Throughout times of struggle and stress, the one component that brings me back to pure joy is gratitude. Mental strain and emotional stress can drain your resources and sap your energy, increasing cortisol and lowering daily energy allowance. Taking care of yourself is a must. In support of that, be grateful you are taking the time to be you, be true to yourself, and take care of yourself. I am grateful for the blessings, for everything in my life and knowing it is with a purpose. The gratitude of being able to wake up in the morning, breathe, and know that we can’t take this life for granted, and to make the most of the life we have. The consistent stem and root that has helped me not only to feel whole but empowered in a flood of love is gratitude. Throughout any challenges, either through stressful situations working at my corporate job, not being able to open up a can of food in the kitchen, sitting in horrendous L.A. traffic for three hours or a physically and mentally hard move day that seems that moving and transitioning is never ending, I truly believe we have to balance the yin and yang, and balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. See what you think. Gratitude is in us; it is not in things. It is in our mind and reveals our essence. I truly believe the only work you can do for yourself is right now at this moment in time. This is where meditation has helped me. There is no tomorrow; there are just many moments blending into the next moments. The current moment is what we really have. Once we realize this, we start to notice differences. We stop searching. We embrace and allow. Tomorrow is unpredictable, and if my mind chatter takes me away from the moment, there is no choice except to live in it. From this point, there is nowhere else to step but into this beautiful moment that we can breathe into with all our gratitude and the gift of life. Countless yogi masters, scientists, and quantum physicists that I have learned from describe this force and explain it as our consciousness. Every minute we have attention placed on this moment, we access a higher intelligence of ourselves and this gift of life, which is our being and our essence. According to various yogi masters, the best way to step into being is to bring our focus between our two nostrils and notice the motion of breathing, paying attention to the sweetness of just the power of breath and soaking it in. This in itself can bring a full uplift of energy consciousness and increase gratitude. In my experience, no matter how big the challenging moment is, if you bring your mind to the present moment, you can solve even the biggest perceived problems. In bringing mindfulness to difficult moments, we start to change the quality of pain and time and allow spaciousness to come in to help us heal. In the times when I am still, I create expansion and openness, which I learned in my yoga training. Generosity opens when we open up the heart chakra. When you are open to love, love to yourself and others, there is a natural flow from you that extends out to the whole universe. Where we get in trouble is, our mind getting in our way and possibly manipulating us in many ways. I find my mind has tried to abuse me in many situations, through self-talk, emotions and worries. Controlling these thoughts and turning them around allows us to find happiness. This requires objective practice, training, and attention on the mind. Various studies suggest that we have 60,000 thoughts per day. I know that these particular thoughts will not help to manage my present moment because most are in the past and future. They are not the gift of the current blessed moment we are given. When I meditate, I access a higher intelligence that channels within my internal circuits and soul. When I was involved in improv and acting, I experienced mindfulness to another degree. Every creative line or feeling came from the gap between thinking and the gap between my thoughts, which created space for brilliance. That is when I was the most creative; able to exclude internal energy and develop an art form that was beautiful on stage. How do I bring my attention back to the moment? Thinking an uplifting gratitude-filled thought and focusing on my breath, the air coming in and out. The very moment your mind becomes quiet, your ego starts to disappear, and compassion arises. Any old baggage, say from childhood or a previous relationship or a lack of forgiveness is lifted and more starts to disappear as your ego drifts away. When we are our true authentic self and embrace our beautiful essence, the ego naturally floats away, and it is at that moment in time, you are the most comfortable in who you are.
When you understand love, you can drink in gratitude all day long. I believe the only true form of emotion is love. When I make up in the morning, I look at a mantra or quote that serves me, that places a positive, grateful language and instills it in my mind. For the past two years, I been part of mindfulness community groups that have supported my training throughout the years, and believe it is great to find like-minded individuals. For one of the sessions, the discussion we focused on was on gratitude, which made me dive deeper into the experience of it. Wherever we are, when we pause to connect and evoke experience with intention, we become open and able to access anything internally. Every single moment of breath and knowing we are alive and being present is when joy is known. All emotions eventually pass, and all thoughts and emotions lift and align into silence. When the most difficult emotions arise, become curious as to how they move into nothing and go back into nothing. How many times have we been able to shift from one experience to the next? Countless times. Our ego can trick us into thinking a difficult moment that will not last into thinking it will never subside. This is how our ego can fool us. When you look at yourself as a third party and notice how emotions rise and disappear, you have awareness and enlightenment. When you live in the moment and peace filters in, calmness arises. Worry and regret slowly dissipate because it is the past or future.
Gratitude is the foundation and basis of joy. Our parents, our friends regardless of the situation, are brought to us for a purpose. If you have never experienced gratitude from people, you won’t be able to access pure joy and gratitude on your own. With our capacity to hold a universal connection, powerful belonging and presence are large gifts that can be embraced more if we are open. Our family, friends, clients, coworkers, the smile of a stranger when you pass, are all gifts. The basis is to be grateful and live life through the small and large blessings that show us the way through our journeys. This may be for a purpose or to contribute to others and realize the boundless truths of real gratitude. What I try to remember is that there is no “should” to obtain gratitude or “having” or “not having” because we have everything that we need in ourselves. During a mindfulness training, I noticed how gratitude comes with a quality of attention that I place and hold. For example, it is not difficult to look at my pet and hold the attention of love just from seeing her. Holding attention for 10-20 seconds, according to my mindfulness practices, can cultivate gratitude. Being able to hold it and absorb the gratitude for what we are bringing to it with breath. Breakups, hard relationships, and accidents, all contribute to gratitude in your life and the purpose of the wave of the journey. If you only focus on gratitude with conditions instead of unconditionally, gratitude can’t truly be embraced. believe in the journey over the destination and enjoying the moment. Being an NLP teacher (“neurolinguistic programming”) and trained on belief systems, I tend to notice the awareness of owning and seeing through certain lenses. When we open beyond our conditioning. we see through others eyes. Being open and curious in every moment, being in the gray, instead of black and white with that attention and interest uplifts the mind to possibilities. Gratitude is a true base for joy. Gratitude is bigger and more open than any emotion, filled with wonder and awe.
When I sat down and practiced my gratitude meditation, I was surprised by what I felt at the end of the practice. I felt I was not alone by being hard on myself as I am my own completion. We strive to be better, do greater and don’t give ourselves enough praise or thank ourselves for what we do on a daily basis. We need to find time to bring compassion and gratitude to ourselves, for all we do and what we go after to make the world a better place. Give ourselves more credit. Gratitude starts with you and being grateful to yourself, every second, every minute, and every day.