If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?
For me, the answer would be infinite gratitude.
Because with gratitude, literally anything can happen in our life, and we'd still be okay inside.
I won't say what gratitude means. Everyone has some operational definition for it. I will say that being able to turn gratitude on at any moment consciously is freedom.
How does it work?
Gratitude, to me, manifests in the complete acceptance of everything that appears to us. It's more than a feeling. For some, it might be a natural sensation like warmth in the chest or relaxation in their face. For others, it's a sense of pure well-being or happiness.
It's when thoughts & feelings of lack or fear cut across your awareness and you still can meet it with a sense of neutrality. You can sense the boundaries around these negative objects and use your attention to evoke a sense of gratitude for them.
It says, "I completely accept whatever is happening right now because the alternative could be to have nothing happen at all."
"I completely accept whatever is happening right now because the alternative could be to have nothing happen at all."
It's the contrast between nothing & something that powers gratitude. And this distinction gives us the ability to be okay with everything.
True freedom doesn't come from being grateful for external objects. It simply starts there.
We want to work backwards, from external objects to subtle internal objects (like feelings, thoughts, sensations), until we reach so far back that we end up simply being.
You can be grateful for your family. You can be grateful for the thought of your family. You can be grateful for the experience of your family. You can be grateful that you are here at all. You can be grateful for just being.
What results? Gratitude of Experience.
Gratitude of Experience
This refers to the sense of gratitude towards the simple fact that you are experiencing anything.
Here is how I would practice this:
- Stop and find the outline of a negative experience whenever one occurs (thought, emotion, sensation). Find its shape with your inner sensing faculties.
- While holding its outline, now send yourself the intention (in thought/emotion form) of gratitude. More specifically, we want to evoke gratitude for experiencing anything at all.
- If you struggle with feeling gratitude about your existence, feel free to find an external or internal object to help evoke this feeling.
- Hold both the negative & gratitude at the same time.
- For added effect, you can mentally say "collapse" and imagine/feel that gratitude is consuming this negative energy.
- Continue to hold for as long as you want.
That's all. We can train our minds to be receptive to negative experiences and install a subroutine to collapse them with gratitude. Don't be surprised if your days start to feel lighter, healthier, and happier.