There are times when I look at my children and become so overcome with gratitude it actually momentarily takes my breath away. In our family we call these ‘love attacks’. “Oh honey” I say through teary eyes while having held a stare a little too long, “I’m having a love attack” and my kids ready themselves for a relentless round of hugs and smooches.
A couple of weeks ago I had a poignant ‘love attack’; only not for another person but for life itself. I was on a run through my favorite forested route, Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’ was coming through my headphones on high volume, the sun was offering reams of golden ribbons through the leafy branches, the breeze was cool and I felt more wide awake and alive than I had in a long time.
It seemed to come from out of nowhere and it completely anchored me in the present moment. I felt so loved and so taken care of by Life itself that every fiber of my being swelled with gratitude.
Whether we awaken to the present moment through a diligent practice like mindfulness or meditation or whether we come by it spontaneously like I did on my magical run, either way it is an expression of gratitude.
In her book Inviting Silence, Gunilla Norris refers to becoming present as a “basic and profound courtesy”. I love the word courtesy in this context. It speaks of really understanding the gift that life is and showing true appreciation by remembering to fully participate in it.
Deep gratitude goes beyond everyday appreciation. It is an encounter with the Holy river of life. It carries us along and summons us out of our foggy haze into a rich encounter with love. It feels amazing, like we could burst out of our skin with joy and wonder and for that moment we are completely present and grounded in the knowledge that at the core of it, life is nothing but sheer beauty.
Wishing you much peace and joy in your beautiful life.
The Deeper Cravings Path is a 12 week journey in healing your relationship with your body and food. Cultivating gratitude for the body is a huge part of that process.
Enjoy this Deeper Cravings meditation to take you deeper into your journey of returning to your body through gratitude.
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Also, be sure to join us in Seattle for our next Deeper Cravings Inspiration and Support Circle where we explore the health benefits of gratitude for mind/body/spirit and raise funds for LettersofGratitude.org
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A word about the image: A huge expression of gratitude to my beautiful mother for the gift of this painting titled “Gratitude”. This hangs at the bottom of my stairs in my home and each time I pass it I am reminded to take a deep breath and feel grateful.