For more Elysium's Passage posts links, go to https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/ep-blog-posts or https://digitalbloggers.com/articles/elysiumspassage for the host blogsite.
Seeds of Gratitude -- Harvest of Happiness
As Rhonda Byre states above: "Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant."
So then, how do we reap the abundant harvest we wish to have in our lives?
One word: Gratitude! Thoughts of gratitude are the seeds of happiness.
This post's featured painting reminds me of the beauty and bounty of the earth for which we may feel gratitude and appreciation. Perhaps the women in the painting sense that they are part of the earth, rain and sun as they harvest what they've sowed. Even in their labours, they may feel grateful. (But maybe not... looks like hard work.)
In any case, I believe gratitude is what determines our happiness. Each thought of gratitude is like a seed planted to yield happiness. Over time the seeds of gratitude will grow into a garden of peace and happiness as we reap what we've sown through life. Look at the people you know who are the happiest. Are any of them ungrateful? I doubt it. Rather, they are the happiest.
Gratitude is foundational to our happiness and everyone else’s. Our well-being and the well-being of others depends on how we feel within. We are broadcasting stations that constantly broadcast our state of conscious whether we’re aware of it or not. What we transmit to others is transmitted to the world.
If we’re happy we broadcast happiness. But if we're unhappy we broadcast unhappiness. By being grateful, the world is uplifted one person at a time. It loves gratitude, perhaps because we see so little of it. We uplift others when we express gratitude.
Temporal gratification might make us feel happy at the moment, but if we don’t maintain an attitude of gratitude after the experience, there is no reason to remain happy. For example, I just had a freshly baked blueberry and cranberry muffin which made me happy at the moment. It was delicious, but now it's gone. Not the happiness… the muffin. And yet my happiness lingers as I remain grateful for having had it. What underlies happiness is sustained gratitude, not money, fame, or power.(Take that Hollywood!)
It’s easy to dwell on things that cause us more grief than gratitude, such as when we get our mail and see all the bills that need to be paid. That can be a real downer unless we change our attitude by remembering to be grateful for having sufficient funds to pay these bills.
It is our responsibility to take care of our emotional health by being aware that it’s always in our best interests to remain happy by practising gratitude. If we are not in the habit of feeling gratitude, we’re probably not going to be that happy in life. This might sound like common sense, but if it is, why do we so easily fall into the trap of being miserable. This habit can easily become our default position.
That’s why it’s necessary for us to acknowledge all the reasons we should feel thankful. Not just once, but over and over until it becomes a habit that replaces old patterns of negative thought. This required retraining our mind to perceive abundance rather than lack. After all, how can we be grateful for lack?
If we practise gratitude enough, it will become our new reality. That’s the goal! That’s much better than the ego's reality of misery and lack.
So, how can the happy gratitude become our reality?
Simple: make it a habit.
And how do we do this – how do we discipline ourselves so make gratitude our default attitude such that it becomes our constant state of reality?
I suggest making it a little ritual of it the beginning of each day.
Here’s what I do: I get out of bed, go down the stairs and make a cup of coffee, sometimes with a light breakfast. With that taken care of, I’m ready to enter into my new zone of happy reality. I sit at my table, pick up my pen and begin to write on my notepad all that I can think of for which I’m grateful.
To begin, maybe all I'm aware of is the coffee I’m drinking. But as I focus on it, I become conscious of how good a freshly brewed cup of coffee can taste.
Then I might look out the window from where I sit and see the morning sun shining beautifully on the trees and grass. Or maybe it’s the freshness of the rain pouring down. That’s beautiful too. I might even go out on my deck and enjoy another cup of coffee and breath in the fresh air. Yes, if I'm mindful, I can even become aware of these revitalizing ions in the morning rain and be grateful. Or the overcast clouds... not gloomy, just peaceful. What’s not to like? I can write that one down too.
Hmm, no aches or pains in my body this morning… that’s something to be grateful for.
I look around my home. I like my home. I’m grateful for how it makes me feel. Comfortable and peaceful. I’ll think about the vacuuming later.
I like that plant in the corner… haven’t noticed it in a long while, except to water it. It belongs. I’m grateful to have such a nice plant there.
So, what’s there to be grateful for this day… a root canal? We can always be grateful for dentists who do that sort of thing… and so much less painful these days. (Okay, that one was a bit of a stretch.)
Do we have friends and relatives? Not everyone does, or not many. Can we be grateful for having them in our lives? Mostly... I presume. Write down everyone’s names you are grateful for and itemize all their charming qualities (if possible.) If you like being single, you might wish to make note of that too, (perhaps with a big star.)
