Gratitude definition in the Oxford dictionary - a quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
With any group that I work with, no matter what the occasion I always start the same way, one by one I ask my group out loud to express something they are grateful for, why? because gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
In Alan Watts book "The Way of Zen" he talks about the spotlight vision in which westerns live, he explains that we see only what is in front of us, as if it was illuminated by a great spotlight, but this is restriction of our true sight, we blindside ourselves by not using the peripheral vision in which we have been gifted, the vision of seeing clearly and openly. The opportunity to see much more than what is in front of us, the bigger picture.
When we practise gratitude we open our vision to our fullest aspect, what once was a small living space, can become a palace of safety, warmth and luxury, what once we viewed as an unfortunate experience with a change of perception and an expression of gratitude it becomes a blessing and an opportunity for growth.
When in times of personal darkness, gratitude can feel like the last thing we want to practise. but it is in exactly this moment we need to open our "vision" and say our thank yous. Count your blessings, however small, for the small things always add up.
In “The Hidden Messages in Water” by Dr. Masaru Emoto a Japanese scientist proves the power our thoughts have on our wellbeing. By placing rice into three jars of water and repeating word of kindness and love to one, nothing to the second and words of hate to the third container of rice, the outcome is astonishing. The water of love survives and thrives, the jar of abandonment starts to diminish and the rice with the words of hate turns black and rots away. As you see the words in which we use impact us more than we know!
So I choose love, I choose to open up my vision and practise gratitude in every experience. I choose to see the bigger picture and I choose to walk with love.