There is a lot circulating in the world about gratitude. It’s hard to sift through all of it and not come out feeling like you have a lot of things to do in order to stay grounded and full of gratitude. For me I like to keep things simple so I’m going to share what works for me.
At the beginning of my journey, I was dissatisfied with almost everything in my life. I couldn’t be happy if happy ran me over on the road!
As years passed and my knowledge and studies of Buddhism grew. I came across the answer for my dissatisfaction. It was this tiny, powerful thing called contentment. And in finding contentment, I found its twin: Gratitude.
Contentment is defined as the quality or state of being contented. Content, is defined as being satisfied.
Contentment taught me how to be here in this moment and really appreciate everything I had and didn’t have. You see my dissatisfaction with life was causing me suffering because I wanted things to be a different, better, or people to be different. I was struggling to accept and meet life where I was.
Learning that contentment is the basis for being deeply and divinely grounded in a way that everything you encounter is a gift; changed my life.
Contentment is not an emotion (which was lifesaving to find out). It cannot fluctuate or disappear. Contentment is always within us and we can always return to it. In returning to the of source of our internal contentment we can become full of gratitude for what is.
If you want to create more gratitude in your life, start by bringing your focus and awareness around your own internal contentment. If you find yourself wanting your circumstances to be different or better. Gently stop yourself and list out a few things about your current situation that is good. Do this over and over again, if you feel yourself wanting more or unable to practice authentic gratitude.
Check in regularly with yourself to see how this practice can shift your mind and your emotions.
When you feel grounded in your own contentment, gratitude grows tenfold. It’s like being blind for most of your life and then finding your sight. Suddenly, you see the world for the first time. You remember how amazing it is that you have clean water every day. That you have a roof over your head. You haven’t had to go without a meal. You can drive yourself to work. You are healthy. You have air in your lungs. You get to rest every night in a warm bed. You have family members and friends who think you are the greatest thing on Earth. You are loved and you get to to love, every single day.
And before you know it, you're bursting with gratitude!
Love + Light
Krista XiomaraPhoto Credit: Mario Mesaglio