Perhaps we have forgotten in our lives full of complexity, change and survival, how to be grateful.
And you may ask, in these crazy times on our planet, when there is so much uncertainty, fear and turmoil, what exactly is there to be grateful for? The answer is that no matter how difficult or challenging our lives are, there are always things to be grateful for!
We often neglect being grateful for all the daily things that are part of our routine, like waking up in the morning; our bodies that do all sorts of miraculous things like breathing without our conscious input; our families and friends; our health; indoor plumbing; running water; electricity; a fridge full of food; money in the bank; clothes in the closet; our devices that keep us connected; and so many more things!
“Gratitude will open your heart to allow greater Abundance to enter into your life.”
– Ileana Rontea
Loving Messages From Source
I’m sure if you think about it, you can add a number of items that are near and dear to your own heart.
Other times, we may experience the magic of gratitude for very small and unexpected things – a purple finch singing its heart out in the backyard; a delicate white and pink hibiscus bloom waving in the breeze; a majestic willow tree reflected in a pond; a child’s joyous laughter; gazing into the large green eyes of your kitten, as he purrs in contentment.
Did any of these images make you smile? It’s contagious, isn’t it? And it’s that kind of contagion we want to spread around!
How Gratitude Helps
Besides its physical, relational and psychological benefits, Gratitude is one of the keys to remaining on a strong spiritual path. So often Life throws us a curve ball and we are thrown off track.
Being able to shift into gratitude resets our ability to appreciate what we DO have in our lives and primes us to receive more.
Gratitude brings us back to the moment and allows for reflection, instead of falling into habitual patterns of discontent and rumination over what we believe we lack.
No life is perfect and the more we are able to find something to be grateful for, the easier our burdens become. Becoming aware of just how blessed we are, softens our hearts and gently enables us to shift into a higher vibratory frequency.
Cultivating daily gratitude is one of the ways that we get closer to Spirit and our Higher Self. This is because while we are experiencing the emotion of gratitude, we are automatically lifted emotionally and we feel better and more positive! Suddenly, we are looking at our lives differently and choosing to focus on what IS working.
This is why a gratitude journal is such a useful tool, especially when we are undergoing difficult circumstances.
The more we practice gratitude, the more our brain circuitry rewires and new neural pathways form, which are strengthened by frequent grateful reflections. This then becomes a positive cycle, which is why it is so beneficial on every level.
The Gratitude Journal
During the Covid-19 lockdown in March of this year, I found myself spiraling downward into loneliness and depression. Being used to roaming the planet and freedom of movement, I (like many others) was having trouble coping with living and working from home.
My loneliness was intensified by the fact that I was in a new country where I barely had any social connections; as an extrovert, the situation was rapidly becoming untenable.
That’s when I started my gratitude journal. The idea was to have at least three different things to be grateful for daily, and to broaden the lens through which I was looking.
This became one of the spiritual practices that kept me going. I worked on calming my mind and really feeling the emotion of gratitude fill my heart. Sometimes, my eyes also filled with tears, when I sat back and understood just how blessed I truly am!
Below is a sample of what I recorded during lockdown.
* My workspace is full of light
* The birds are singing outside every morning
* I can go for long walks by the sea
* The technology that allows me to see my friends and my Dad on video
* The stocked shelves in the supermarket
* I can walk to the supermarket in 10 minutes
* I am healthy and fully mobile
* Being blessed with enough of everything, to also be in a position to help others
* There are less cars on the roads, and less pollution
* Restaurants deliver for those times when I feel like eating something that I didn’t cook myself
* The days are getting longer
* It’s cool enough to sleep comfortably at night
* There are so many good books available on Kindle
* All the friends I have, and that even the introverts are willing to do a video call with me
* I found my favorite childhood dessert in a nearby convenience store
* The breeze that keeps me cool on my walks
* Flowers are starting to bloom
* Funny animal videos on YouTube
* Having had the wisdom to invest into making my new apartment into a homey place right away
* A stable home during the pandemic
* My elderly father is in good health and is well taken care of in his retirement home
* My comfortable bed and fresh sheets
When I ask for something, whether it be guidance, or for something to work out in my favor, I make sure I silently thank my Spirit Guides who are always with me. I also thank the people in my life, my friends, clients and even those who serve me at restaurants, the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy. This is not just being polite; it is gratefulness for all the ways I am supported, day in and day out.
It’s about NOT taking things for granted, big or small. By focusing on being grateful, we are continually elevating our vibratory level so that we experience deeper feelings of connection to the Divine.
Gratitude and a Shift in Perspective
To broaden the lens, at times we will reflect on situations in our lives that were very serious and in many ways destroyed something we dearly valued.
In my case, my marriage fell apart in my early 30s. It had been a roller coaster ride for many years, and it eventually ended up in divorce. It was an extremely painful and difficult time for me and I felt shattered for many years.
Nevertheless, this fracture in my life, forced me on a path of profound self-reflection and a deepening of my yearning to continue with my spiritual studies. I shed many layers during this time and grew enormously as a person.
As I look back on it now, I realize that because of my desire to reinvent myself, and the extreme change in lifestyle, an entirely new world has opened up to me in the last 15 years. This is a world of travel, exploration and making new friends around the world.
I gained in courage and self-confidence, and continued to grow as a person and professionally, starting my own business (twice!), as well as working as a Human Resources Manager for the cruise industry.
My international lifestyle also allowed me to help and heal many more people than I would have been able to, if I had been living in one place focused on my life with a partner.
Truly, we often learn the most life-changing lessons from the toughest times. (To see more of my non-conventional life, I invite you to visit my About Page).
“Your willingness to receive from Spirit determines to a large degree how your life will progress.”
– Ileana Rontea
33 Loving Messages From Source
It is a proven fact that you cannot be sad, miserable or unhappy and
truly grateful at the same time. Which would you rather be?
How could practicing gratitude improve YOUR life?
Does any of the above resonate with you?
I offer a free half-hour video consultation or phone call so we can briefly determine if I am the right person
to guide you in this journey.
Email me at Ileana@PhoenixOnTheRise.com
Yes this resonates so much with me. I’ve been blessed to wake up each morning in a natural state of gratitude and even that in and of itself is something to be immensely grateful for.
Thanks for your beautiful ‘Phoenix On The Rise’ website Ileana, and for spreading love and light with such grace, to those who are drawn to it and those lucky enough to chance upon it too!
Hi Ileana! I resonate with this so much. I practice gratitude daily and have done for quite a few years now. Even on my darkest days I can still find gratitude. Even on my most positive days, I still find time to express my gratitude in those little things because, to me, they are the most important.
A great post!
A powerful message on gratitude Ileana, that I completely agree with. It has to be the primary building block to happiness and progess. I’m so grateful that I have come to that realisation myself! You write beautifully. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.