How about ordinary things? For example, when was the last time we felt grateful for your washer and dryer? That might seem trite, but what it would be like to live without these? If we can imagine that, we might feel more grateful next time we put in a load.
Am I grateful for social media? Of course, or I wouldn’t be sharing this. Personally, I just need to remember to avoid Twitter and to tune out all the negativity that robs me of gratitude. I'm even grateful that I preserved my sanity by unsubscribing from cable TV.
Also, we should not neglect the big things in life such as the sun and earth. Can we be grateful for photosynthesis and all the food that it miraculously grows for us, along with blossoms, flowers, and fragrances that delight our senses? How about pets, or the last time we rode a horse? How did that feel?
Okay, you get the idea. Its always about the joy of gratitude when we pay attention to things, be they great or small. It makes little difference; gratitude is gratitude and it always makes us feel good.
Maybe we only think of a few things at first, but each day the list keeps growing as we become increasingly aware of all we took for granted. We may also wish to return to whatever makes us feel good. How does your coffee taste this morning? If you enjoy it, why not write that down again and relive the happy energy of gratitude. Whatever works… why not?
This is reprogramming your mind. Even if it seems a bit superficial at first, in time it has a profound impact on how we view the world. As the Nobel Prize Physicist, Max Planck stated early last century: “When you change the way you look at things and the more things you look at change.” Look with gratitude instead of dread and the world will change for the better.
There’s no better way to change than through gratitude. It instantly makes us ‘present’ by delivering us from the pits of the fearful ego, catapulting us back into our divine consciousness where we belong. We don’t even have to work at it once we love our happiness more than our pain and suffering.
Practise gratitude every day and see how quickly you can retrain your mind to be happy. That’s the challenge. Being grateful means engaging our heart to feel good. The mind will accept that because it wants to feel good too. It doesn’t know how to do that on its own and so defaults to the ego every time. When the mind is disengaged with the heart, it is always confused about life. It can have an IQ of 200, but without the heart, it has few if any relational skills.
Even though the mind might be logical and analytical, it can also be really, really, stupid... especially in things that matter such as relationships. The ego-mind knows nothing of gratitude unless it's self-serving. Which is perhaps why the world is as it is… too many smart minds running the show who remain disconnected within… but that’s another subject for another time. As Pascal stated several centuries ago: “The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
Our ego-mind has had its way with us for long enough when we allow it to make us feel miserable. Now’s the time to make it our servant, not our master. Where there is loving gratitude, it has no choice but to accept the heart as boss.
Do we wish to make the world a happier place? We can do this by sowing seeds of gratitude. As this catches on, the world will learn to reap the harvest of happiness.
To start the first day of your happy life of gratitude, I recommend beginning a 'Gratitude Journal,' even if it's just a plain notepad like mine. Leave it in plain sight so you see it first thing in the morning. You might wish to be grateful for the good time you had last night at that party or a hike you just took in nature. If that was a good feeling, you can keep going back to it for years and revive its happy memories each time you reread it. Just think of how much happiness might accumulate there.
However you do it, the objective is to raise your frequency so you remain at peace, regardless of whatever hysteria, hate and anger go on around you. Become empowered with gratitude to rise above the ego's vortex of despair. Remember, you're a broadcasting station that's always casting abroad whatever you put out there.
Make it a vibe of gratitude.
If you are interested in reading more posts related to this subject, go to:
Let Your Light Shine. https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/let-your-light-shine
What is Happiness? https://digitalbloggers.com/book-reviews/what-is-happiness
Or see all blog links at https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/ep-blog-posts
They are all written to inspire, inform, challenge and even amuse.
QUOTES ON GRATITUDE
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." -William Arthur Ward
· "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Oprah Winfrey
· "No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude." -Alfred North Whitehead
· "We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction." -H.A. Ironside
· "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."--Marcel Proust
· "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart
· "The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it." -Michael Josephson
· "Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy." -Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
· "I may not be where I want to be but I'm thankful for not being where I used to be." -Habeeb Akande
· "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." -Melody Beattie
· "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John F. Kennedy
· "Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation." -Brian Tracy
· "Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy." -Jacques Maritain
· "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer
· "When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity." -Elie Wiesel
· "Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." -Eckhart Tolle
· "If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get." -Frank A. Clark
· "If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily." -Gerald Good
· "Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect." -Jean-Jacques Rousseau
· "Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses." -Alphonse Karr
· "Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it." -Ralph Marston
· "Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." -Voltaire
· "When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude." -Gilbert K. Chesterton
· "'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding." -Alice Walker
· "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."--Epictetus