"What do I want for myself? I want to learn to pare from my
consciousness all that is not gratitude. I want to cease praying for
anything I do not already have, but pray only to say thank you, and pray
to learn to hold more gratitude. Jan Frazier
Gratitude is showing up everywhere these days. New age books, Oprah and on-line articles encourage us to make list of everything we are grateful for. Friends on Facebook make a practice of expressing their gratitude and blessings. We too encourage this practice with our counseling clients. There is no doubt that being grateful for what and who is in our life and bringing our positive rather than our negative attention there on a regular basis, helps us to feel better.
This quote from Jan Frazier takes us deeper however. Not only does she ask to pare from her consciousness all that is not gratitude, she also ask to cease praying for anything she does not already have. Now that is a big practice. For many of us our gratitude practice may go along the lines of .... I am grateful for my home, for food in my belly, for my family, for my job etc. etc. But then, the thoughts arise just a few minutes later. "Gosh I wish I could spend a month in Hawaii like my friend Joe. Oh, how I would love to trade my car in for a new one. Wow, I just saw this great spendy (fill in the blank) at the store and I sure wish I could get it. I really think I need to do some remodeling on my house. I wish I could, I wish I had, I wish, I wish". On and on we go. Gratitude gone ... our wanting front and center. And in those moments we feel lack.
Every year at New Years we dedicate ourselves to a word or phrase that captures a practice we want to work with. This year our phrase is "Nothing is missing!". The practice of "nothing is missing" helps us to embody what Jan Frazier is teaching and to remember that every single moment is one to bring our awareness and gratitude to, no matter what is happening, no matter what we have or don't have. It is the practice that Byron Katie teaches of "loving what is". In becoming freer from wanting, freer from any judgment of lack, we find more gratitude naturally arises in the heart. No list needed.
The Gratitude card in Rainbow Warrior Awaken! captures this brilliantly.
Rainbow Warrior Awaken!
Give thanks upon this day.
Even what appears as hard,
Serves in every way.
All around you riches lie,
just open your eyes and see.
Gratitude is the highest prayer.
Sing praise and you are free
© 2010 Rainbow Warrior Awaken! Your Journey of Guidance and Healing
Trinity Harris and Mara Berendt Friedman