~Gratitude ~ Embracing Every Blessing~
By Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls
Walking in gratitude is not a hard thing to do yet it is the basis of a happy life and your own personal power. Native Americans give thanks to Mother Earth for everything they have. Christians give thanks before they eat. Shamans give thanks to the universe for all that they are.
When we walk in gratitude we find again that sense of wonder in everything around us. We realize the bounty that we have in life. We appreciate the beauty we see. We hear the beautiful winds in the trees. We smell the flowers. We know how much is given to us that we didn't even have to work for. We walk with a sense of smallness against this gift, this experience of life.
Being grateful is as much a part of being mature as having wisdom or discernment.
Gratitude teaches us to admire those around us, to lend a helping hand to those who need one. And who are we not to be grateful? Do we not see the blessings of the air we breathe? Do we not realize how fortunate we are to be walking this land? Just look around at all the places you could be.
Did you have a good idea today? Be grateful for that! Did you eat today? Be grateful! Is there a dollar in your wallet? Can you be grateful for that? When was the last time you looked into the heavens and said, "Thank you!"
Albert Einstein was one of the greatest thinkers in history. He was always aware of what could have been and expressed his thanks each day. Gandhi had nothing and yet was one of the most grateful men who ever lived. It isn't about who you are or what you have, what station in life you have been blessed with. It is simply to be. To be is worthy of thanks.
Some people feel they have nothing to be thankful for. But do they have air to breathe? Did they get up this morning and find the sun shining? Did they find another human being to talk to? Companionship, caring, compassion, beauty, life, seasons, the earth, these are all worthy of our thanks.
The Shaman cannot heal without gratitude.
It is not the Shaman who creates any healing, who finds the lost souls, who comforts the dying with hope in new life. These things are greater than any man, Priest or Shaman. It is our interconnectedn
Start each day with a prayer of thanks giving.
Tell the universe how happy you are to find the sun shining in your window, to hear the birds singing and see the green grass glowing with dew. Thank your Creator for the gifts you will receive this day. Humble yourself at the magnificent creation of life and give gratitude for being an observer of this most holy miracle today.
By giving thanks you are opening yourself to all the possibilities of goodness. You are joining into the universal awareness as a participant in life. You are forming a council and taking your seat in the creation of the day. You come with open hands to receive and ready to give your blessings to those around you. You realize your fortune and you wish that same fortune for all.
Being grateful sets the place for goodness and open communication with teachers and guides. It shows your willingness to learn and your respect for what is. Gratitude manifests more things to be grateful for. If you make a list each day of those things you feel grateful for you will find that your list will grow over time. It will change from things seen to those things that are unseen and far more important than material possessions or fame. You will touch the very fabric of your soul and feel the blessings you have that are so worthy of your gratitude. In humbleness, you receive more than you could ever receive with pride. Gratitude begets humility in this awesome life experience.
A Shaman knows this humility and often falls to his knees to return the heartfelt love that he recognizes and honors. The power of the Shaman comes not from within but from without because a man standing on his own is just a man but a man standing on the grace of gratitude walks with Spirit and is given everything - even the ability to heal. Approach each day, each hour, each minute with gratitude in your heart and find love filling your spirit with its own power and truth.