Our tendency is to view painful aspects of our lives as mistakes, and the pleasant aspects as good fortune. We may even think that what we like is grace, but what we don’t like is a curse. This is resistance to the moment. Being able to practice gratitude means connecting to this moment and seeing clearly what it brings. If it brings tension, see that as grace. It is giving you an opportunity to notice the ways in which you are in resistance. If it brings expansion, see that as grace too. Feel in flow. When you see all as grace, you stop resisting and begin to expand, beyond the limited confines of your ego and into your Grace Mindset. Then you tap into the vastness of pure consciousness. You begin to remember that you are not the doer, but a vehicle for the divine—which can move through you in the most beautiful and unexpected ways.
The habit of thinking we are in control is so very deep in our psyche. At the same time, we feel that life is happening “to me”. This leads to inevitable disappointment, which results in suffering. Life provides us such riches, yet we can easily overlook them when we are distracted by wanting something from the future or the past. We miss the here and now. We often take simple things for granted, but they are there only because of grace.
It’s easy to complain, but doing so creates an entropic force that pulls you toward a dangerous undertow. So reconsider your life and any feelings you may have of being mistreated by the universe. Try practicing gratitude for the life, the body, the mobility you have. There is always something to feel grateful for. If there is breath in your body, feel grateful for it. If you go around saying, “I am not enough. I don’t have enough. There is not enough,” whether consciously or unconsciously, you co-create with the illusion of “not enough”. You invoke the experience of “not enough” into your body, your mind, and your life.
The ego tends to think it knows what is good and bad for you. If disaster strikes, the ego chalks it up to a brutal mistake or an uncaring universe. But there is a bigger picture, a greater harmony and order. If you believe yourself limited to the ego’s perspective, you suffer. If you meet the moment as it is, without resistance, you can see possibility.
I once heard the story of a man who lost all his money and sat around every day, pitying himself and begging for coins. A mahatma (saint or great soul) came up to him and offered the man one million dollars if he would cut off his leg. Shocked, the beggar refused. The mahatma doubled the offer for one of his arms. The beggar refused again. Then the mahatma offered five million dollars for each of his eyes. The beggar flew into a rage, saying he would never give up these parts of his body for that kind of money. The mahatma responded, “So then if we add it up, your body is worth over sixteen million dollars to you. What are you doing with this precious treasure of yours, you millionaire?” The beggar was stunned into silence. Then, realizing the gift he had been given in his body, he took action to rebuild his life.
Through firsthand experience, I have seen both the frailty and the immense power of the body. When you stop fighting your body and expecting it to do what you want it to do, you start to work with it as it is. Your body gives your consciousness a direct link to all of Nature, with which you are interconnected. It helps you remain in balance within a much greater whole. As you practice gratitude for this connection, you become attuned to it. You anchor your healing and keep your ego in check.
When you find yourself getting sick, or in a situation that asks you to slow down, practice seeing the moment differently. Give thanks for the invitation to look deeper inside yourself, get to know yourself better, and live with greater interconnection. In doing so, you discover that this moment is grace.
Parvati is an award-winning musician (“I Am Light”, “Electro Yog”, “Yoga In The Nightclub”), yogini (YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine), author (“The Grace Mindset”, “Aonani of Avalon”, “The Three Supreme Secrets for Lasting Happiness”) and founder of the not-for-profit Parvati.org. All her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). More info: parvati.tv; parvati.org.