“The attitude of gratitude is the highest way of living, and is the biggest truth, the highest truth. If you are grateful for what you have, then Mother Nature will give you more…. If you do not acknowledge what you have, in gratitude, you will never have more…. So be in gratitude. Make an attitude to be in gratitude, you will find the whole Universe will come to you.” – Yogi Bhajan
There is enough. There is enough for me. There is enough for you. There is enough for all of us. Not only that, but I am enough, you are enough, and we are enough. Gratitude is the attitude and practices that arise from our realization of enoughness.
If we look to the world, or even to our own individual circumstances, to verify that we have and are enough, we will always feel we are lacking. How can there really be enough if when we look around us we see so many broken relationships and so much economic disparity? At the end of the month we may even come up short and feel this lack ourselves! The world we have created counts on us feeling this way. We have created a society that determines a person’s worth by their capital value. Beyond mere capitalist versus socialist ideologies, our society’s foundation is the idea that we are not enough and we need something else to make us acceptable, to make us worthy. No wonder so many of us wrestle with feelings of inadequacy.
Feelings of lack extend beyond our materialistic concerns and decision making. People are bought and sold (literally and figuratively) and relationships are mere transactions. We regard others according to the value they bring to our lives and discard them when they are no longer of use to us. When one person cannot fill the god-shaped hole within our hearts, we move on to the next.
Addressing the idea of lack.
It really doesn’t have to be this way. If we operate from the assumption that we lack nothing, everything changes. We are more appreciative of others and ourselves. We realize our potential as individuals and as a species. The answers are inherent in the problems themselves. We are smart enough to alleviate homelessness and solve the world hunger crisis. We are kind enough that no one need feel lonely. We are secure enough in ourselves to know that as we are blessed and amazing beings, so is every other being on this planet, and therefore each deserves to be treated with dignity.
The feelings of lack and scarcity that so many experience are just that: feelings. They are only reality insomuch as we allow them to be. These experiences are the result of having created a world more interested in the almighty dollar than the life of a human being. We have personally and collectively created these problems. The good news is that we can choose differently. By shifting our perspective, we can un-create them!
We can begin to address the lack we see in the world by addressing the illusion that there is lack in our own lives. We lack nothing because we are everything. This idea may seem like something read in a cheap, knock-off greeting card. Actually, it expresses the very profound and significant idea that gratitude gives birth to abundance-not the other way around! A practical example is how we interact with the world when we are relating to others with a grateful attitude rather than a needy one. Nothing drives away potential clients faster than when they feel someone is only trying to sell them something! However, a customer always returns when they feel someone genuinely cares about them, regardless of sale. It pays to make love our bottom line!
Gratitude cannot be faked. It isn’t something we do just because we think we will “get” something. That would just reinforce the idea that we aren’t enough already! Living gratefully involves a shit in perception. Therefore, gratitude must be actively cultivated. Gratitude is more than just being thankful, although that is part of it. After all, who would we be without the things and people who we are thankful for? Home? Family? Enough to eat? Gratitude withstands the personal and impersonal hardships of the physical world. As we practice gratitude, it becomes an integral part of who we are, how we view life, and how we hold space in that world.
One way to incorporate gratitude into your spiritual practice is to meditate on the following prayer by Yogi Bhajan:
“Thank you for assuring you are with us. Thank you for assuring you are in us. Thank you for assuring you are us. Grant us the boon of love, health and happiness so that we can shine in the radiance of your praise. Keep us positive, keep us happy, keep us selfless so that we can serve you all over the world as long as we live on this planet. May this day be one with everyone to find the one within and without, and may your joy prevail all around us forever unto Infinity.”