The Experience of Gratitude

With Thanksgiving coming up, the theme of this Holiday is literally ‘give thanks’. So this month you may be asked more than once… “What are you grateful for?”


Most people will automatically say “my family, partner, pets, home, job, friends” etc. But what exactly does it mean when you say you are grateful for something or someone? It means you have appreciation, give thanks, and have affection for the thing you are referring to. But what is the difference between saying you are grateful versus actually evoking the feeling of gratitude?


There is a big difference. Making a list is a great start, but truly feeling a sense of gratitude amplifies that state and draws more of it to you. You will find that when you get into the feeling that it stays with you longer. That it affects you in a more profound way.


Last on the gratitude list is typically the self. Please include yourself on your gratitude list. Think of everything you’ve been through in your life. You’ve most likely had a array of experiences from heartbreak, grief, surprise, accomplishment, growth, bliss, joy, times of feeling inward and times of feeling outward towards the world. Maybe you are grateful that you finally made it back into the gym; Or that you are placing firmer boundaries around others’ demands of you. Maybe you are grateful that you called a relative you have been meaning to catch up with. All these things we don’t always recognize, are beautiful moments of self growth and self love.


Evoking the feeling to create the experience.


Gratitude is here. Gratitude is present. Gratitude is always waiting for you. It’s up to you to choose to be in that space. You can live with that energy present in your life consistently. But it is a choice. And when we slip off into worry, stress or fear, all we have to do is get still for a minute and breathe. Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to become aware of this energy. With that being said, you can decide to bring this energy into your life in a more consistent and fulfilling way every day. You can choose to create the experience of gratitude which in turn will domino into every inch of your life.


Let’s experience Gratitude together now.


Wherever you are, in whatever form, (sitting, standing, lying down) begin to take in deeper breaths from your belly. Pause and do this for several breaths. Start to feel and observe your entire body. Breathe. Breathe into your body.


Tune into the energy of gratitude now.  What does gratitude feel like in your body? What are you grateful for?


Think of a person, experience, or thing you are grateful for. Feel the gratitude you have for them in your body.


Can you recall a moment in your life that you felt exhilarated by gratitude? Did you feel joy and excitement? Did you find the warmth of peace? Did your heart expand? Were you elevated? Recall those emotions and feel them now. Allow them to fill your being.


Say in your mind “Thank You” to your subject. Repeat this until you can feel an abundance of gratitude for them/it.


You can. Feel it. Gratitude within your body. Gratitude within your soul.


How does it feel? Embody this space. Allow it to fill your entire being. Be present. Become the energy of gratitude.


Now, Come back to the breath. Place your hand on your heart and say “Thank you” to yourself. Breathe a few more belly breaths and open yourself to a new energy of appreciation.


And so it is.  


-Breanne Jenay Benson


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