Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

Every day provides us with new opportunities to show our gratitude for the life we have been given. Sometimes we want more rather than to be grateful for what we already have. Our life is a gift. Everyday we are given is an opportunity, and every moment we get to experience is a privilege. A few years ago I was diagnosed with a heart condition where I have these episodes of my heart beating out of control and a host of other peripheral issues like feeling like I'm going to faint, sweating and sometimes struggling to breathe. It's really quite scary when it happens. It's not like a congenital heart condition, it has more to do with the electrical impulses of my heart. While I am typically a grateful person, this condition made me more so. It made me grateful for every beat of my heart, because with this condition, there are times when my heart literally skips a beat.

This made me think about how ungrateful I have been to my own body. Taking for granted the lungs that keep me breathing, my heart that keeps on beating, my feet that upholds the entire weight of my body. My eyes that allow me to see the light of a new day; my ears that allow me to hear the voice of nature, my senses which allow me to smell the scent of Summer, touch the softness of my husband's hair, taste the foods I love or the beverages I love to drink (Sangria). When I wake up every day, these gifts are there to greet me. I am more grateful for them now than I ever have been before. These are not small matters but they are matters I know I have taken for granted. How about you?

There are so many ways to cultivate a heart of gratitude. One of the primary ways is having an awareness that everything you have is a gift. We like to believe we own things, that we worked for what we have and have therefore somehow earned it. I used to think that way. But I came to realize that had I not been given the gift of opportunity, I would not have the things I now enjoy.

I often think about the time that we are given (another gift). We believe seconds just become minutes and minutes just become hours, hours just become days, days just become weeks, weeks just become months, months just become years and somehow we just stumbled into them all. The reality is we are given access into them all (yet another gift). We don't just have moments, we are granted entry into every single one of them. We take time for granted because we believe we have more of it than we actually do.

So cultivating a heart of gratitude is understanding that you are a channel through which everything you experience flows and you have the benefit of being the first one who is blessed by it; for that you ought to be grateful.


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