I was introduced to a gratitude based writing practice called a “Grace Trail” during a time in my life when I faced a convergence of crises. I could not see a path through nor come up with any potential solutions. It was during this time that I was introduced to the “Grace Trail” practice and I began to write daily. I shared my writing with the friend who introduced me to the practice and she did the same. Within months unexpected help came in and I found myself successfully on the other side of the crises. I believe that engaging a practice that connected me with the feeling of gratitude on a daily basis was a fundamental factor in my success.
WHAT IS GRACE?
Grace is the divine influence of source energies operating in your life to regenerate, inspire and strengthen you. Grace is freely given and always available within the sacred flow of life. To perceive this flow you simply need to view life with reverence. Bring an attitude of respect and awe to each moment, regardless of whether it is joyful, challenging or simply mundane. This will tune you into the subtler vibrations that are always around you. Grace occurs when you allow the benevolence of the universe to be received. When you do, it provides the means through which you embody your divinity, your highest possible vibration.
HOW IS GRATITUDE RELATED TO GRACE?
Gratitude and grace have a reciprocal relationship. You experience gratitude when you recognize the presence of grace in your life and you open the flow of grace when you feel grateful. Grace comes through a high vibration energy flow that is guided by source energies and governed by universal principles. You experience gratitude when you appreciate the life being generated by this flow. The simple experience of gratitude is a perfect example of how easy it can be to raise your energy consciousness and position yourself to consciously create your life.
Utilizing the observer effect to place your focus on gratitude and fostering this feeling experience will automatically engage the reciprocal relationship with grace. Thus, the more you are grateful the more you attract into your life. This makes gratitude a powerful freewill tool for attracting abundance and achieving fulfillment. But it only works if you really mean it and feel it. Gratitude has been a topic of research in recent years and studies prove that it must be felt to work. So it is better to focus your gratitude on what you can truly feel grateful for, no matter how mundane, silly or seemingly inconsequential it might be. This will have more of an impact than pretending to be grateful for the things you think you ought to be grateful for.
PRACTICING GRATITUDE MAKES YOU HEALTHIER ON ALL LEVELS
When you genuinely feel grateful for people, places and things in your life, good things happen to your body, heart, mind and spirit. Embodying gratitude is an ever present, available and free way that you can synchronize and nurture your systems for optimal health and well being. The benefits of practicing gratitude are real, tangible and life sustaining. Engaging practices that help you to feel more grateful doesn’t make you a Pollyanna, but rather more of a pragmatist when you begin to look at the research. Following is a summary of the advantages you will experience when you feel grateful.
Feeling gratitude improves your physical health. Research has shown that it makes you physically stronger and more resilient to cope with stress. It has the material impact of lowering your cortisol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Practicing gratitude helps you to regulate your sympathetic nervous system, improve your immune function and the quality of your sleep. These benefits alone make it worth your time and energy to practice gratitude, but keep reading.
Feeling gratitude improves your emotional health. It increases your experience of happiness and it lowers your potential for depression. When you feel grateful your brain releases dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for your emotions and they enhance your mood. As you feel happier it affects your central nervous system allowing you to be more peaceful and less reactive. Gratitude also helps to bring coherence into your heart. Coherence produces stable heart rhythms which allow you to regulate your emotions and cope with adversity. Your physical heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in your body and it is expanded with gratitude. This expansion is what attracts more grace.
Feeling gratitude improves your mental health. On a physical level, gratitude changes the molecular structure of your brain and promotes good functioning in your brain’s grey matter. The grey matter is where you process information. How you interpret and frame information plays a fundamental role in your mental health. Practicing gratitude shifts your focus away from negative, toxic thoughts and feelings. This is important because where you place your mental focus influences what you attract into your life.
Feeling gratitude improves your spiritual/energetic health. Practicing gratitude raises your vibrational frequency and it promotes enlightenment. It fosters a sense of faith which can be invaluable in promoting tolerance, respect, understanding and reconciliation. Gratitude helps you to develop humility and it increases your sense of determination to face life’s challenges. The positive reach of gratitude goes beyond the holistic systems tune up you receive by simply appreciating the gift of life. The benefits extend to your connection with others and help you to build strong and nurturing relationships.
THE METAPHYSICS OF GRATITUDE
To stretch our view to the energetic level to simply observe what is occurring within the energy flow of gratitude I would like to bring forth three observations about the nature of this experience: 1. Gratitude is a transcendent experience. 2. Gratitude nurtures, expands and magnetizes good things. 3. Gratitude is holographic and timeless.
Gratitude is a transcendent experience. Gratitude is an experience that synchronizes your individual systems (body, heart, mind and spirit) in harmonic receptivity. On an individual level you receive energy into your being through your body, heart, mind and spirit. These systems are the mechanisms through which you process and interpret the energy coming in. When you experience gratitude you have a sensory experience in your body, heartfelt appreciation, a thankful mental focus and humility of spirit. The synchronicity of your systems working in harmony creates an experience that transcends the individual energy/consciousness level. This opens you to the energy and consciousness of the group and oneness.
Gratitude nurtures, expands and magnetizes good things. You are changed by the energy that you receive through your systems; you are either nurtured or depleted, expanded or diminished, and attracted or repelled by what is coming in. Gratitude is an experience that nurtures you. The full engagement of your systems operating to receive fills you with a positive flow of energy. Gratitude expands you. It postures you in a fully present, open and receptive state that extends beyond your individual energy field and prompts engagement with the group and oneness which automatically makes you grow. Gratitude is also magnetic. Each grateful heartbeat works to supercharge the electromagnetic field being generated by your heart. This is like sending a morse code to the universe and attracting positive energy into your life.
Gratitude is holographic and timeless. Gratitude is an experience that occurs within the unfolding of time, which is holographic in nature. To briefly review this concept; the first universal principle is the holographic principle which states that “the part is equal to the whole” and as such “all is within each part”. The way this applies to time is that each moment contains access to all time. The deeper you are within the presence of the moment, the more expansive your view of the time matrix. Your body, heart, mind and spirit systems are also a function of time and as such they are holographic in nature. This means that each system provides access to the whole receptive process. Thus, the deeper your experience of gratitude, no matter the particulars of the impression, the further reaching is the scope of benefits.