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5 Valuable Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

“We are open to our own transformation as we know that all things are possible. Everything is working together for good as we consistently practice and participate fully in life.”
Karen Mills-Alston

Guidely - guide karen mills alston thumbAbout Karen Mills-Alston:
Karen is an Agape Licensed Spiritual Practitioner, international speaker, workshop leader, and award-winning author. She is the author of 10 Principles for a Life Worth Living. Karen assists people in discovering their true nature and purpose, consciously creating a life worth living.

Watch the full replay of Cultivating Gratitude, hosted by Guidely’s Amir Glogau & Shannon Woodruff, alongside Karen Mills-Alston

Welcome everybody, I’m so grateful you’re here!
My body of work is called 10 Principles for a Life Worth Living. The first principle is to begin each day in a spirit of gratitude. I invite you to open your heart to listen deeply. And with the awareness, there’s an opportunity to learn something new to grow and expand. Because there’s always an opportunity to go deeper, wider and higher.

Practicing gratitude

Focus your attention on your body temple, ask yourself, what am I grateful for? What emotions are coming up for you? What are you feeling in your body temple right now, as you think about that question, what am I grateful for?

Beginning with a spirit of gratitude:

When you’re ready, close your eyes, and without judgment, or comparison, bring your mind to how you woke up this morning, what did it feel like? What emotions came through your body temple? After you have put your feet on the floor- what do you do? What comes next? As you wake up in the morning, you get to choose and establish a feeling tone for your day. Setting a tone for a day that is filled with peace, tranquility & unconditional love.

A rampage of gratitude

As you continue to close your eyes, focus on seeing yourself, take yourself to tomorrow morning while you’re still in bed, before you open your eyes and begin thinking your first thought, practice what I call the rampage of gratitude. Focus your attention on your body temple. Simply allow yourself to be grateful.

You don’t have to follow this rampage directly, just focus on what comes to mind, what you’re grateful for. I practice my rampage of gratitude by saying:

I’m grateful and thankful that I’m awake, aware and alive. I’m grateful and thankful that I had such a great night’s sleep. I’m grateful and thankful for the dreams. I’m grateful and thankful that I get to wiggle my toes and my fingers and I get to move my knees and my elbows.

I’m so grateful and thankful that there is blood coursing through my body temple. I’m grateful and thankful for this body temple that is always supporting me. And it’s always loving me, my body temple that maintains and sustains me. I’m grateful and thankful for the beating of my heart. I’m grateful and thankful for my healthy lungs.

I’m grateful and thankful for the unconditional love that is always right where I am. I’m grateful and thankful for this and so much more. And so it is.

Stay in this gratitude attitude for another 10-15 minutes, not checking your computer or your phone for messages or turning on the news, instead, just focusing on deepening this practice and moving into meditation, or putting on some music, maybe you have a practice of prayer, maybe you want to move into yoga, whatever that is, stay in this elevated place of gratitude for just a few more minutes.

5 valuable ways to cultivate gratitude

Feeling stuck

Some mornings you might wake up and not feel like doing any of this stuff. That’s ok, sometimes we get stuck, we don’t feel loved and appreciated, we don’t feel like being grateful. If you’re feeling this way, try this: Wrap your arms around yourself, and allow yourself to feel a presence in this power. Tell yourself, you are loved and adored and appreciated, you are loved and adored and appreciated right here and right now. Breathe, and when you’re ready, move into the rampage of gratitude.

Gratitude around the clock

Here is a way to check in with ourselves throughout the day, at 9 o’clock, 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6pm, and at 9 o’clock, stop, take a breath, and feel gratitude. Sometimes we forget and we get stuck in our humaneness. We forget to be grateful.

We get stuck in this worry, doubt and fear, it’s important to stop at those times and ground ourselves, because if we are not consciously aware of being grateful when somebody triggers us at eight o’clock in the morning, and we carry that throughout the day, we end up creating something we don’t want in our life and carry it all day long.

So stopping at particular times is an opportunity for us to recalibrate our awareness and to celebrate the opportunity that we have to be grateful.

Acceptance & gratitude

Close your eyes, bring into your awareness somebody that you are annoyed with, someone that you are not liking so much right now. It can be a co-worker, an individual, a partner, an ex, a family member. Put yourself in a room with that person, you’re standing in front of them. Looking at them in their eyes, perhaps you’re standing about four or five feet from them.

And as you’re looking at them, you begin to bring your hands together in the prayer mudra. You bow deeply because this bow represents an expression of gratitude. Become grateful and thankful for this person showing up in your life, this person represents a gift.

And I know that there may be tremendous pain as you are even thinking about this person, but remember that without them, perhaps you would not have been able to learn a lesson or have an opportunity to grow and expand. Because of them, you are stronger, you stand in your power. Because of them, you love deeply. Because of them, you are developing your gifts and talents.

Instead of resenting them, avoiding them, begin to give thanks for them.

With this practice of gratitude, you get to remind yourself of your power, your strength and your excellence. This practice of gratitude sets us free.

I invite you to put a smile on your face. And I’m reminding you that creating an attitude of gratitude opens us up to receive more of life. We get to move forward and live life fully.

I’m grateful and thankful for this practice, and so much more. And so it is. Thank you.

If you’d like to learn more about Karen Mills-Alston’s work, click here.

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