The Attitude of Gratitude

"It's not aptitude, but rather attitude, that determines one's altitude;
whether we soar with the eagles on the wings of gratitude
or scratch with the turkeys on bugs of begrudge."
~ Christos Lightweaver

by Karol Avalon

Traditionally, "gratitude" is a sense, or feeling, of thankfulness in response to receiving a tangible gift or abstract gesture of kindness.

Another view is that gratitude is a conscious choice to focus on life's blessings rather than on its shortcomings. In this understanding, the practice of gratitude is a way of life. Every moment is filled with opportunities to fill our consciousness with feelings of gratefulness, thankfulness and appreciation. From the littlest flower we see in the garden to the traffic jam on the way to work, we can choose to be grateful.
Participating in regular, deliberate appreciation
 improves almost everything.
In the relatively new field of "positive psychology," researchers are studying the science of thankfulness. In The Psychology of Gratitude, Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami and Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, show how participating in regular, deliberate appreciation improves almost everything. By having their research participants keep weekly or daily gratitude journals and practicing self-guided exercises, the researchers discovered their participants slept better, exercised more, increased positive emotions, had more rhythmic heartbeats, progressed toward personal goals more quickly, and helped others more often.

"Psychology has generally ignored the positive emotions," says Dr. Emmons. "Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress, and to achieve a positive sense of self."

The work of Dr. Darren Weissman, author of
The Power of Infinite Love and Gratitude, supports Emmons findings and applies them directly to physical health. Weissman's search for healing modalities that actually heal patients lead him around the world to study a wide variety of techniques.

A well-known figure in alternative healing circles, Weissman eventually presented at two World Congresses of Alternative Medicine. However he intuitively knew that there was something missing. Then, working with a deaf chiropractic student, he stumbled across a key. His friend signed the universal symbol for "I love you" and Weissman felt the energetic impact of the symbol on his own body. After some testing, he realized that signing the symbol actually caused weak reflex muscles in the body to strengthen.

Now Weissman has developed something called the LifeLine Technique which integrates and transcends all the techniques he already knew and practiced. But the glue and foundation of the LifeLine Technique is the power of infinite love and gratitude.

Waves of gratitude

Have you noticed the waves of gratitude spreading across the globe, undetected by the mainstream press, yet felt in every grateful heart? All around the world, people are creating venues to support and reinforce each other in remembering and practicing the principles of gratitude.

Brother David Steindl-Rast, author of
Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer, is a Benedictine Monk and world-renowned spiritual leader. His website, attracts 25,000 visitors a day from countries across the globe, all united in the practice of grateful living.

Radio Gratitude is an emerging network offering powerful positive programming to this growing community, both online and via satellite. The shows are being designed to engage minds and hearts with music, talk, humor and cutting-edge commentary. Appreciation Awards will be given to special individuals who are actively making a difference on the planet. Founder Jan St. John seeks to create an on-air convergence zone for the growing Gratitude Movement. She believes a "critical mass of consciousness, united in gratitude, can turn the tide on the planet,"

In San Francisco, Matthew and Terces Engelhart have opened Café Gratitude now in three locations throughout the Bay Area. Café Gratitude patrons come to eat a wide array of delicious living foods. An awning outside their Berkeley location in greets passers-by with the words: "What Are You Grateful For?" This question is embedded in all the café's colorful serving dishes as well as T-shirts, caps and posters.

The Gratitude Movement is even taking to the high seas. From February 20-28, 2007 the Ocean of Gratitude Cruise will feature Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of The Hidden Messages in Water and several other presenters who will give people the opportunity to explore many implication of the power of gratitude. Emoto's work researching Hado, the intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level of all matter
, shows that the Hado of love and gratitude creates the most beautiful water crystal formations. Mary Manin Morrissey, author of Building Your Field of Dreams, M.J. Ryan, author of Attitudes of Gratitude, and Michael Stillwater, Inner Harmony
, will share activities and practices anchoring the Way of Gratitude.

The Ocean of Gratitude Cruise will bring together like-minded people from across the U.S. in an environment of relaxation and play, where gratitude pioneers can meet, connect and network with one another. Just imagine - people, from all walks of life, coming together in a "convergence zone" of gratitude. This is the kind of space where a quantum shift can occur, on both the inner and outer planes.
Connecting with others, in a spirit of love and gratitude, creates the space of miracles.
As Rupert Sheldrake points out in his theory of morphogenetic field resonance, the "100th Monkey Effect" occurs when enough people drawn together by a shared purpose, are holding the same thought all at the same time. When that happens, the rest of the world, in varying degrees, will experience an internal shift.

Think of it. The nerve center of the entire planet touched and enlivened by simply sharing an expression of genuine thanks.  Could it really be that simple? 


Is love and gratitude its own blessing for the beholder?

Do we ultimately get what we ask for in the cosmic scheme of things?

How high will you fly on the wings of your better nature?

In serving others, we serve our true selves. "It is in giving that we receive."
We are sustained by those we serve, just as we are blessed when we forgive others.
As Gandhi says, the practice of satyagraha ("
clinging to truth")
confers a
"matchless and universal power" upon those who practice it.
Service work is enlightened self-interest, because it cultivates
an expanded sense of self that includes all others.
-- From:



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"Man can harness the winds, the waves and the tides,
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~ Teihard de Chardin

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