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Gratitude: The Key to Peace
by Art Ramsay

 While there are many ways to bring peace into your life, living a life filled with gratitude has to be the quickest. I have found over the years that I cannot be angry and grateful at the same time. In fact, it is hard, or maybe impossible, for anyone to feel gratitude and any 'negative' emotion or thought at the same time. Try it yourself and see what results come from being grateful and trying to get angry; make it real though, don't try to fake anger or gratitude.

Most of us normally take things for granted. That is, our daily lives are on automatic mode and we chug along as always unless something disrupts our flow. Anything that seems to be working is thought of as "that's the way it is." Only when something pops up unexpectedly are we are pulled out of our 'reverie' and sometimes thrown asunder. Our first response may be to jump to conclusions and complain.

 For example, you are driving to/from work in the 'usual' traffic snarl that you are so used to. Then, unexpectedly everything comes to a screeching halt and you sit. Minutes go by and nothing moves; you keep checking the time and strain to see what the hold up is about. Then frustration turns to anger and blame sets in resulting in complaints to anyone who will listen. If you are alone, you complain just to feed your anger, because your usual drive to/from work was interrupted.

 Since we get trapped in our habitual way of living, believing this is the way things are, we have little time to express gratitude for anything. We may actually think we are grateful for things in our lives that we take for granted, but never express gratitude verbally or mindfully. It's like the groom that tells his bride, "I love you. If that ever changes I'll let you know", then never says the words again. Expressing gratitude is huge.

 There are two times during your day when the verbal expression of gratitude creates the best results when you wake up and before you go to sleep. Expressing gratitude first thing in the morning sets the pace for your day. I used to sit on my deck with a cup of coffee in the morning and give thanks for everything I could think of the new day, the sun, the clouds, birds, sounds, quiet, my family, and so on. It worked well until I noticed that there was a gap between getting out of bed and the gratitude time, sometimes filled with negativity.

 When I changed to giving thanks upon getting out of bed, my day lightened up. It's like the old saying about how you feel when you look in the mirror in the morning saying either "thank you God it's morning" verses "oh my God, it's morning." You want your day to start off with a smile verses a frown don't you? Doesn't a smiling face look better in the mirror than a frowning face?

 Gratitude lifts you as you begin your day. Wearing a smile while you drive to work, or wherever, and expressing gratitude lifts your vibration and is likely to keep it there. If you run out of things to feel grateful for, make something up. For example, if, in the moment, you have expressed gratitude for everything you can think of, then give thanks for something you want in your life that you don't presently have. This is actually a way to begin a manifestation, but is beyond the scope of this article.

 Now I am not suggesting that you just continue to express gratitude all day long; that you become trite and take away the honest feeling of gratitude. Starting the day with gratitude sets the tone, or vibration of your mind, and lifts your attitude. If, during the day, something comes along, and it will, to pull down your vibration, expressing gratitude will offset the lower vibration if that is necessary. It may be that you need to feel the lower vibration for some reason, but that is again, beyond the subject being discussed here.

 Ending your day with gratitude is likely to help you get to sleep faster and lay the groundwork for  a more restful sleep. It also helps put behind you things that occurred that you need not remember or deal with anyway. Some situations seem to hang around and bug us all night even though they had little meaning to begin with. After awhile you will be able to discern when briefly reviewing your day, what situations are worth remembering and which ones aren't.

 Below are some pointers to express gratitude in the most helpful way:

  • Express your gratitude verbally
  • Feel the words that you are expressing
  • Be honest with yourself;  don't say you are grateful if you are not
  • Express gratitude every day
  • Thank people for what they do for you or give you and mean it
  • Be grateful for you; express gratitude for who you are
  • Pull yourself out of negativity by expressing gratitude

You cannot express gratitude enough. It cleanses your mind, your emotions, your attitude, and your body. Anger and other low vibratory emotions are changed when a high vibration like gratitude is repeated and felt. Note that felt is a major aspect of being grateful.

 Start a list right now of everything you can think of that you are grateful for, then add to the list every day. Use it in the morning and before bed to get into the practice of being grateful. After awhile you won't even need the list.

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