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Attitude of Gratitude

“Your thoughts and feelings come from your past memories. If you think and feel a certain way, you begin to create an attitude. An attitude is a cycle of short-term thoughts and feelings experienced over and over again. Attitudes are shortened states of being. If you string a series of attitudes together, you create a belief.
Beliefs are more elongated states of being and tend to become subconscious. When you add beliefs together, you create a perception. Your perceptions have everything to do with the choices you make, the behaviours you exhibit, the relationship you chose, and the realities you create.”
- Joe Dispenza, You Are The Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter

Developing an attitude of gratitude is an ongoing daily practice. There are many ways in which we can cultivate this, and what better time to focus on gratitude than through the month of December. A month that is so universally focused on celebration and gratitude.

The power and practice of gratitude has been passed through thousands and thousands of years of life through many cultures, through most indigenous traditions and through religions including Christianity, Judaisim, Buddhism, Shinto, Islam, Hiduisum, which all have gratitude at the core of their teachings.

“History is laden with famous figures who practiced gratitude, and whose achievements put them amongst the greatest human beings who have ever lived: Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, Leonardo Da Vinci, Plato, Shakespeare, Aesop, Blake, Emerson, Dickens, Proust, Descartes, Lincoln, Jung, Newton, Einstein and many, many more”
- The Magic, by Rhonda Byrne

Acting in gratitude means making a conscious effort and habit to express thankfulness and appreciation for every part of your life and for others. Living in a state of gratitude enables you to feel happier, to feel more compassion towards others and yourself and to also live and see life positively.

Through gratitude, thankfulness and compassion we can find our true inner happiness and joy, enabling us to live authentically in our life. This is garnered when we research and start to embrace Patanjali’s 8 Limb Pathway in our lives. Many of the Yamas and Niyamas stem from a practice of gratitude and letting go of the ego, especially Santosha - contentment, which is the active practice of gratitude and appreciation for what is. This means of letting go, of striving for what you don’t have and accepting with joy what you do have now.

Happiness is about finding contentment in the now and not seeking the ‘next best thing’ to deem worthy of our happiness. It is a practice of feeling grateful regardless of who or what we’re comparing ourselves to, so we develop a more authentic, deeper sense of gratitude that lasts, instead of the fleeting gratitude that comes when we hear of others’ misfortunes.

“Joy attracts more joy. Happiness attracts more happiness. Peace attracts more peace. GRATITUDE attracts more GRATITUDE. Kindness attracts more kindness. Love attracts more love. Your job is an inside one. To change your world, all you have to do is change the way you feel inside. How easy is that?
- Rhonda Byrne (author of ‘The Secret & The Magic’)

For many of us, thinking through the lens of gratitude and living through the heart space is always our first inclination - often, it’s the opposite, and this is where a PRACTICE comes into play. Like anything you consistently practice and put your energy into, it will flourish and this is no different. You only need to start small and build on it from here - there is no ‘end point’ for practising gratitude, it is something to weave into who we are every day so that it eventually becomes our default setting, our way of thinking and being.

Some ways of introducing a gratitude practice into your day to day are:

  • Start by observing and noticing what your habitual response is. Is it a thank you? How often do you say this to people and yourself? The more thankfulness we give and feel the more this energy and abundance will come back to us.
  • Affirm the good things we've received.
    Acknowledge what role other people play in providing our lives with goodness.
  • Keep a gratitude journal - you can start by writing down what you are grateful for and recalling moments of gratitude in your life or from your day.
  • Remember the challenging times you have been through and what lessons you learned from that experience and how far you have come. Focus on how those lessons have helped shape you for the better.
  • Ask yourself gratitude or appreciation journal prompts or questions, and write them down each day.
  • Use meditation as a way of tapping into your gratitude and appreciation for others in your life, mother nature, animals, our ecosystem, our journey and life lessons.
  • Use visual reminders to trigger thoughts of gratitude.
    Be aware of your language and how this may affect you or others.
  • Go through the motions. Smile, say thank you, write your gratitude lists or letters of gratitude to people, think positively and compassionately and notice when this is challenging you, focus on lessons you’ve learned or are in the process of learning and love openly.
  • Vocalise what you’re grateful for. Introduce a ritual over breakfast or dinner with your family. Go around and ask each person to say what they are grateful for.

We have talked about ways in which to practice gratitude in our day-to-day and off the mat, but it is just as important to bring this practice onto the mat and in our yoga asana practice. We may not be aware that most of us already bring in techniques whilst we are practicing.

Some of these include:

  • Set an intention at the beginning of practice.
  • Meditate or flow with a mantra or affirmation in mind.
  • Stay connected to pranayama throughout.
  • Flow from the heart space during your time on the mat, bringing in a focus on heart openers to expand and open the chest and allow love, compassion, and gratitude in.
  • Practice love and compassion for yourself during your practice. 
  • Practice karma yoga (the path of action, or selfless service towards others). At the end of your practice, offer gratitude or love to someone
  • Avoid missing Savasana - this is a time when our mind, body, and spirit can unite and find stillness.
  • Thank the lineage of yoga, thank the teachers who have taught you all you know, thank those you love for the impact they have had on your life, and those who have challenged you, thank yourself for showing up.
Gratitude blog feed image

This month on the Soul Sanctuary membership we have a big focus on gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for what we have in our lives at present and how, with techniques learned throughout the month, you can attract more happiness, joy, and love into your life with gratitude.

This month's practices will move you through flows and a meditation that will consciously connect you to your feelings, your thoughts, your truth/honesty (satya), and your heart space. It will give you the foundation to grow your daily gratitude practice both on and off the mat.
We also have a very exciting 5-day LIVE Festive Challenge taking place towards the end of the month as we gear up to YOGANUARY 6.0.

You can practice along with our monthly playlist HERE

And download our monthly printable calendar for this month's videos (in colour) AND suggested Soul Sanctuary flows that align with this month's theme. You can search for these additional practices (in black) on the membership.

December Monthly Calendar Blog

Remember, Gratitude is the BEST Attitude.

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