“Show Gratitude in Everything” is the 5th, and final, Reiki principle.
The Reiki Principles are a guide for living, finding peace, and being in harmony. Learn more here.
“Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives,” says Emmons Lab. Did you know that someone is researching the effects of gratitude? Robert Emmons, Ph.D. and his team are engaged in a long term, in-depth look at the nature of gratitude, where it comes from, and its effects.
The findings tell us that gratitude’s reach goes well beyond simple spiritual practice and self-improvement rhetoric. There are tangible, measurable benefits to our health, relationships, and mood.
Deepak Chopra says, “The highest level of gratitude is the gratitude for existence itself” and he describes how gratitude creates abundance consciousness. That’s huge! What we focus on shapes how we think. That’s empowering! It means that we can rewire our brains to make gratitude a more “natural” and automatic response to life.
Deepak also says that gratitude is the “highest point of view”:
Experiencing gratitude is one of the most effective ways of getting in touch with your soul. When you’re in touch with your soul, you eavesdrop on the thoughts of the universe. You feel connected to everything in creation. You embrace the wisdom of uncertainty and you sense yourself as a field of infinite possibilities.
Reiki produces good health, security, and happiness. This final principle, Show Gratitude in Everything, has the power to create and sustain each of these things.
So how, then, do we cultivate and demonstrate gratitude?
You might be familiar with this concept. The idea is to spend a few minutes each day (particularly at the start, or end, of your day), writing down at least 5 things that you’re grateful for. I’ve attempted to do this a couple of times. My challenge was to keep it interesting and meaningful by digging deep, going beyond the surface. “My health” and “that cool thing that happened today,” were a place to start, but it wasn’t enough to keep me going. Have you tried this? What worked for you?
Random Acts of Gratitude
How about spreading your gratitude around during the day? Say “thank you” to everyone you come across for a few days and see how you feel. When someone asks you how you are, or what’s been going on in your life, talk about what you’re grateful for instead of complaining. One of the biggest gifts will be helping others feel good, and that will multiply the feel goods for you.
Get out your sticky pad. Use a color that makes you happy. Create reminders for yourself with the word “gratitude,” or things that you’re grateful for, and place them everywhere. I’ve put notes on my mirror, in my car, inside cupboard doors, on the nightstand by my bed, and on the inside cover of a book that I look at regularly. I’ve also used “Love and Gratitude” as my screen saver or wallpaper for my phone and computer. Try it. Use what works and then go a step further and take a moment to breathe in “gratitude” and find this feeling within your mind and body each time you see one of these notes.
You can make this as simple or as rich as you’d like. Here are some ideas.
1) Tap into your subconscious by settling in, breathing deeplly, and then asking yourself, “What am I grateful for in this moment?” Wait. Listen. Notice what bubbles up to the surface while you watch. Don’t try to change it. Don’t go looking for an answer. Just wait and notice.
2) Chant “gratitude” over and over in your mind or with your voice. If using your voice, allow different tones and fluctuations to emerge. This can be very healing and rejuvenating.
3) Identify something that you’re grateful for, and imagine it fully. See the full vision in your mind’s eye, in color and shape, with everyone involved. Feel the emotions and sensations involved. Listen to what’s being said or what’s happening in the environment. Is there something to taste or smell? Imagine that too. Place yourself there inside of your imagination. Your brain doesn’t know the difference, and your body and mind will reap all of the benefits.