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Mindful Leadership

The Power of Gratitude

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Most of us know that gratitude is not only powerful, but, life changing.  But, why is this the case?  The answer is quite simple.  Gratitude is experienced in the present moment.  There is no pull and no push with what is happening in the moment.  For the period of time that we are grateful, we are “okay” with what is.  We are not trying to improve that for which we are grateful.  But rather, we enjoy and feel open to what is arising.

The state of gratitude then brings about a certain joy.  In this joy, we are then more likely to attract other positive experiences for which we experience gratitude.  This then becomes a virtuous cycle.

Two other realities are at play when we experience gratitude.  The first is that our own gratitude gives us a greater sense of compassion.  In that compassion, we experience an openness towards others.  The second thing that happens is that our wisdom deepens.  When we experience deep gratitude, we realize how wise it is to cultivate that gratitude.

When we cultivate gratitude, we deepen our ability to be in the present moment, and we experience greater compassion and wisdom.  Through this one strategy, we refine consciousness deeply.  And this makes us better partners, friends, citizens and leaders.

If you would like to deliberately cultivate gratitude and enjoy its benefits, you may wish to practice the following for 1-2 weeks.  Upon rising every morning, perhaps as you lie in bed, become aware and list all the things, people, circumstances, etc. for which you are grateful.  You can visualize then, list them in words in your mind, or do both, visualize and name them to yourself.  Then just go about your business.  At bedtime, do the same thing.  You may consider the same things you were grateful for in the morning or you may wish to consider the things you were grateful for during that day.  Then just go to sleep.

Within a short time you will likely start to notice a certain lightness and inner joy for no specific reason.  The joy just wells up from within and becomes a source of inexplicable energy and creativity.


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