Locate Your Gratitude

Find Joy in Thankfulness

By Jennie Hastings Stancu

I am guessing you have probably heard this before: gratitude is a splendid way to nourish your spirit. Do you know why? It’s because the ability to find gratitude means you have something great going on in your life.
Sometimes it is easy to forget what is great when we are fixated on what is bothering us. As soon as we look for something to be grateful for, we find that it’s right under our nose.
Feeling gratitude is an automatic way to feel better. What are you grateful for? You must always know the answer to this question, even if the only person asking you is yourself. If you have trouble identifying what you are grateful for, trust the first answer that comes into your head: the person you love most in the world, the most beautiful sunset you ever experienced, the way it felt to receive the best gift ever given to you. I always get a picture of my niece, Cora, in my head—I love her to pieces and feel so blessed that she came into my life.
I am also grateful for the sun, the rain, and the way vegetables, fruit, and babies grow. I am grateful for my home. I am grateful for my family and my parents. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to live in peace and harmony most of the time. I am fortunate to have a safe place to live, healthy food to eat, good medical care, and some free time to devote to my own development. Life, for the most part, has been good to me and I am grateful for this existence.

What Are You Grateful For?

Take out a piece of paper and pen and start jotting down what you are grateful for. This might include basic necessities for survival, or things you have worked hard to achieve. Your list might look like this:
• I am grateful to work in a profession that I love.
• I am grateful there is no war being fought in my neighborhood.
• I am grateful for the rights and privileges that allow me to pursue my goals.
• I am grateful for my health and the health of my family.
When you start listing all of the things you have to be grateful for, it can almost become an orgy of happiness. Just this morning, I was feeling disgruntled because it was the fifth day in a row that I awoke to gray, rainy skies. Then I came in and saw my first client, who is a social worker. She told me how she was working with a woman from Burundi who had just arrived in our city—a refugee who had survived unspeakable atrocities, including the murder of her family. Wow, did that stop me in my tracks. Why am I letting a little rain get me down? I have all of my basic survival needs taken care of, and enough superfluous energy to truly blossom in my life.
Sometimes it is easy to take basic necessities for granted. It is hard to remember to feel grateful every time we turn on the faucet and clean water comes out. But the truth is that if you have the time and ability to read this article, you really are amazingly blessed and fortunate, and most likely have many, many things to be grateful for.
As we acknowledge all that we are grateful for, this gratitude sets up a vibration in our beings that will attract even more blessings into our lives. Let’s do an experiment and affirm our gratitude for the things that have not even happened yet. As I was writing my book, this was my forward-thinking thought of gratitude: “Universe, thank you. I am so grateful to have completed my book so that it can reach the hands of other inspired massage therapists.”
What do you want to be grateful for? Even if it has not entered your life yet, begin to thank your higher power for the great blessings bestowed upon you. Try it today!