Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
The regular expression of gratitude is a powerful practice on the spiritual path, that can spur growth and self-actualisation. It can lead to the manifestation of more soul-reflective and harmonious landscapes around you. However, if done in the wrong way, it can lead to self-denial and derailment, where you can actually block karma needing to activate, or where you’re not truly confronting reality the way it genuinely is. So how do we get it right and harness the practice for maximum beneficial effect in our lives?
Exploring Genuine Gratitude
When you’re in a position to be able to truly embody gratitude for key aspects of your life, and crucially, who you are, then you’re establishing an inner consciousness orientation (much deeper than a mindset) that of itself, is positively expecting the universe to shape and create for you. This orientation itself will shape reality around you in the most harmonious and positive of ways. It’s because you’re already informing the field that you expect benevolence to happen. And so it does.
The approach of gratitude practice is a well known theme in the spiritual mainstream. But there is a crucial problem with how it is often applied. How so?
On the path, challenging and difficult times are going to happen. Your karma will generate all manner of reactive and derailing experiences to embrace and work through. These situations are not meant to be pleasant, but a means to regress into past-life trauma and reclaim soul in the situations – by becoming the One in them, you retrieve the fragment of soul that was stuck there. This is how we evolve and grow.
This “reframing” requires that you own and express the original conditions of the karma – so that you become intimate with the situation and especially your original reactivity. Then you come to illuminate and realise the attachment to needing reality to go a certain way, or to be a certain way. To be clear, the One in you can accept all situations without needing to change them or for them to go away. Paradoxically, when you can do this, the soul will reintegrate and you’re liberated from the situation. You can flow effortlessly through such landscapes in the future without getting derailed and stuck.
When you get to the point of beginning to process past life karma on the path, some of these episodes will be earth-shattering. And can even tear apart key aspects of the reality you’ve created. If you’re constantly practicing gratitude, the risk is not to honour the truth of these situations and how you really feel about them. Furthermore, you risk creating a protective bubble that prevents you actually processing through. It’s because you’re not being intimate with the truth of how you really feel about them underneath.
To be clear, any karmic breakthrough approach in life requires that you be profoundly self-honest with what you truly feel in the deepest consciousness levels. When we can do this, we see the root of the attachment and are able to let it go. The situation then unravels and transforms. We can transcend it.
It is then possible to practice and experience genuine gratitude.
So what’s the wider application of gratitude on the path and how can we best practice it?
I would say there are 4 consciousness levels of it, with particular approaches, that can help you build a harmonious life over time if practiced in the right way. Let’s consider these.
Level 1: Paying Gratitude for Physical Manifestation
There’s paying gratitude for the physical manifestation of resources and tangible things around you that support your life and journey. Sometimes, this can be a difficult challenge if you feel you could be in better circumstances with greater abundance. You might, for example, have manifested some situations that appear to be lacking. How to bridge the incongruence?
We must recognise that WE, ourselves, are the master creators of our lives. If we create lack, or sense of it, then there’s a reason why. It could be because there’s some level of unworthyness within, due to the conditioning of our upbringing – being constantly reminded of the things you should learn or improve for example. Or being projected upon inadvertently by a parent or sibling.
It could be that you’re looking for resources to come in a particular way, rather than seeing and respecting how they already are. Or that the physical limitation encourages you to develop and be more in a spiritual way – to transcend your physical circumstances.
Hence, it’s always important to accept and honour what you’ve created, then if you feel lack, dig into why, using something like the…
Openhand Breakthrough Approach.
Once you can see that you’ve manifested the perfect surroundings and resources for your current level of consciousness, then you take ownership of what you’re creating and can be genuinely grateful for the situation. That doesn’t mean you’ll always have to be in those circumstances. Honour too the fact that you feel more is yet to come, or a more congruent and fulfilling situation.
So on a regular basis, go into mediattion and pay gratitude for what you’ve created as this empowers you. It honours the universal creative process. But at the same time, hold the space for yet more to come.
Level 2: Paying Gratitude for People and Guides
At the next level, we can pay homage, thanks, respect and gratitude for the people we’ve manifested around us that are bringing valuable reflections on our path, and particularly those that both unconditionally love us, but also encourage us to be more of who we can be. There’s an art to this balance – to accept you as you are, but hold the loving space for you to find the next grandest iteration of you.
Such people have the capacity to empathise and celebrate in who you are. Do you witness you’re manifesting at least some people like this?
In order to amplify this beneficial effect, is to be that yourself to the people around you – work to empathise with them and the challenges they face in life. But hold the loving inquiry with them, as to how they can grow and find more. Crucially it is not to fill the space with advice when they’re expressing or searching – it is to hold the fertile ground of inquiry. This causes people to gently dig deeper.
We can be truly thankful when someone like this is in our lives. And by gifting it to others in our life, we’re most likely to create that resonant effect around us. As this starts to happen, then on a daily basis, we can successfully practice gratitude for how things are unfolding in that regard. We’re now building positive growth feedback loops that cause the field to shape in the most positive of ways. We bring more people to us that positively uplift us, and vice versa – we uplift them.
