Developing A Practice of Gratitude
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." ~Melody Beattie
I created this Thanksgiving Turkey Hand many years ago on a Thanksgiving Morning after holding my fingers, as I do most mornings, and thinking about the gifts that Jin Shin Jyutsu brings to my life and how easy it is to access those gifts by holding my fingers. In the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu, we are taught that by gently holding our fingers we can harmonize the attitudes that dis-harmonize our bodies. Each finger harmonizes an attitude as well as the organs that are affected by that particular attitude. Hold your fingers not to suppress attitudes but to express or release them. Holding our fingers to harmonize limiting thoughts and attitudes is the simplest, most readily available tool we have to cope with whatever life throws at us. This simple act not only keeps us from getting stuck in those limiting attitudes, but brings us in touch with the limitless, positive and harmonious gifts that BALANCE brings to us! I wanted to find a way to emphasize these gifts and was inspired to created this Thanksgiving turkey hand as a way to show what we bring in as we harmonize those attitudes! At the same time giving me a chance to express my gratitude for each of these gifts that my practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu brings to my life each day. I have always known that cultivating an attitude of gratitude would bring good things into my life but in doing research for this article I found that while many emotions and personality traits are important to well-being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important. Gratitude enhances our sense of satisfaction while balancing the attitudes of greed and entitlement. Practicing gratitude is a workout for the soul: repeated awareness of the blessings in our lives helps us to dwell on the positive and wonderful in our lives. Our positive attitude helps us to master the change instead of being controlled by it. When we choose to focus our attitudes on the good stuff we find that we indeed have more. When we are in balance, we experience deep trust and the ability to let go of emotions and experiences that are holding us back. It is indeed up to us how we choose to look at life. Joseph Campbell reminds us to "Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy." Yes, the choice is up to us. Happiness isn't something that just happens to you, but rather, something you can choose at any time, in any situation. Our happiness is dependent on our ability to feel gratitude for our many blessings. HOLD each finger for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing, even and clear. Breathe easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you. thumb - worry transforms to into harmony, a healthy sense of self, profound security index - fear transforms into love, flow, perfect circulation middle - anger transforms into peace and balance ring - sadness and grief transform into joy and happiness little - try-to's/effort and pretense transform into ease, laughter and BE-ing palm - despondency transforms into equilibrium, balance, intuition and connection to Divine Source Follow along with this companion practice video. Take charge of your ATTITUDES and bring GRATITUDE into your daily practice. Remember that the simple act of holding your fingers will balance all of your Attitudes and transform them into the positive emotions that we all thrive on. It really is that simple. We are in charge of our attitudes and nature has given each of us an easy and accessible way to do so.
"Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different." ~Katherine Mansfield