Years ago, I traveled to Peru and Bolivia. It was a journey to many sacred sites. It was most definitely not a luxury travel scenario. [She writes as she flashes back to a freezing cold night involving heavy rain, food poisoning, a herd of goats, a dead flashlight and an outhouse.]
When I flew back into the Atlanta airport, I entered the women’s restroom and turned on the hot water in the sink. My eyes filled with tears. I was flooded with gratitude. I was literally taken over by joy for the feeling of hot water, right there, easy access, “holy shit I could bathe in this right now.” I had sort of my own private Scarlett O’Hara moment: “I will never take this for granted again!”
That moment has since been my measure for how to feel gratitude. I don’t want to just list the stuff I’m grateful for. I want to bathe in it. I want my heart to burst open with the joy of it all.
Have you ever injured yourself? While you were laid up, or hobbling around, have you ever had that string of thoughts that goes something like this?…
“I need to appreciate my health when I have my health. I would give anything for health again. And then – I swear – I will never take my healthy body for granted again.”
The gift of these moments – if we can see it – is that we learn how much we each truly have in any given moment.
A healer I worked with taught me how to “see” with my heart. It’s something I practice regularly. It’s not hard. And it doesn’t involve lighting candles or burning incense. All you do is fully occupy your heart and literally just “see” your world from your heart, not from your eyes. The challenge is to stay there as long as possible before slamming back up into your head and having yet another thought.
Try it now. Read this with your heart. Or look out the window with your heart, not your eyes. (Extra Credit: Plant a large goofy smile on your face as you do this.)
So, at this time of year when we are all thinking about gratitude, take a moment to move beyond just thinking about it. EXPERIENCE gratitude. Really embody it. See from your heart. It changes you. It makes you magnetic. It makes you attractive. It makes you love. It makes you rich.
And then? Share in the comments below something or someone that you are grateful for and why it is so fabulous. Let us all bathe in your fabulous life with you…
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November, 2013 and has been given a slight makeover to keep it fresh and current.