Gratitude, the ritual of appreciation. Take 1

Photo by Adalia Botha on Unsplash

It has been said that gratitude is the fastest way to manifest your desires. Ever since I heard this statement, I begun to practice gratitude once every day. At first it was a challenge that I committed myself to for twenty-one days only. I gave thanks and watched keenly for the changes that would come into my life. Six months passed by, and I did not see any major changes in my life. In fact, things seemed more confusing. Nevertheless, I never stopped, even though there were times that I would fail to do the ritual.

Can one practice gratitude in the face of uncertainty, when things seem to be going backwards in step? Now I can understand why I was so observant of the little changes. I kept track of the daily routine and I was not really in the practice itself. It was just something I was doing, like waking up in the morning and sleeping when I felt tired. I was not aware of the beauty of the ritual. Sometimes I would stop and ask how I would be in the spirit of gratitude in those confusing times.

The past two months have been so involving for me. I have been occupied doing a lot of spiritual work. Yes, everybody around me thinks that I am busy doing my own things, and most times they ask what I am getting in return in terms of payment, which to them is nothing other than a salary or monetary wealth. This time, gratitude has been quite different, and I think it has come with the experience or the awareness of the moment-by-moment occurrences of my life.

Ever since I made a step to acceptance of the current moment, I have become more appreciative. I know for most of us, we are taught that we should ask for the help of Spirit and thank Him in terms of prayer. The nature of prayer is that one asks for something and keeps track of any changes that may have occurred from the last time that they spoke to Spirit. Incase a change is not seen, some people tend to lose hope and then they would say that spirit has not answered their prayer.

From a religious setting, one is supposed to humble themselves before the creator, as though they were a little creature in front of a huge supernatural being. The opening statement for a prayer session would most likely start like this, “I do not deserve this or that”. The statements used in prayer portray us as very helpless beings and we tend to portray ourselves as the victims of circumstance. People also tend to make prayer such a formal activity. Some say that you should look presentable in front of the creator, that one should be well groomed and all. What are all the rules for, I wonder?

My reason for bringing up prayer is not to look for a difference in the practices. Rather, it is to show that they are similar things. One of the same. Only, one is fabricated, and is surrounded with so much fear and rules of engagement. Gratitude has an element of freedom as one is in charge of the ritual. Okay back to my anecdote on gratitude. This might sound out of topic, but I have had to do a lot of inner forgiveness to get to this point. Now I see that the main reason for my dwindling focus on appreciation and gratitude was that I had not done the forgiveness that was necessary.

Before, it seemed like I was keeping tabs on the bigger changes and not the things that I already had before me. Gratitude to me has two side, appreciation for those things that you already have, and those things that you want to manifest. Now, for the first time, I have been feeling so appreciative for things that have happened in my past. This, even though my past was characterized by negative experiences. It is amazing that I started appreciating the lessons from the past.

I wake up every day grateful for the so many things that I used to take for granted. Now it is not just about talking or saying the words. It comes with the feeling from within. I get to appreciate so many things without any formal order. The time is not also important, and neither is the frequency or interval of the practice. It is the energy that I feel during the gratitude that I put more focus on. There are so many things to be grateful for, and sometimes I do not even need to say the words. Sometimes just thinking about what I am grateful for, puts me in this energy full of joy and appreciation.

So, the new factor or flavour has been forgiveness. It may be challenging to tell other people how I feel when practicing gratitude. The best words that come close are, ‘it is a deep feeling of appreciation’. It comes with so much joy. That is all there is to it. the focus is more on the energy that is felt during and after the ritual. So, other than waiting to see the changes later, I get to experience the change in real time. Sometime back, I was advised to write a list of the things that I was grateful for. I have developed the habit of writing what I am grateful for whenever I get the chance. I know that it could help anyone who wants to make that as a first step.

I was overjoyed when one day I opened my palms and just thought of the things that I was grateful for, and while I was doing this, I felt a surge of energy run through my body. Instead of making gratitude a serious affair where I do not even get to smile, I have made it into a fun activity. The more I do it, the more I get into a positive energy, and doesn’t everyone want a positive ‘vibe’? Well, I have just shared one of my secrets of creating a positive ‘vibe’. You must not be in a mood for gratitude. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, there is always something to be appreciative about.

There seems to be a lot of things that happen around us, the question then is, are you grateful for these things? They come to you as a lesson. I live it here for now, but this does not necessary mean that I have run short of words. I am sure that I will write the second part of this article soon. The reason is simple, this is what I am working on, more so Now. Namaste.

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