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How to Cultivate Gratitude by Cynthia Fuller-Kling

Pay Attention to the Blessings around You

With the rapid pace of technology many also feel an equal quiet inner calling to make time for simple pleasures, like hearing and seeing what's growing outside in the natural world, especially in this beautiful season called springtime. One of the sweetest gifts of spring is to wake up each morning to the chorus of birds singing. The delight in seeing perennial plants rise and leaf out little by little each day or the joy in witnessing the playground of activity amongst the squirrels, rabbits, robins and cardinals hopping, scampering, fluttering, and generally tootling around calms and refreshes the spirit when we stop and take notice.

Sensing the grandeur and vastness of the universe by looking up at the stars or the moon on a clear night, also can bring a sense of immense gratitude and wake us up to the gift of our lives.

Grow Gratitude in Relationships with Mindfulness

Gratitude is both a choice and an action. Cultivate greater awareness by paying attention to the thoughts and feelings arising in you, to the conversations that go on internally and with others, and to the resulting actions. Try to see without judgment how your deeds affect yourself, others and the world at large. It involves being responsible and accepting. It requires patience and sincere self-examination to see challenges not as obstacles but rather as opportunities for growth.

Compassion and gratitude go hand in hand. Relationships require courage and kindness so you can act with an open mind and heart, even when you may not feel like it. You must learn to recognize that the struggles of another are also present in you; this understanding opens your heart and builds gratitude for our common humanity.

Gratitude grows with practicing mindfulness and with being present. Making time for even brief periods of sitting meditation, attuning to the breath and simply being, is helpful and necessary. Gratitude exercises the heart and thus is life affirming. Serving others with loving kindness will grow gratitude within you.

More gratitude brings more love, more love leads to more happiness, more happiness yields more gratitude, acceptance and love and on it goes in a positive life affirming ascent called individual evolution. To feel gratitude is to be fully human. It is mindfulness in relationship to self and others in action.

Gratitude for Our Relationships

Think about someone with whom you have a special relationship. Have you ever considered the trials and tribulations that person has encountered? Are you able to forgive any of this individual’s limitations? Can you feel gratitude towards this person? It is worth the time to reflect and acknowledge the awesome power of those we love in our lives.

Gratitude for the Women in My Life

My mother Lynn is a vibrant and beautiful 83 year old woman. I have heard it said that we choose our parents for the best possible circumstances for our individual growth in this lifetime. My Mum loved me well and I am grateful. My grandmother Hazel who was a very strong matriarch. She lived until she was almost a hundred. She had a special twinkle in her eyes and looked like the Queen Mother of England. I am blessed to be a mother to two radiantly special and loving young women. Words cannot express the growing immense gratitude and love I experience and feel for these two beings. – Cynthia Fuller-Kling

Awaken to the gift called your life. Cultivate gratitude and grow your love.

Cynthia Fuller-Kling is a yoga teacher in Palisades offering classes and private therapeutic sessions in a retreat-like setting. She can be reached at 359-3290 or cynthia@ thefullermethod.com or by visiting TheFullerMethod.com.

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