Gratitude is the New Guilt

My heart has felt very heavy this past week with thoughts focused on the catastrophic events of hurricane Harvey.  It may be generations of Jewish guilt flowing through my DNA, but in the past, whenever I would hear of a tragic occurrence, I would immediately think of all the suffering those beings were enduring and feel terrible about all the good fortune I had in my life.

This internal turmoil over my blessings went on for years.  Every exotic vacation, delicious meal or healthy checkup from the doctor would send my mind into wondering “Why am I so lucky, while others barely have enough to survive?”

At the peak of my guilty conscious, my hubby sat me down for an intervention.  With his patient persistence, over time, I was able to transform my low-energy guilt to an elevated resonating energy of gratitude.

Gratitude is a high vibrating emotion.  It improves our health, relationships, personality, career and perspective.  The more you are grateful, the more it seeps into every aspect of your life and becomes a way of being.

During the initial phase of my gratitude challenge, I incorporated a simple silent thought to myself to show gratitude for my meals “Thank you for this food.”  Pretty soon a habit formed and I added my first and last thought of the day –  “Thank you for this day.”

The more I practice gratitude, the more this incredible energy fills my life.  And then I can direct my internal light towards helping others in need.  Sounds a lot more productive than feeling guilty over my fortunate circumstances, right?

I want to share a beautiful practice that you can do for those that need support – even when you can’t physically help them.  It’s called “The Taking and Giving Meditation” and it’s based on the power of intention.

Sit comfortably in a quiet place and close your eyes.  Start to tune into your breath entering and leaving your nose.  Begin to visualize the person, group, animal, city, country that needs your energy.  On your inhale, imagine taking away all their pain and suffering.  And on your exhale imagine giving them love, peace, health etc. (whatever they need).  Continue with pure concentration.  On your inhale, relieving them of physical and emotional grief.  And on your exhale, sending them compassion, tranquility and well-being. Finish by dedicating your meditation.

Observe how you feel when you are finished.  This is the fabulous energy of productive gratitude.  This practice is not only a gift for others, but a gift for yourself that can be performed anywhere at any time.  A grateful mind is a powerful mind!

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