Gratitude and Celebration
English Oxford definition is:
Publicly acknowledge (a significant, happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity..
This ties in nicely with the definition of Gratitude:
The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
The definition of celebration is quite easily accepted as a common thread within society. We have managed to package up the essence of gratitude into marketable concepts. Mother day is the highest grossing day for gifts in the USA. After all, where would we be without mothers right? Or is it just that Mum’s in America are the most susceptible to the concept of love shown through gift giving. Mother’s day wasn’t celebrated at all util quite recently. And Father’s day even more recently than that. But now we can’t imagine not giving presents on such days. This necessity to show gratitude on certain days which are created by card companies removes the essence of gratitude from the act and often leaves us feeling sort-of empty.
But there is somewhere we can come back to real gratitude; nature. Whether we find it in an open field, wild woodland or the odd bit of green in the city. When we find time to look and experience nature we can see a totally different world that almost seems to run in parallel to our own. Flowers, birds and the bees do their thing. It is consistent in its cycles. Thank heavens for that! Words simply cannot do it justice. Try this exercise to help increase your gratitude:
Finding a place in nature where you feel comfortable and happy to sit for a while, softly gaze at a patch or flower(s) or tree and observe the shapes, movements, textures, colour. How does it make you feel or what thoughts come up. As they do just accept them and continue to allow the forms to captivate your vision..stay with this for as long as you desire.
In this passive state you are placing your conscious attention to something with intention and awareness - an acknowledgement. The perception of this may lead to wonder, fascination, curiosity… By recognising this and allowing it to be it is like a celebration and an act of gratitude. Because you are giving your conscious attention to something you wouldn’t do usually.
It can be very subtle and exquisite. Allowing this experience to fill you up and enrich you. Within this experience, a kind of give and receive will take place in a rather innocent and pure form.
When you begin to see the extraordinary in the so called ordinary. Your ability to feel gratitude and joy within many areas of life can be celebrated far more regularly, spontaneously and openly. No need to wait, as life always has moments to be grateful for and to express love and thanks. Does a bird wait for its birthday before it chirps a song, no it has no concept of such dates. It choses to do so freely.
By Amara Atma