What is your favorite way to practice gratitude?
After my daily meditation, I always take time to pray. Prayers of gratitude are my number one way of practicing appreciation for all the blessings in my life, as well as the challenges. From the yoga teaching of santosha, I learned that we need to see the blessings in everything, and when we can appreciate that there is opportunity for growth or personal evolution within the difficulties that come our way, then they become things to be grateful for, too. This isn’t always easy, of course, but it really makes life easier when we accept it.
Yoga philosophy, which descends from the ancient Vedic teachings, recognizes one Supreme Reality. Some of the names given to this are Spirit, Light, Love, God and Consciousness. I like Source. To me there is only one Source and, therefore, all the love, friendship, abundance and joy I experience through different people and places in the human realm are ultimately all part of that One. My gratitude practice is based in acknowledging this Source as everything: the only giver, the only creator, the only lover.
(Related Question: What are the four Vedas?)
The beauty of bringing all thanksgiving back to the Divine One is that it helps us to realize the infinite nature of abundance. Source is never limited or without. So, if I am feeling lack in any way, and I remember this, then my perception of scarcity shifts to a realization of plenty. If I am missing some human connection or love and I realize that there is really only one divine Love manifesting in diverse ways through us all, then I can experience love in unending ways rather than limiting myself to a few expressions.
(Related Question: What is unselfish love?)
Regardless of whether I am feeling happy or frustrated, when I remember to be grateful to Source for this very breath, this moment of life whatever it holds, then I feel more connected and supported to handle what is mine to handle that day. By recognizing and appreciating Source in everything, I remember my own divine nature and I see the oneness in everyone around me. Then I can share appreciation with them directly and the blessings multiply.