We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.– Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Yes, this is very true in my experience. Gratitude fills me up. It makes me content. And when there is less gratitude and contentment, I crave a variety of things including joy.
I think this is craving is widespread in contemporary societies, and perhaps especially in the US. Modern media and advertisement intentionally instill a sense of lack and entitlement. I don’t have what I need, and I am entitled to it. And this creates a hole that needs to be filled with products, status, and experiences – including joy. Gratitude is the antidote. And not only an antidote,
We can’t fake gratitude, and we can’t tell ourselves to be grateful. But it’s close by, and we can invite it in and more in the foreground of our experience. Some of my favorite ways are ho’oponopono, tonglen, and all-inclusive gratitude practices. Natural rest or basic meditation is another way to invite in gratitude, and really… we are “just” noticing the gratitude that’s already here and that we are. (Which is huge.)