When I think of gratitude, I think about how practicing gratitude positively affects my vibration. We hear about the practice of gratitude and about raising our vibration and how having a higher vibration can produce a happy life and even promote manifesting things in life that we want. Often I have found myself having to go back to the basics of the purpose of exercising gratitude and the many benefits it has on my life. For many of us that deal with depression and anxiety, it seems there is always something that can take us from exercising gratitude and being present to being worried and taken out of the present! When in the middle of living life to the fullest, we can get out of practice with the things that sustain us. And that’s ok, it happens to the most savvy, spiritual, and enlightened of us. The thing is to recognize it, own it, and not stay there. If you find yourself needing to get back to the basics of practicing gratitude, here are some tips on how to come back to center.
First, find your base level:
When it comes to everyday life, like interactions with your partner(s), your children, and co-workers; or the business of life, like who is going to cook dinner, or what time you need to leave work to make it to the kid’s game, or how long do you have to eat dinner before going to your second job; we can easily get caught up in the next task and find ourselves spiraling. The next thing you know, it’s been 3 weeks since you thought about what being so busy means to you on a soul level and you might find yourself questioning if you even enjoy your life! In moments like this, stop and take a deep breath. No seriously, stop. Nudge yourself to remember why you are doing the things you are doing. A base level is about being able to get to the point of it all. You might say “I’m rushing to class because I’m going to have a degree (or certificate or skills) that will assist me in some way that is meaningful. It won’t always be like this.” Base levels are the reasons behind the task. When you can get back to this place, you can think about the task a little more present to its meaning and begin the path back to gratitude. You can then begin to say, “Wow, I’m juggling a lot. I’m pushing myself now so that I can reach my goal. It’s ok to have a hard time from time to time. I just have to keep in mind why I’m doing this and soon, I will be on to the next goal/task!” The base level takes you out of complaining, avoiding, or sulking. When you’ve reached a point where you have to connect to your base, that is the best time to just take it easy on yourself and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Base levels are about owning whats really going on and being gentle with yourself in the process. Once you've done this you are already closer to your center and on your way to your gratitude practice.
Next, connect with your will:
In my study of chakras, energy centers through the body that help us balance our vibration and aura, I find the “will” to be very helpful in connecting with gratitude once I have been able to get connected to my base. There are names for the energy centers of the body and the one at the center of our being, our core, is called the Will Chakra. It governs just what it says, our will. Your will sits at the center of your being and is connected to what many call “your gut”. It’s that often unexplained part of you that might say “I don’t know what it is but something seems off. I better not go that way today”. While it is good at protecting you, it is also good at helping you to do/perform task, to manifest, and to balance the amount of energy you give to a task. So say you have remembered why you are doing the things you are doing, you have found your base and you're beginning to feel connected to your task again. Now you can connect to how much of your current actions are helping you reach your goal and if you need to do some self care or adjusting in any way. This is about sitting with your inner self and working through if what you are doing is aiding you in your goal, distracting you from your goal, or if you need a break in routine, etc. Connecting to your will can be about asking yourself questions that get to the bottom of your intention for your task. Are you trying to do “too much”, too soon? Do you need to slow down or maybe even take a day off? Connecting to your will can help you get in touch with the things we have to DO in the world with much more intention to ensure that we are not just doing busy work and that we are busy doing work that matters! Your inner knowing will always work to protect you and keep you in alignment with you highest good. Getting in touch with you will by asking yourself some tough questions can really help you say in alignment with your highest self. So get in there and ask those tough questions to find the intention behind your task and adjust accordingly.
Lastly, come back to gratitude
Now that you have moved from the base, to the center, you can come back to gratitude with some clarity and receptiveness. You can begin to believe it when you say “I am grateful for my job” because you have worked yourself back to a place of meaning it rather than sort of reciting it out of habit or reciting it in hopes that you'll mean it eventually. It’s not that we are ever not grateful for the things we have, the things we are able to do, or the people in our lives, but navigating life has a funny way of taking the focus off of that gratitude. We don’t become ungrateful, we get out of touch with our soul level wisdom. Things become task to get done and move on to the next. You forget why you wanted it in the first place, or you get hit hard with a set back at work or financially and you focus there. Slowly, your vibration begins to drop until you no longer feel as connected to the things you are doing and thus not really able to practice gratitude or FEEL grateful. Once you move your vibration back to this point you can return to gratitude heart centered and honestly. When your emotions are in alignment with what you are saying they produce a much more powerful energy. This allows practicing gratitude to be that sustaining force that it is for so many. You can return to your gratitude journal, or gratitude morning ritual, or acts of gratitude such as giving a little extra to the server, or donating to a cause, or thank you notes to those you are grateful for. All the ways that you express your gratitude can be potent and continue to produce the kind of energy that allows for expansion, joy, and fulfillment in life.
There are many that don't live with depression or anxiety and might still find that you need to figure out how to raise your vibration through gratitude. When living with depression and anxiety, you might find yourself having to do this work to get back to center often. But the work is worth it and soon, it won't take as long as it use to. We can live our lives with joy, contentment, faith, and possibility if we take it one day at a time, and allow ourselves to keep it real about where we are at and release any shame attached to it. I practice gratitude because it keeps me tapped into the beauty of this life and helps me vibrate at a level of appreciation and thankfulness that produces joy and excitement about life. I haven’t always been able to do that and I'm not always able to stay here. If you live with depression and/or anxiety, I encourage you to give this process a try. It has helped sustain me more often than I can count. I hope it helps you too!
TaMeicka L. Clear is a Spiritual and Emotional Wellness Coach, a Body Positive Coach, and Social Issues Educator. Meicka is an ordained minister, an Ifa practitioner, Reiki Level 1 practitioner, and studies numerology and tarot. She is an empath and intuitive healer that focuses on co-creating programs and healing spaces with people of color, women, and LGBTQIA people.