Meditation Series on Gratitude

Another 21-day Meditation Series from the Chopra Center (link) was very inspirational for my Personal Spirituality exploration.   Spirituality exploration is one of my action plan items this year; as I worked through the holistic life domains in my Retirement Transition Process (see my book on Amazon), this was a domain area I felt needed more attention.  

While I have regularly practiced gratitude as part of my morning journaling, this recent meditation series on Gratitude really expanded my perception of how to practice gratitude and what the impact of doing that could be.

The Practice of Gratitude is a Spiritual Path of the Heart.

The core idea in the series was to activate gratitude with intention, in all things, at all times. Practicing positivity (acceptance, gratitude) changes brain patterns as optimism and resilience grows.  Growing gratitude awareness and life acceptance is also building spiritual awareness. 

Become more aware of what you are gratefulfor (writing it down, articulating it specifically) creates a feeling of abundance.  Warmth and light flows as gratitude comes from the heart, bringing peace, calm, and joy. Gratitude awakens the bigness of the little things in life. Becoming aware of the beauty, vibrancy, and abundance around you brings more meaning to life. Live with a sense of amazement.  Appreciate nature.  Look at the world with wonder.  Love life. 

Gratitude is sincere thankfulness for the blessings you’ve received, independent of anything. Not earned, not entitled to, not received instead of someone else getting it.  Entitlement is feeling you deserve it.  The “what’s in it for me” (which can also lead to feelings of envy and resentment) can be isolating.  Gratitude expands you as it connects you to the Universe.

The meditation series spent time on recognizing that your individual worthiness does not need to be “deserved” or earned.  I can be thankful for the goodness in my life even if I have not “suffered” for it. This concept was personally liberating!

An interesting and challenging question was, “What about myself am I grateful for?” 

Your perception changes the experience.  I have often used this approach when working and mentoring others, helping someone to see a situation differently.  It’s harder to do on yourself.  However, thinking about a “negative” experience with gratitude was another way to intentionally activate gratitude. When dealing with that negative experience – feeling stressed, tired, annoyed, frustrated, angry – intentional gratitude can re-energize, renew, soothe.  It’s about meeting the negative with gratitude and recognizing there is a gift in every moment.

Gratitude in the moment also creates acceptance and compassion. I found this simple phrase compelling:

Accept.  Appreciate.  Act with Kindness. 

Practicing gratitude means choosing compassion and not judgment.  It’s hard to be judgmental and grateful at the same time! We are all human beings.  We all have bad days.  Judgment is about feeling right and having the ego drive our thoughts. Instead, make space for empathy and find reasons for being thankful, not critical. Show a generosity of the spirit and speak with kindness.

This mediation series gave me some great insights (and challenges) into how to more intentionally practice gratitude in daily living.  I continue to work on being kinder, being less judgmental, and verbalizing appreciation.

I know many bloggers actively express gratitude in their posts.  How do you practice gratitude daily?

Picture Credit: Pexels

32 thoughts on “Meditation Series on Gratitude

  1. Thank you for this post, Pat. I love the idea that there is a gift in every moment and that expressing gratitude expands it. As for daily gratitude practices, I start each morning with this affirmation, “I am full of gratitude and love for another day on this earth.” I devote a portion of my daily meditation to feeling and expressing gratitude, and I stop at times throughout the day and think of three good things that have happened so far during the day. I truly enjoyed reading this post and the comments. It’s making my list of three good things that have happened today! Cheers!

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    1. Christie, you are one of the folks I look to as inspiration for my gratitude practice. Your blog posts in this space are always so helpful in making me realize how many things/people in my life I have to be grateful for. And you always do it with specificity – something I hope to replicate. So I am grateful to you for sharing a great “how -to” with me.

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  2. A wonderful post, Pat. I am constantly working on acceptance and not judging. Throughout the day I often think about all I am thankful for. It is almost a routine practice. A couple of the words that made me rethink gratitude, “sincere” and “intentional”. Thank you for a thought-provoking post:) sharing SM #MLSTL

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  3. Hi Pat what an interesting and logical concept really. Looking at gratitude through meditation. I have improved so much in the area of not judging and accepting that I’m actually quite pleased with myself. My daughter has just started writing down 3 things she is grateful for each day at the end of the day. She is very busy in her job and coming home to her family is the highlight of her day. Writing 3 things in gratitude has certainly helped her. Thank you for sharing at #MLSTL. xx

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  4. Pat you always take things to a new level and I completely agree with all that you’ve written here. I was challenged the other day to look at my negative work experience and to see what it has taught me about myself – ie: why did it affect me so much, what was it about that woman that pushed so many of my buttons etc. It’s been really helpful in turning negative memories into a more positive approach and learning experience (and gratitude practice).
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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    1. Leanne, You made me recall early in my career a mentor told me I could learn something from every manager, even ones I didn’t like. I worked for a really bad chauvinist at the time and my mentor helped me see I could learn about project management from him (he was brilliant at that, even if an a–hole towards every woman in his section!). I’m glad you’re able to look back at the experience and see the positives!

