Gratitude, the ability to count your blessings, is the ultimate way to connect with the heart.
When you are grateful for everything you have, your heart is open. You appreciate the people in your life and they reciprocate. And gratitude creates even more abundance.
You can experience gratitude on two different levels: the first level of gratitude covers everyday things or interactions. These may range from gratitude for the roof over your head to food for your children to a smile you got from a random passer-by on the street. The second level of gratitude is to be able to appreciate what you have even after a great loss.
Allow yourself to be grateful. Your life will shift into a larger, more positive dimension.
To increase your awareness of everything that merits gratitude and to make yourself more receptive to the beautiful and loving things in life, keep a gratitude diary. Start each day by writing down a minimum of five things you are grateful for. People who regularly record what they are grateful for are happier than others - and their happiness lasts. Keeping a gratitude diary works even better than therapy of anti-depressant drugs.
With the second level of gratitude, you give thanks even in the face of major disappointments, like the breakdown of a love affair, the loss of a job, and even in the face of great sadness or tragedy, like the death of a loved one. This gratitude helps you pave the way for a new life. Even out of the worst thing that ever happened to you - an illness or disability or terrible loss - eventually can come new understanding, new connections and relationships.
There is love in everyone, always waiting for the moment it can free itself, like a butterfly from its cocoon. You can release love within yourself by appreciating life and the people around you. That love you send out will come back to you many times over attracting people, ideas, and events that will enrich your life.
“I think the heart is gratitude. I think the heart is a feeling. It is the sanctuary for the deepest feelings that can be found within the human experience. And I think among those feelings is the feeling of gratitude. The feeling of being thankful, of being grateful, and of being so in love with life and with everything in life and even, dare I say it, in love with ourselves.”
- Neale Donald Walsh