Living A Joyful Life Through Gratitude
Creating inner joy is the key to a deep sense of inner confidence. If we know how to find joy within ourselves, that is a powerful tool for spiritual growth. If we can do that, what else might we be able to do?
This is the second part of a series on “Being the Right One.” Last week, I quoted Ken Keyes, Jr., who said, “As we grow in consciousness, we discover it is more important to be the right person than to find the right person.” For the next two weeks, we will explore this concept, identifying tools we can use to create this inner joy that helps us feel healthy, whole and complete.
We Can Choose How We Want to Feel
How we think determines what we experience. How we think determines how we feel. How we think is a choice to some extent and that is often determined by how much responsibility we are willing to take in moderating our own thoughts. It’s easy to say that one person has an easier life; so of course, we think it’s easy for her to be happy. That’s true to a certain extent, but how do we account for the fact that there are people paralyzed from the neck down who still find pleasure and joy in life? And how do we account for the people who have everything money can buy, but are unhappy?
I will admit a few bites of dark chocolate can go a long way toward making me feel better when I don’t feel harmonious, but what do I do when that luscious, lingering taste deserts me? Nothing external lasts. It’s always about the interior, our feelings and thoughts determine what we experience and if we can think joyfully, we will experience joy.
One Way to Create Inner Joy Is to Think Positive Thoughts of Gratitude
One of the most meaningful practices to create joy is gratitude. There are many ways to experience gratitude. Every morning when I first awake or am at breakfast, I thank Spirit for all the good things I have experienced recently. I used to do this sometimes on the way to work. I’ve even taken a moment while I was stopped in traffic, to thank Spirit for a couple of things. Many people keep a gratitude journal where they write down the things they are thankful for each day. Expressing thankfulness can be done anytime, but allowing time for gratitude at the beginning of the day is very beneficial.
I especially love my friend Debra’s practice. “Each day when I am going for my walk / run, I am always grateful……..first that I can get out and use my body to run up and down the hills. Second, that I live in such a beautiful place in which to enjoy the wonderful outdoors. When I am grateful, my morning exercise becomes joyous and not something I am complaining about having to do. It makes my whole day more positive.”
Finding Joy When Life is Difficult
On those days when I feel everything is going wrong, I force myself to hunt for those tiny morsels of gratitude, remembering how much I really have – shelter and food and the necessities of life. Sometimes, I simply thank Spirit for helping me through another day. It’s interesting how focusing on one tiny object of gratitude always leads me to the next one, and before long, I feel that glimmer of joy lighting up the negativity.
That glimmer of joy reminds me of all the times I felt confused, bereft, or abandoned and how it passed. This joy reminds me that I am stronger than I think I am. It refuels my confidence and I remember that I am never alone. Spirit is always there and with Spirit, I can do anything. And I am grateful for that. © 2011 Georganne Spruce
Do you want to know more about thinking positively? A wonderful source is The Vortex by Esther and Jerry Hicks.