When you go deeply into the Present,
Gratitude arises spontaneously,
Even if it's just gratitude for breathing,
Gratitude for the aliveness
that you feel in your body.
Gratitude is there when you
acknowledge the aliveness of
the Present Moment.
It's easy to feel grateful when life is going well, or to feel gratitude for a specific circumstance or "win." In those moments, it's easy to celebrate life and to feel connected, happy and grateful.
Yet there are other moments that are darker, when there are worries or concerns, a health challenge or diagnosis, a betrayal, a break-up, or some other major loss in your life. You may suffer from depression or anxiety which can cast a dark cloud over your ability to engage in life or to appreciate being alive.
In recent years, there has been an emphasis on "gratitude lists" and though it might sound trite or cheesy, finding even one thing you are grateful for can help you connect to yourself and to life in those dark moments. It is NOT a solution, nor should " looking for the positive" be used as a bypass of real human feelings that need to be felt and worked through before truly being released.
But feeling grateful for even one thing, large or small- the sun shining, a flower blooming, a smile, the joy of a child exploring something, the breath you are taking, a song, ANYTHING, makes it easier to bear whatever you are going through. This gratitude can shine a light into the darkness, helping guide you through the muck.
And if you are in a good space, gratitude will amplify your happiness, joy and appreciation of life. It can help bring you out of past and future thinking and into the delicious, unique aliveness of the present moment!
Call me for an initial consultation
if you'd like help connecting to yourself
Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley