A Lesson In Gratitude: Gratitude is A Lifelong Practice

 I’m sitting here on a resort in Palawan, Philippines  trying to work and all I can hear is other guests raging and having a good time. I’m thinking to myself – shut up man, some of us are trying to work. Super pissed off because I took the day off yesterday, I need to get sh*t done!!

But I stopped myself (after a few minutes of being upset and ungrateful,) these people are doing nothing wrong.

Why am I angry?

It’s a dumb reason to get upset, that’s for sure. And why am I staring this experience with you?

Because gratitude is a lifelong practice.

My feelings are a representation of me. Those people have every right to be there, and deserve to have fun. They’re laughing dammit and I was getting mad about it – who am I?!
To tie up the story, I ended up smiling and saying hi to the children. They also ended up leaving the moment I became inspired and started writing about them. Go figure.

Gratitude Isn’t Always Easy

You’ll meet people who disagree with me and say gratitude should flow through your veins effortlessly. When I reach that stage I’ll let you know, because as far as I am concerned I still have days where I am unreasonable and everyone else is wrong in my mind. I’ve come a long way, I would argue I am extremely grateful, but I am only human and I have my moments.
It gets easier to feel gratitude. If you’ve ever done a guided meditation, you may recall being told to think of something you’re grateful for and really truly feel it. And the first time maybe you won’t feel anything. That’s ok. You’re sitting there recognizing something that you are grateful for, but maybe you don’t feel gratitude. That inner feeling of light that makes your world feel so bright and amazing takes a little practice.
And when you do get there, maybe that feeling fades away after a moment, that’s ok too. The good news is you can always pull yourself back.

Gratitude is a Muscle

Like exercise, the more you train and practice a movement, the more you can connect with it. It will get stronger, more powerful, you will be able to control it better. But also like a muscle, use it or lose it. It won’t go away over night, but if you neglect training your muscles or gratitude, it will fade, weaken, and eventually you will lose connection.
You can get it back, it just takes practice. The key is consistency.
Underground River. Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippines. May, 2018.
Underground River. Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippines. May, 2018.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is a practice. There is no good or bad, better or worse. You may feel more grateful some days than others, but my point is that there will always be room to improve. We are always growing as people, and even though we may never be perfect at receiving what is going on around us – there is always room to grow and more to learn.

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