gratitude, say grace, grace, thankful, thanks, grateful, sustained, connected, inspired

The practice of gratitude

How do you practice gratitude?

“You say grace before meals. All right.
But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”  ― G.K. Chesterton

I’m 23 days through the 28 days of “The Magic”, by Rhonda Byrne. You can say what you like about “oh, it’s New Age” or whatever you want, but I have loved the practical application of gratitude in my life this month!

For me, this has taken “Give thanks with a grateful heart” to a new level that I had not practiced before.  And yes, as I have done the daily exercises, I have been thanking God each time I say thank you.

I Thessalonians recommends:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks…

And I admit, I have not been living up to this!
I have not lived “rejoicing always”.
I fail to “pray without ceasing”.
I don’t “give thanks in everything”.

And the beauty of this little book “The Magic” is that it provides 28 days of easy-peasy practices to bring more gratitude, appreciation, gratefulness and thank yous into your daily life – multiple times a day.  A little bit like “The Love Dare”, each day provides a new challenge that builds on what you have already done.

As someone explained on Quora, responding to “does this work”

The Secret says you attract what you want, however the secret is, you attract what you are.

And what I will say for practicing gratitude each day: it changes who you are, if you will allow it.  If you will take the time to be grateful, each day, for the little things, for the big things, for the challenges, for the good relationships and people in your life, for people with whom you have a broken relationship or something you could improve, you will change.  The situation probably won’t change – at least not immediately. But YOU will change!

Since I started this book, I have been confronted with things about myself I haven’t liked!
I realised how often I was complaining or grumbling (mentally) about things in my life.

Philippians 2 challenges us:

Do everything without complaining or arguing…

I remember well being taught as a child that the Israelites walked around in the desert for 40 years because of their complaining.  That they complained about “no water”, “no food”, “sick of the same food all the time”…

But complaining brings us down – there is no “up side” to grumbling and complaining.  It doesn’t drive you to change the situation. It’s doesn’t help you build better relationships. It may be shown in your life as irritability or anger. It shows up as frustration and impatience. It allows resentment and bitterness to build up inside you.

For me, however, reading a typical article about “don’t grumble and complain” is not very helpful.  Take this one, for instance: https://bible.org/seriespage/9-beware-complaining-and-arguing. I read that one, and I didn’t come away with a feeling of thankfulness or gratitude, or even a trust of God.

I was still resentful when a bill arrived in the mail, especially if there was something else I would rather spend my money on.  I was dismissive of the service I received from others, rather than truly grateful for the simple things.  I was incongruous in my way of living.

I admit – I started journalling about gratitude before I started the book “The Magic”. But it was just once a day – journalling the list of 10 things I am grateful for.  That’s not the same as having to set out to be grateful for specific things in your life each day.

I have found that by practicing gratitude, by making time each morning and evening (and throughout the day) to express “thank you” for specific things, I have just started trusting and stopped complaining! I started to trust that “my God shall supply all your needs”.

It’s hard to be a complainer when you are busy being grateful and thankful!

When I get a bill, I say thank you – because I am grateful that I received the service that I am being charged for. And because I know that I contracted that service because I can afford it!  I am grateful to the people that are attending me at a store, or restaurant or service station: and I take a moment to tell them thank you, as well as to simply be grateful for the moment and experience.

paying bills, bills to pay, paid, gratitude, thankful, gratefulWhen I pay a bill, I say thank you – because I was given the money (remembering that God is Source and the channel of my Substance) that I am using to pay the bill.

And I discovered that as I took moments throughout the day to say “thank you” I have become more aware of the presence of the Infinite in my life.

How do you practice gratitude?

“You say grace before meals. All right.
But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”  ― G.K. Chesterton

If you really want to experience the presence of the Infinite in your life every moment of every day – start saying Grace before each new thing you do – say grace when you walk down the stairs, when you open your door, when you hop in your car, when you stop at each traffic light.

Be thankful in ALL things, and see how YOU are transformed.

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