. When we don’t push, prod, or force things to happen, we sit in a beautiful space of being grateful for what is and faithful that even more will show up in the right time.

The practice of gratitude sends a gentle message to the Universe that we appreciate all that has been brought into our life. As we evolve, we also realize that those very challenges that we didn’t desire showed up so that we could grow and learn, and even for those we give thanks.

Gratitude journals are popular for a very good reason. They serve as emotional prompts. When we write down a list of what we are thankful for, we are reminded of just how blessed we truly are. We can see that even the smallest of things like our warm bed, the bird in our backyard, or the fact that we can see at all, are miracles in themselves.

Sometimes life is messy. Being where we don’t want to be isn’t fun but looking deeply into the mystery of life and seeing glimmers of hope is the power of gratitude gently reminding us to find joy through the sorrow and hope through the despair.

Don’t stop desiring a more creative and full life but do begin giving thanks for ALL that is here and now.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

I’ll be the first to admit that there have been many times in my life when I have struggled with feeling thankful. I have spent much of my time living in the future wanting, striving, and desiring more. Wishing for more success, more creativity, more balance, more growth has taken me away from the present moment.

We live in a society that has taught us to push forward and strive for those things that we desire. For the most part, I think this is a great concept. After all, we do live in a physical world with lots of wonderful opportunities and things to accomplish. It’s quite natural to want a loving relationship, the newest iPhone, or whatever it is that we are drawn to. The key is to find balance.

What has become blatantly clear to me is that unless we find gratitude in our day-to-day experiences, we are actually blocking more good from coming in. To be thankful for what we already have is an act of living in the present moment, which literally showers us with positivity and optimism.

Being still in the here and now is really the only place that we can be. Our minds may wander to a past experience or future dream but all we truly have is this moment. And for the most part, what we have is pretty darn good. Even if some are struggling with an illness or financial crisis, there are blessings to be found in those challenges should we choose to see them. Embracing gratitude shifts our energetic field and can actually speed up our healing and create miracles in our life. Being thankful for ALL THAT IS even when things don’t look the way we’d like is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.

If you’re like me and often find yourself daydreaming about the future, try gently bringing yourself back to the now and make a mental list of 5 things that you’re grateful for today. They can be as small as the view from your window, the cozy bed you sleep in, or the stranger who opens the door for you at the office.

When we begin to notice the small gifts, we make way for even more goodness to come in. By living with more appreciation for the now, ironically, we are creating a brighter future, which feels more rich and satisfying.

It seems that for some people being grateful comes naturally, while others find it more challenging. I am beginning to wonder if there is perhaps a gratitude gauge that is set higher in some people than others. Similar to the happiness gauge where some people just seem more joyful from day-to-day while others have to work harder at it.

So regardless of where you are on the scale, there is nothing more important than committing to being thankful for today. Keep a gratitude journal and make lists of ALL of the blessings in your life. Tell others how thankful you are for their friendship. Become conscious of what is going right for you today instead of what is going wrong. The more we can put our attention on that, the better our lives will become.

Living in a state of gratitude is the best gift that you can give to yourself. It takes practice but like anything that you focus on, it does become easier with time and eventually being grateful will become your norm. Gratitude really is the key to lasting joy. Give it a try.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!