WELLNESS--I spent most of my life wanting more. It seemed that no matter what manifested into my experience, it wasn’t enough. I believed that this incessant drive and focus that had its roots in my future was the way to get ahead and create the life of my dreams.
Fast-forward to today and I’ve had a major awakening. Perhaps it’s due to my age and the fact that more and more people around me are getting sick and or dying, but suddenly I am struck by an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
We all know in theory that being thankful is the key to lasting joy but we live in a hectic world where more is often better. More achievements, more love, more money, and more goals. It is a never-ending cycle that leaves us empty and ironically, wanting more.
Giving thanks and having gratitude isn’t just a spiritual practice, studies are now showing that being in such a space may help us to live longer and remain healthy for extended periods of time. When we live in a space of loving what we have now, we surrender more and gently let go of the stress of this perpetual wheel.
The paradox is that the more thankful we are the more often-additional things show up in our experience because we let go of the need. When we don’t push, prod, or force things to happen, we sit in a beautiful space of being grateful for what is and faithful that even more will show up in the right time.
The practice of gratitude sends a gentle message to the Universe that we appreciate all that has been brought into our life. As we evolve, we also realize that those very challenges that we didn’t desire showed up so that we could grow and learn, and even for those we give thanks.
Gratitude journals are popular for a very good reason. They serve as emotional prompts. When we write down a list of what we are thankful for, we are reminded of just how blessed we truly are. We can see that even the smallest of things like our warm bed, the bird in our backyard, or the fact that we can see at all, are miracles in themselves.
Sometimes life is messy. Being where we don’t want to be isn’t fun but looking deeply into the mystery of life and seeing glimmers of hope is the power of gratitude gently reminding us to find joy through the sorrow and hope through the despair.
Don’t stop desiring a more creative and full life but do begin giving thanks for ALL that is here and now.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)