I have much to learn about gratitude. I have heard from souls wiser and much more informed than myself of the glories of living a life filled with gratitude. There is a person in my life whose opinions and insights I’ve learned to pay serious attention to just because he has proven to be correct on this type of issue time after time after time. I’ve heard him say “If you want more blessings in your life, count the ones you have and you will automatically receive more”. I know that he holds with the highest esteem the practice of going within to get in touch with the knowingness of self that lies in various states of dormancy in the hearts of the majority of people on this abused planet. In regards to that, he’s said if you don’t have time to practice, just sit for a few minutes and try to feel gratitude. I’ve also heard him say, in explaining the gifts of gratitude and how it relates to love, “The more gratitude you experience, the more love you will experience and the more love you experience, the more gratitude you will experience and the more gratitude you experience …………. and on and on and on. And further stating that once this cycle gets rolling, there is not a power in the universe that can stop it.
But the greatest gift concerning seeing for myself the glories of gratitude happened for me one sun filled day while on a shamanic journey during the summer of 2002 while sitting on the side of a mountain in Colorado across the road from Echo lake. Echo lake sits at about 10,000 feet between Evergreen and Idaho Springs and is less than 2 hours west of Denver. It’s one of my very favorite places because I’ve many times been able to knowingly reach inward and touch something very special that makes life seem sensible and sane in this insensible and insane world. On this one particular day, I was sitting with my eyes closed and focused inward for a short period and was shown a scene from a slice of life that I assumed to be of a human civilization on a world that was not Earth. Or perhaps it was in the future of the very world I call home. I wasn’t projected totally into it, but in close proximity so I had partial access to the experiences of the very, very human beings I was observing. Kind of like if you’re standing outside a kitchen and the air is carrying to you the aroma’s of the culinary delights being prepared for the enjoyment of some very fortunate, hungry people. You don’t actually taste the food, but do get a very real sense of what’s happening. The main purpose for the privilege of having this experience recently became clear to me; Understanding gratitude and how it affects my life. And what I saw was gratitude induced love flowing out of these people in the most natural way anyone could possibly imagine. At first I thought it was gratitude itself, but now in retrospect I see that what was flowing was love compelled by gratitude to flow outward. It wasn’t like my “normal” experiences of gratitude which is usually in bits and pieces, it was total and complete. These people had gratitude induced love pouring out of them like light pours out of the sun or like blue pours out of the sky on a cloudless day. It was endless with absolutely nothing in it's way. This was their constant, natural state of being. No form of effort was needed. And even though it was part of the mix, there was no opportunity for being grateful for the gratitude they were feeling because the gratitude was so overwhelming it couldn’t be broken down into meaningless specifics. It just WAS. It did appear to me that my observation was happening while a special event was taking place within their society. The 5 or 6 people I was watching all seemed to be facing a particular direction in an undescribed room in an undescribed building and gazing up at about a 30 degree angle. I could tell that this event I was watching was happening in a similar fashion all over their world. Gratitude was not only an effortless experience for them, it could also have effort applied to it resulting in some type of amplification of the love energy it inspired to gush out in explosion like fashion from their planet to anything fortunate enough to be in it’s path. Which could easily and realistically be described as everything else in existence. And as a bomb going off shows no discrimination and total indifference to it’s annihilation of anything in it’s proximity, this gratitude inspired love energy showed those same qualities with the exception of appearing to break the laws of physics with the elimination of the proximity factor. It maintained a constant intensity no matter how far from it’s originating point it got.
We as human beings experience a flow of energy within our beings. Many years ago it was described to me that we are caught in a backward flow of energy. That is, we try to pull love into us from our external world, while the reality, that the love we are searching for high and low is lying inside us and going largely unrecognized. A better choice to pull toward us from our external world is gratitude. When this is done, it acts as a carrier or instigator for the love within us to flow out into our external world. Then, a very delightful byproduct of that effort is that we experience the love as it flows outward. A useful, but not entirely accurate, image would be to imagine the gratitude energy being pulled in and entering us through the top of our head. Then flowing down to the heart area and compelling the love within to exit from that point and gently touch and influence everything around us. The gratitude energy then loops back around and does the same thing over and over again, catalyzing the love energy to flow outward. Attempting to pull the “Love“ energy into us totally mucks up the established natural flow. Instead, attempting to pull the “Gratitude” energy into us is a conscious way for us to reverse the backward flow of energy that dominates our way of being. Gratitude and Love are opposite sides of the same coin. In our dualistic world, it’s impossible to have one without the other. Each is the only food the other thrives on. In our lives, it is the ultimate expression, the great dance and worthy of our complete, no holds barred involvement.
It just so happens that the day this is being written is Thanksgiving day 2005. And I started writing it at about 1:30am this morning because I couldn’t sleep. Yesterday I started to refer to this day as Gratitude Day. The word “Thanksgiving” has almost lost all meaning. I think of families all over the country stuffing themselves sick with hormone laced butterball turkeys. Then, the men, watching some football game that most have no emotional involvement in while the triptifiene from the turkey takes over and deactivates them into snoring lumps while the game goes on, uninterrupted from any lack of emotion they wouldn’t be putting into it anyway. And while the snoring and blubbering wafts through the house, the women dutifully clean up the kitchen. So from this day forward, this day will be known to me as Gratitude Day. A day to be reminded to practice re-establishing the natural flow of energy as originally intended. It’s been pointed out to me that there are plenty of things to be grateful for and the vast majority are outside myself. It could be the oxygen contained within the air I breathe or the tires on my car that hold that same air, allowing me to travel smoothly. Each and every one can be used to assist me in my goal of establishing the graceful flow of gratitude into my life.