I lift my mind and heart to the Truth of Being, to all that Is, to All I Am. I accept my Self in Truth and offer my Self to All in gratitude for Its Being.
I look around me, or take a breath, or feel the warmth of the sun, and appreciate Life. This has been the essence of this Journey for me: appreciating life, every aspect of it, anything that contributes to it. Emerson said:
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
I like that even though he starts by saying “every good thing” he ends by saying “include all things in your gratitude”. Don’t just be thankful for things you think are “good”! Find reasons to be thankful for challenges, lessons, or even things that are unwanted. Gratitude may not transform the experience, but it will transform your interpretation of it.
The end of Emerson’s quote reminds me of the Buddhist concept of interdependent co-arising. This, simply put, is the idea that everything is interconnected. When I make coffee in the morning, it is not just “me” making coffee; it is every thing—every experience, every effort, every action, every substance, every person—who has gone into creating that moment of “me”, that moment of “coffee”, that moment of “mug”, that moment of “water”, etc. When I give thanks for that invigorating black liquid, I give thanks to every person, every action, every effort used to bring me those beans, this mug, this water, the electricity to run my coffee maker…every single thing!
When I read the part in the quote, “…all things have contributed to your advancement,” I think about it in terms of interdependent co-arising. Nothing is apart from Being. Nothing is apart from Life. In some way, everything has contributed to who you are, who I am, today; everything deserves thanks and gratitude.
Gratitude is both being thankful for what we have now, as well as striving to create the conditions for feeling gratitude. What are you thankful for? What more can you bring into your life that you can be thankful for?
Prepare your mind for gratitude; appreciate whatever you can, remember everything connected to it, and be thankful for those things as well.
Nurture your environment in gratitude. Openly express thanks to anything and everything. Silently thank anything and everything. Everything is of Life, for us.