Many of us get caught up in unhelpful thinking. We get used to berating ourselves, judging ourselves or others or getting caught in anxious or depressive thoughts about the future and past.
Practising gratitude and happiness is a wonderful way to interrupt that way of thinking and to help us become more present. It also helps us realise what is good in our lives and what brings us joy. Very often many of us loose touch with those knowings as all our attention focuses on what we don’t want and what we don’t like. This can make our world seem small and painful. Gratitude helps interrupt that way of thinking. It helps us look outward and encourages us to notice the good things in life. In doing so we may start to get a sense that the world is perhaps not as scary or dangerous as we perceived. And that perhaps there are some things in our life that are good and bring us joy. And that there is more than just our problems and pain we have been focusing on for so long for. Gratitude opens up our perspective and the world.
Neuroscience shows us that as we focus on the similar thoughts over and over the more they become hard wired in the mind. So when we practice gratitude we are creating new pathways in our brain. As we do this over and over they eventually become hard wired which means we are more likely to notice and experience what is great in our life.
Practising gratitude is also particularly useful when we are going through challenging times. All the practice now means we are able to access other resources of positivity, safety, beauty etc. In the past we may have just felt lost in the challenging feelings and thoughts, but now where we have exercised that part that notices what we are grateful for, we are able to incorporate that into the moment. We may notice that there is some space and that we are not quite as caught up in the feelings and thoughts as we were previously.
‘Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Gustav Jung
“If you knew how important you are—and without the story you come to know it—you would fragment into a billion pieces and just be light. That’s what these misunderstood concepts are for: to keep you from the awareness of that. You’d have to be the embodiment if you knew it—just a fool, blind with love. It causes so much pain to live out of the light. It was so painful that I could only do it for forty-three years.” Byron katie.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”. MARK TWAIN
‘Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them’ A.A Milne
‘Most people work so hard to avoid their fears that it overtakes them in the end but I say, “Make peace with them and you’ll be free forever.” Robert G Smith
‘If you’re frightened of dying and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. If you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the Earth’. Jacobs Ladder
It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. – Aldous Huxley
“Friend, I know your heart is broken, I know the future seems unclear to you, I know you feel the absence of answers right now, I know you feel a terrible longing for something you cannot name. But let’s begin where we are. Let’s not focus on the thousands of steps that will come on the path, but the place where we stand on the path right now. And there is only now.
Know that many others have gone through what you are going through, and remember that sometime it seems darkest before the dawn. But instead of longing for the dawn, and rejecting the darkness, let us touch the dark parts with gentleness and light. Let us meet what is here, not rush towards what is not here. For even the darkest cave may contain treasure, and even the most intense and uncomfortable feelings may actually contain strange medicine. Walk your path courageously, friend and know that loved ones walk with you.” Jeff Foster
‘Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same. Every wonderful sight will vanish, every sweet word will fade. But do not be disheartened, the source they come from is eternal, growing, branching out, giving you new life and new joy. Why do you weep? The source is within you, and the whole world is springing up from it.’ Rumi.
Palace of PleasureFaster EFT Happy Journal
Photo’s without text, accept the banner at the top and bottom, are taken by Lizzie Bryher