Gratitude as a Feeling
a post by Rebecca Luna, MA
As the holiday season is upon us, whether we like it or not, the cultural shift towards the slew of rituals is unavoidable. Most of us participate in the ongoing community gatherings with the intention of cultivating gratitude and sharing joy. However, somewhere in the midst of the practicality of it all, we find ourselves racing around to complete the ever growing to-do list that the holidays demand. It can at times become overwhelming to adhere to these annual traditions; thus, we lost the intention within the process.
Mindfulness practice can be an inner peace barometer during the season, it can also aid in keeping our holiday intentions at the forefront of our actions. If Thanksgiving, for example, is a time to cultivate gratitude then take this time to practice feeling grateful. When the feeling of gratitude is present, sit with it, feel where it exists in the body, bring the breath energy in and out of the body with the intention of exploring the sense perception of gratitude. The idea is to cultivate the sense of gratitude within the body on a regular basis to ensure we don’t lose touch with the many gifts our lives encompass.
We can keep it simple by recognizing gifts such as running water, the roof over our heads, the food in our fridges, paved roads, our loved ones, and of our intention to practice. When we sit down to enjoy a holiday meal, we can take a moment to bring to mind the many efforts it took to bring the food to our plates before devouring the yumminess. Gratitude practice can aid in keeping our holiday intentions alive in the midst of the hectic chaos this season tends to bring.
The more we practice feeling gratitude, the more we become aware of when the mind has become hijacked by negative thinking, unskillful action, and inner states of greed. Rather than focusing on what we want, we can focus on what we have and the efforts it took to bring the people, places, and things to our lives.
Where do you feel gratitude in your body? Does it move? Does it have texture, warmth, or light? Explore it, feel it and allow it to fill your whole being.
Practice on my friends and remember that we are in this together. I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you, as having a community of mindful practitioners is imperative to my continued intention to practice.