This can, and should, also include those guides and supporters in the ether dedicated to supporting our journey. Sometimes these relationships can be very challenging – the bridge of connection can be tenuous, especially when you’re in dense circumstances. It’s easy to project subtle blame or anguish for difficult outcomes – why did the guidance abandon you? This must be worked through. You are never abandoned. The sense is often caused by us shutting down or becoming undiscoverable.
We must work to stay open, sense the subtle inflows of support and guidance, not expect to be spoonfed, but then paying homage, respect and gratitude on a daily basis for the tireless work that the guides are doing. This builds strong, resilient and adaptable bridges into our multidimensional reality.
Level 3: Paying Gratitude for Challenging Circumstances
Another level of consciousness evolution is when you can be truly grateful for difficult and challenging times on the path. The human psyche is conditioned for comfort, security and safety. Therefore, when the “shift hits the fan”, there’s a tendency to hunker down or else run for the hills! There’s often the tendency to go into victim, blame, and projection mode – blaming everything around you for what’s been done to you.
This is highly limiting to our consciousness – because it’s making the statement that something “out there” is the cause of your creation and well-being. But it does take a high degree of development and sophistication to always own what you manifest externally.
If at times you’re unsure why, then watch for any reactive triggering. This is where there’s attachment to needing the situation to be, or go, a certain way. Work into it. Be clear that the One in you can accept any situation. Not that you should remain there, but that you can master it and it doesn’t define you. Then you’ll integrate a new aspect of soul and create from there in a more fulfilling way.
We come to realise that especially now, as the shift accelerates, every situation and circumstance of great challenge, is a golden opportunity to evolve and grow. If we can genuinely pay gratitude for the circumstances, especially when we are amidst them, then we’re more likely to take ownership, be less reactive, and process more quickly through.
Ultimately, your state of being becomes more resilient, adaptable and less attached. This kind of gratitude means you become more open and flexible to change and growth, including quantum leaps.
Level 4: gratitude for everything that you are and can become
Sometimes, when you look back at your joruney, you may regret or rue some of the choices you made and the path you followed. You might wonder exactly why things have been so challenging and fraught with difficulty at times.
However, if your orientation in life has shifted to self-realisation and actualisation, if your life has become about evolutionary growth, then by regularly assessing who you are and how you now feel about yourself, you come to realise that each situation manifested perfectly to bring you to this new level of realisation. You can be truly grateful for that.
Maybe you’ve suffered great loss in relationship or material loss, but by owning and honouring what you’ve created, paying gratitude for the lessons, then you start to realise just how you’ve grown in the process.
You start to feel more integrated, coherent of being and embodied. This state of the inner Sacred Ground of Being is utterly priceless, that every external situation has brought you to.
By regular practice of gratitude of who you are and how you’ve grown, helps you deepen into this tremendous place of self acceptance. By regularly breathing with this, and settling with the feeling of it, helps you embody and ground it. Life becomes more joyful, fulfilling and with much deeper meaning. Everything around you starts to reflect this sense of beingness back to you. Including difficult times yet to come, that you’ll be better able to mediate through.
Also, bear in mind that there’s always a deeper embodiment of True Self available. So pay homage aswell to all that you can become. Expect new iterations to be available. Be grateful for these future possibilities and it will help you uncover and embody them more rapidly.
The Daily Power of Gratitude
In summary, being able to practice genuine gratitude on a daily basis will develop your consciousness in a way that positively expects the universe to create benevolently for you. It means you’re more readily able to bridge difficult circumstances and uncover new possibilities. You’ll become more resilient and find more joy and harmony with the life you’re creating.
If you’re genuinely working to own and breakthrough your karma, in the triggering circusmtances that you encounter, then you’ll quickly move through, minimsing suffering in the process. By then practicing gratitude, we can embody the new beigness in a deeper way, and so a more aligned and harmonious landscape shapes around us.
Meditate with gratitude on a daily basis. Give your thanks to the universe and your guides when signs and synchronicity come your way. Pick up that feather, notice that synchronicity, feel that reflection and give thanks. Conduct prayer and ceremony to pay homage. You’re becoming a conscious co-creator and establishing fertile inner landscape for new possibilities to create.
That’s the awesome power of gratitude!
If you resonate with my sharing and yearn to develop a more harmonious existence in the Shift, then explore the groundbreaking work of Openhand:
Originally published at www.openhandweb.org and reproduced here with permission.
About the author:
Openhand is a unique approach to spiritual evolution: integrating enlightened wisdom of spiritual masters through the ages, it is a way of tapping into the Benevolent Guiding Consciousness of the Universe and aligning with it in your life. It helps you unveil your True Self, remove karmic blockages and unfold your Divine Destiny. It leads to authentic, resilient and truly successful living.