Gratitude seems to be a buzzword. All the spiritual gurus talk about the importance of gratitude. If you want a life of abundance, then express gratitude for what you have and what you want! Feel it! Believe it! Receive it! But gratitude is so much more than words or a list or a prayer – it’s an art.
So let me begin by saying I’m not a big art person. I can barely name a handful of artists. I love music, but the stuff I love might not be considered art. But gratitude as an art? Really? Let me explain…
What is the purpose of art? Why do people want to surround themselves with certain art pieces? Because it makes them feel something. It evokes some kind of emotion in them that they want or like to feel. It reminds them of something. It is more than something to look at or listen to. It is something you feel.
And that “feel” is the most important part of gratitude.
There have been times when I’ve been in an awful mood (big surprise, eh?), and one of the things that mental health professionals suggest doing in such cases is to think of all the things that you are grateful for. And I would sit down and write a list a mile long. And it didn’t do jack to help my mood. I’d have a beautiful list with all the things I should have on it (that should is so dangerous…). But I wouldn’t feel anything.
If you really want to practice gratitude, then you have to treat it as an art. It has to evoke feeling. It has to make you feel good. Gratitude isn’t just listing the people and things that you think you should be grateful for. Gratitude is about thinking, remembering, feeling the things you are truly grateful for. It’s about remembering that time your mom made you breakfast when you had a rough day. It’s about remembering the feeling of your daddy’s hugs. It’s about remembering the love you felt when your sisters stuck up for you (albeit after they gave you a beating). It’s about feeling the love, the happiness, the joy, the safety, the comfort in order to fully feel the gratitude.
So tomorrow when we sit down with family and friends to stuff ourselves silly, I’m going to be an artist practicing the art of gratitude. There is so much to be grateful for, make sure you feel it.
Have an amazing Thanksgiving everyone!