This is the time of year when talk of gratitude is everywhere. I believe in the power of gratitude to change our lives and support our well-being, and I like to write about gratitude, especially at Thanksgiving. This year, however, I’ve asked my good friend Alan Swanson to permit me to re-publish his lovely essay about gratitude, food and blessings.
By Alan Swanson
The importance of gratitude cannot be overstated. It is a fundamental aspect of our true nature. Expressing gratitude for the food before us is an opportunity to experience that nature. Such an expression is transformative – producing a scientifically observable change that takes place within the food we eat and the water we drink. This becomes a way of attuning to the earth environment of which we are a part.
Sit quietly for a few moments and observe. What is it you are about to absorb into your body? From the place of your mind, discover what you are grateful for, and all those who made it possible.
Continue, and recognize the feeling of gratitude as it now begins to emanate from the heart itself. The heart center has the capability to express a unique and personal gratitude. A sense of joy and thankfulness emerge, as the heart begins to transform this conscious connection.
Feel your heart embrace these gifts. See them within your body – as a merging embrace with your heart. Expand that embrace. Encompass the room you are in, the house you are in, all of the people and animals around you. Be in gratitude for the town where you live, the continent you are on. Join in oneness with our earth, our living earth that provides you with this sustenance.
Then expand limitlessly to embrace all of creation – filling yourself with the Source Consciousness that has provided this experience, and the love that has made it possible in this reality.
Once again bring your conscious awareness back to the heart. Quietly re-center there. Experience with a new found wonder, and realize all is possible from the perspective of the heart.
This does not have to be a long process. Once established, the directed feeling of love and joy power the blessing. Here, in this reality, time does not exist. And of course, this blessing is not limited to food. With gratitude, anything you encounter will transform, and transform you.
Recognizing in gratitude that which is before us, aligns us with the essence of unity, the Consciousness of Oneness. This is truly working with creation, by consciously honoring the ongoing life source that becomes our body and our world.
This essay comes from Alan’s website Attuning To A New Earth, which you may find here. Alan is an artist, sculptor and writer who is inspired by meditation, nature and the world around him.
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Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.