Gratitude, Love and Appreciation

I turned the corner to head to the nearby park, my two dogs Sampson and Scout meandering alongside me, when I spotted her. I stopped in my tracks, took a deep breath, and felt my body relax. For several moments I gazed at her timeless beauty, glowing brightly, surrounded by a faint necklace of orange-yellow light embracing her body. The wispy clouds gently wrapped their tendrils around her as she slowly rose to awaken the night with her presence. The shadowed outline of the trees draped her like a soft curtain, soon to be shed to reveal her entire image.

Grandmother Moon — an Ancestor so ancient she is rightly accorded the elder status of Grandmother — was in the initial stage of making her nightly journey across the sky. Having two days ago reached her fullness, there was now a noticeable slice that was darkened, giving a hint of how the night would eventually swallow her whole, only to gradually return to her fullness in that perpetual dance of darkness and light—a cycle that began long before life appeared on earth.
I was awestruck, like a child with a feeling of wonder and reverence for witnessing this magical and mystical experience. When I remember to pause and observe these “little miracles” that we are privileged to encounter, it reminds me to be grateful for all that Mother Earth provides, not only for us humans, but for all beings we share this amazing planet with.

That feeling of gratitude spread throughout my body, an awareness that I am awake, alive, and fortunately able to deeply appreciate the majesty and grandeur before me. It’s in those moments I feel completely immersed in the flow of Life, that place of “no thought”, where time does not exist some refer to as “flow”.

It’s a little easier to lose yourself in that kind of experience when you’re outdoors and in the embrace of the natural world — even if it’s your back yard or a local park. It’s why children bask in the glory, expansiveness and freedom of outdoor play and why I highly encourage adults to take part in outdoor activities and nature projects at all ages to foster a lifelong love of nature. Getting caught up in mundane tasks and everyday routines, while they serve their purpose, can cause us to lose our awareness of our deep and intimate connection with the everyday miracles that Life presents.

Here before me was a reminder of the eternality of Life, that long before and long after I’ve departed this “mortal coil” Life will continue. And yet now here I AM, privileged to witness this gift that has been provided! The gratitude that I felt lingered for a while as I continued my tour of the park with Sampson and Scout. They ran around, doing what dogs do. I couldn’t help but smile at how much I love these two beings and how grateful I am for their being part of my life. Dogs and children are wonderful reminders for over-burdened adults.

As I continued, I was reminded that I have so much to be grateful for and wondered what it would be like to feel gratitude ALL the time. It’s often easier to focus on problems and all the troubles in the world as we ponder solutions, yet could it be possible to live in gratitude perpetually? Or at least continue to keep it in focus? I suppose there are some truly enlightened individuals capable of doing so, but I’m not one of them! I’ve yet to experience anything to that degree, yet I do know that when I allow myself to feel and embody gratefulness, it lifts my spirits and my vibrational frequency.

Vibrational frequency? Yes, everything in the entire universe vibrates at a certain frequency. On average humans vibrate at approximately 70hz and children slightly higher (of course). I did some informal research on how the vibration of gratitude (allegedly 540hz) compares with love and discovered that most often love and gratitude carried the same vibrational frequency! One measurement even suggested that gratitude was a slightly higher vibration than love! The only one that topped both was appreciation at an even higher vibration.

As we in the northern hemisphere enter into the increasing waning of daylight, it’s very tempting to indulge or get caught up in those emotions that lower our vibration. I suggest rather than denying them, let yourself be aware of them, then do your best to move on to love, gratitude, and/or appreciation. Not always easy to do, but here are some suggestions on how to best maintain (or return) to a sincere sentiment of thankfulness and appreciation for all the various elements of your life.

  1. Every morning, start your day by writing out a list of ten things for which you’re grateful. Do this every day for two weeks and check in to see how your emotions are affected.
  2. Verbally express your appreciation at least a few times each day, whether appreciating the person or some action they did that affected you.
  3. Look for opportunities to simply say thank you, no matter how small the gesture was.
  4. Breathe! Say a few times throughout the day, “thank you Spirit for this breath!” It’s breathing consciously that reminds us that we’re alive
  5. Stay in touch with valued friends and family, even if it’s simply a phone call or walking together.
  6. Play! Children can teach you by example how to lose your self-consciousness and immerse yourself in play. Animals can too!
  7. Show appreciation for your body by pleasant baths, exercise, walking, massage, with the thought of, “thank you body!”
  8. With the people you love, have the courage to say those three words, “I love you” rather than a quick and glib, “Love ya!”

These are just a few suggestions and I trust that having read this, it has inspired you to keep your focus as much as humanly possible on gratitude, appreciation, and love.

Dr. Steven Farmer

Dr. Steven Farmer

Dr. Steven Farmer is a licensed psychotherapist, soul healer, and author of several best-selling books and oracle cards, including Animal Spirit Guides, Earth Magic, Earth Magic Oracle Cards, Children’s Spirit Animal Cards, Healing Ancestral Karma, and the recently released Shaman’s Path Cards. Dr. Farmer offers individual consultations and relationship counseling in person or remotely by phone or Zoom, drawing from his wealth of training and experience as a psychotherapist, shamanic healer, and trauma recovery specialist. He offers a popular individualized Spiritual Mentorship and Life Coaching program and serves on the board of the Society of Shamanic Practice.

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