Gratitude - What it means to be Grateful

Sunday, October 17, 2010

by Shareeza Faruqui

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Gratitude as defined by as being the quality or feeling of being thankful. Wikipedia explains gratitude, thankfulness, or appreciation as a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

I’m sure many of us have read or watched the movie “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. The popularity of “The Secret” created a whole new category in self-help and empowerment books. All these authors were focused on a single law, which is the Law of Attraction.

In Yoga, the Law of Attraction is one of the Laws of Nature. I learnt about these laws in a yoga retreat organised by Datin Suleiha Suguna, the Principal of Maya Yoga Samudraa in 2006. However, she explains that there is one more element that is more important than the Law of Attraction or the other laws of nature.

This element is Gratitude. Nothing can happen without gratitude. Gratitude is a mental attitude that draws the mind closer to the source of all things. This source is referred to by many expressions; the Supreme Being, Higher Power, the Creator or God. The more we fix our minds to God when good things come, the more good things we will receive.

Being grateful is breaking free from the shackles that bind us to the material world. Recent studies have shown that people who are more grateful have higher levels of well-being. They are happier, less depressed, less stressed and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. They are more able to cope with difficulties and are able to think more positively.

My husband is recovering from a dislocated hip sustained in an auto accident. I remember the call I received from him the morning of the accident. He called me from the hospital in pain. That call shocked me to the core. All sorts of things came to my mind, but when I arrived at the hospital and saw him in the trauma ward, I was grateful. I was grateful that my husband was alive and my children still had their “Baba”. Immediately, I felt calm. In an instant a negative became a positive and I was able to make all the necessary arrangements.

Gratitude is something that can be included into your daily practises so easily. When you get up in the morning, instead of jumping out of bed and rushing to the toilet, take a moment to be grateful for the day, for your family and for yourself. In posture 1 of the Surya Namaskar, when you hold the palms of your hands together, take a deep, slow breathe in and express your gratitude. Before you do your breathing, meditation and even your postures, take a moment to be grateful.

For those who find themselves lost for words, I’ve included a stanza from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Let this be your verse until you can give voice to your innermost thoughts:

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Anonymous said...

well written - keep writing

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