All-inclusive gratitude practice

 

I have returned to my more formal all-inclusive gratitude practice.

A conventional gratitude practice, where I say or write down a list of what I am easily grateful for, such as friends, good health, food, shelter and so on. Here, I may inadvertently reinforce my ideas of good and bad, desirable and undesirable. I make these ideas seem more solid and real to myself.

In contrast, an all-inclusive gratitude practice is where I include anything in my life – including my fears and worries and what I wish wasn’t there. In this, there is an invitation to soften these ideas, and to gently question them to see what already may be more true for me. Is it true that I know what’s good and bad? Is it true I know what’s best for me and the world? Is it true I cannot trust life and Spirit?

Here is an example of items from my all-inclusive gratitude list for today:

I am grateful for friends. I am grateful for food and shelter. I am grateful for the Living Inquiry training. I am grateful for being in nature yesterday. I am grateful for fears of the future. I am grateful for fatigue. I am grateful for brain fog. I am grateful for wishing the fatigue and brain fog wasn’t here. I am grateful for family. I am grateful for living in a peaceful country. I am grateful for fresh air. I am grateful for regrets about situations in my past. [I am normally more specific here….!] I am grateful for a good breakfast. I am grateful for time for rest, inquiry, reading, walks in nature, prayer. I am grateful for my (sometimes) inability to meet emotional pain in a sane way. I am grateful for sometimes acting in an immature way, when the pain is here. I am grateful for wishing I was through the dark night. I am grateful for wishing for an active life. I am grateful for wishing for a life in service. I am grateful for fear that I am unable to surrender (surrender my identifications). I am grateful for wishing my life was more like my twenties (active, engaged, passion). I am grateful for resisting rest. I am grateful for fears of what others may think of me. I am grateful for wishing to meet what’s here with love (including pain, anger, sadness, grief, confusion). I am grateful for wishing for deep healing (of the emotional body, and how I relate to the wounds and pain).

I notice that this practice does shift how I view and experience these things. And I get the sense that it’s an offering of it all over to the divine, as well as a gentle nudge to recognize it all as the divine.

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In a conventional gratitude practice, where I – verbally or in writing – make a list of what I am easily grateful for, I inadvertently reinforce my ideas of good and bad, desirable and undesirable. I easily make them seem more real and solid to myself, instead of questioning them.

In an all-inclusive gratitude practice, where I include anything in my life – including my fears and worries and what I wish wasn’t there – there is an invitation to soften these ideas, and gently question them to see what already may be more true for me. Is it true that I know what’s good and bad? Is it true I know what’s best for me and the world?

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