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  5. I use a bullet journal (of sorts) and basically do a daily 3 pointer – not just of gratitude but to actively look for the good in the day. Some days are easier than others but I’m finding that it helps. I recently found myself with a bout of comparisonitis and even some envy at someone else’s success and had to step back, notice it and make an active call to move past it. The gratitude stuff helped.

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    1. Jo, A friend told me to focus on gratitude when I told her I’m getting into a “is this all there is” slump! Apparently gratitude is a great tool for many things. I’m starting a gratitude list in my “of-sort” bullet journal today! Yeah, I have one too.

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  6. I should try to be more intentional in trying a pattern or series of intentional gratitude practices. I feel gratitude often, but not systematically. I do think it is a spiritual practice. I am currently at a week long workshop learning Enneagram, and I have found much gratitude in this exploration. I like having systems to help focus and make me take time for these kinds of practices because even though I have good intentions, I don’t always take the time.

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    1. Michele, I m not as systemic as I would like to be either. it is something I am going to work on (with lots of other things I’m working on, unfortunately!) I will be starting a gratitude list in my new bullet-like daily journal/calendar. (wasn’t that a great positive statement!) I just read someone had a goal of writing 100 things they were grateful for…. so there’s the tracker.

      You’re the second person I’ve heard about in the past 6 months learning more about Enneagram. I’ve really not learned it (knowledge of each number, how to interface with each number, etc.), but I do know I am a 1. Maybe you’ll blog a bit about it.

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  7. I keep a gratitude journal and write three things each day (most days) that I’m grateful for. I even try to be grateful for things I don’t like, for example, a rainy day when we’ve had 18 of them in a row! It does make for lovely, green grass! Your meditation series sounds like a positive experience.

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    1. Molly, I’m starting a “bullet journal” (OK, really a variation on one) and maybe I should add a gratitude section. I enjoy reading bloggers posts on gratitude because it makes me realize how much I have to be grateful for.

      Oh dear, 18 days of rain? I do like a rainy day now and then myself… but I applaud you for being grateful still at 18.

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      1. I have a separate journal to write down 5 things that I’m grateful for each day. It’s supposed to be about specific things, not just generic things like being grateful for a sunset or your pet…but something specific about each that might have touched you that day.

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  8. Hi Pat,
    Love this post. I am trying more and more to be aware of events and moments that inspire gratitude. I’ve found that it makes me more flexible, less judgmental, and more “in the moment”. Thanks for the reminder; this is a habit “under construction” for me.

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    1. Thanks Nancy. I like the phrase “habit under construction”. Being less judgmental is a huge one for me! I’m trying to be more in the moment and spontaneous, but the planner in me still wants things more concrete. This evening I’m trying to practice flexibility and gratitude big time as a plan just got canceled last minute. Gosh, this is hard stuff.

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  9. Being intentional about gratitude is on my to-do list. Someone recently shared the idea of ending each day with an acknowledgment of what I’m looking forward to in the coming day. That seems like another good way to practice gratitude (and it appeals to the planner in me).

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    1. Liz, I actually start my day with what I’m looking forward to – it’s part of my morning journal. Yup, I’m a planner as well. I also often do a gratitude listing… not everyday however. I know a number of folks who keep an evening journal of gratitude. Either morning or evening, I think focusing on what we can look forward to is positive.

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  10. Hi Pat! Such great reminders in the post. I do my very best to intentionally be grateful each and every day but that doesn’t mean I have it down perfectly. And I very much appreciate the idea, “Your perception changes the experience.” ALWAYS! So why not make gratitude a habit. Thanks again for reminding me of all this! ~Kathy

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    1. Kathy, I like your phrase “make gratitude a habit”. Even tonight I started to complain about something and had to stop and look for the part to be grateful about. Not always easy, but awareness and having these regular reminders helps.

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    1. Thanks Deb to know it works! I’ve tried to turn envy into admiration myself. I’m gaining more peace with myself and my life, but these meditation series and self-development books are great reminders – I still have a way to go.

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  11. I like the simplicity of “Accept. Appreciate. Act with Kindness”.

    As I’ve reflected on my own personal experience, the act of truly accepting something as it is (rather than what I want it to be) makes the other two so much easier. For this Type A person with serious control issues, that’s a big hill to conquer!

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