Uncovering the Amazing Power of Gratitude

Submitted by Fiona Reilly on Fri, 02/12/2016 - 07:06

What brings joy to your life? What blessings are you grateful for? What fills your heart? Bringing more awareness to gratitude in our daily lives can have a very positive and uplifting effect. It helps us to see the joy that is ever present in our lives. The scent of a flower, a smile from a stranger, the taste of a piece of fruit, the wind in my hair, clouds in the sky... these are a few of the simple things that fill my heart with joy and gratitude, reminding me of the beauty of this life...

Gratitude shifts one's awareness from thinking about what is lacking to appreciation of what is. It can be found in simple pleasures and even in situations that you may consider unpleasant. For example, I have come to embrace and delight in walking in the rain, feeling it's wetness on my face, it fills me with aliveness. An attitude of gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve one's quality of life. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, improves health, and reduces stress. Cultivating an awareness of gratitude and appreciation may take some mindfulness initially. Here are some of the things that I have done and continue to practise to attune to my gratefulness:

  • Pay attention, I notice the little things as I move through my day, be it my breath, a flower, a smile or any of the thousands of miracles I encounter.
  • Keep a gratitude journal and daily write at least 5 things that I am grateful for.
  • When I sit to eat a meal I take a moment to close my eyes and offer thanks for the food and those that helped bring it to my table.
  • Take a gratitude walk, noticing the things that make my heart sing and feeling my heart open in gratitude for them.
  • See and embrace the gifts and opportunities in life's challenges.
  • Imagine that this is the last day I will live, notice if this changes my perception and encourages me to appreciate what is really important in each moment.
  • Perhaps you can think of other things that bring your attention and amplify your gratitude.

I love to sing and music is something I am feel extremely grateful for... Life is a blessing and I'm grateful for it all...

With love and gratitude,

Fiona is an Openhand Facilitator and house manager at Avalon Rising (Openhand's Retreat Centre in Glastonbury). She is also a reflexologist and experienced doula. She is passionate about living true to her heart and soul and empowering others to do the same. Her website is... http://www.fionareilly.co.uk

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Hi folks,

Thank you all for the lovely comments :)

Reka - Thank you for the reminder that finding the gift in our challenges is invaluable. It's one of the things that stood out for me in the video too (f)

Catherine - thank you for the colourful and varied bouquet - delightful (f)

Helen - I have an outer smile reading of your inner smile :D

Jen - yes when everything else falls away, acceptance and gratitude is there *angel*

With love, Fiona


From heart to heart...

... a Sufi "take" on gratitude,
a prayer/poem and its music (pseudo-traditional but a gem),
a very old time meditational favourite of mine which beautifully expresses the otherwise ineffable complexity of what it feels like to be in the state of gratitude...

... where joy and pain melt,
like two sides of the same coin,
the only thin thread between them being
the witness
in the fire
of ever deeper surrendering.

"Oh, day, arise! The atoms are dancing.
Thanks to Him the universe is dancing.
The souls are dancing, overcome with ecstasy.

I'll whisper in your ear where their dance is taking them:
Inside the cell or out in the space, in the air or in the wilderness of the desert,
all the atoms know well that,
like us,
they seem insane.

Every single atom,
in a keen state of pleasure or deep sorrow,
happy or miserable,
Becomes mystified, and enamoured
of the sun,
of which
can be said."



Fiona your posting was very timely for me. Thank you.

And Reka, thank you for the reminder of gratefulness for the challenges.

Helen, thank you for sharing the Taoist inner smile. It absolutely resonated with me...I just spent a few minutes smiling to my eyes, and then to my third eye and was immediately uplifted.

love, tigger


Thank you Fiona - this is beautiful. I find that gratitude naturally arises when I stop trying to make something else happen and then there is the possibility of paying attention to the sense of fulfillment that arises from the simplest things. <3

Helen - That meditation is so nice - can really feel that opening and relaxing inside. thank you!


My dearest soul friend taught me one (of many) deep lesson(s):
How to be grateful for what is difficult, painful, out of the ordinary, upsetting, annoying, all that is negative.

Can we say thanks tonight for all that, too?

Being grateful FOR something is a first step towards a deeper kind of surrender and gratitude.

I'd say that's when your liver starts smiling for you, so to speak: and living in the state of gratitude begins.


Thank you so much, Fiona. What you wrote is so completely in sync with who you are, I really feel your beautiful energy of love and gratitude. And what wonderful insights, Réka, thanks so much.

This is quite synchronistical because I have just rediscovered a Taoist meditation, the one of the inner smile. One smiles to ones eyes first and then down through the body to each and every organ, sending thanks and loving energy to them. This practise increases the flow of chi and consequently of blood, enlivening and nourishing the organs. One feels as a whole enlivened and happier and I noticed I have been smiling to myself quite a lot since I started the meditation. So, gratitude can start at home, for ones own hard working and faithful organs!


ah lovely post Fiona.

nice reminder, and I really feel how you live it as a natural expression of you.



Thank you for this beautiful post and video. It makes my heart dance with delight.

It was a beautiful day in Victoria yesterday, so I went for a long, leisurely walk. I felt immense gratitude for the warmth of the sun shining deep into my bones, for the ocean breezes on my face, and for the glory of flowers blooming everywhere here in the garden of the gods: radiant, multi-coloured primroses; rosy-pink cherry blossoms; sunny, yellow daffodils; deep purple crocuses; zappy,magenta camellias; and soft, pinkish-white rhododendrons that soothe my spirit.

"The real you is just like the flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun." ~Miguel Angel Ruiz

x Catherine


What a beautiful topic, Fiona! Thank you!

Funny thing about real/pure/undistorted gratitude is that it's not to be "done" but it's to be given into as in fact it is a filling energy that flows through us, and per definition brings with it the state of abundance.

There's maybe a difference between being grateful FOR something, or being in the state of gratitude? Being in the state of gratitude, one experiences an outflow of abundant feelings whereas in being grateful for something, or to somebody, there lurks still the idea of absence, or "the hole that got filled in"...

In other words, though the direction of the energy is outward flowing, in fact it is an introverted experience which is not dependent on external objects/people.

At the time of Isis Priestesses there were sacred teachings about the seven sacred gates, inside the female body, one of them being the Gate of Gratitude, associated with the G spot, which, as we know, is a floodgate of abundant sexual juices. Of course in order to understand the deep significance of that all, we need to look at each and every part and aspect of our bodies as sacred and metaphoric, just as these priestesses regarded the body as temples, too.

These gates are serious life transitions, rites of passages. So it seems, at least according to these ancient, feminine teachings, that to pass through the gate of gratitude, to really come out from a state of (perceived) need and hunger into a state of deep realization of the abundance of it all (and how we are in fact channels, birth canals for this abundance flowing through us) is one of those stages that are necessary for total personal unfolding, and what makes the gates open for the Soul wanting to flow.


Thanks for reminding us all of this Fiona. Just this simple, positive approach to life can have the world of difference. It becomes much easier to accept what shows up.


Open *OK*