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Dr. Pacik


“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”
~ David Steindl-Rast

Real gratitude is marked by more than a thank-you card or birthday gift. We’re almost all instructed as toddlers to parrot the words “thank you” in response to a gift or favor, no matter how we really feel. But superficial social niceties are far different from the deep emotion of thanksgiving. Only by honestly affirming the light can we act like the light and shine. We feel blessed for our lives and, in that moment, we bless our lives. Truly grateful feelings surge from our core whenever we fulfill our potential in small ways or in grand. To be away from gratitude is to be out of touch with our true purpose. Gratitude is an essential indication that our current actions reflect our real values.

Gratitude is a sign and a remedy. In the worst of times, during a material, relational, emotional or spiritual depression, summoning gratitude is a sure way to get our life back on track. Opening our eyes to affirm gratitude grows the garden of our inner abundance, just as standing close to a fire eventually warms our heart. When life demands more and still more of us, gratitude lets us know that we have, and are, enough. The physiology of gratitude induces a regulated state similar to meditation or prayer: slow and steady breathing, blood flowing to the brain, neural pathways rewired. Gratitude as a physical act actually builds a healthier brain.

• Each morning and night for the next two weeks, quickly jot down five things that come to mind for which you’re grateful.
• Sit face-to-face with your loved one and share these simple gratitude lists, and ask that person to reciprocate if possible.
• Today, practice an attitude of gratitude as you move through the world. Mentally note what you love about each moment. How long can you stay in gratitude before your mind wanders? The second you become distracted, try to notice the situation that broke your focus. Were you in fantasy or anxiety? Try to get back into life, and move toward life with gratitude.

From the MIRROR OF INTIMACY book The Daily Meditation Book by Alexandra Katehakis and Tom Bliss