Modern life continues to demand that we do more and that we do it faster, and many of us are struggling to keep up. We can feel stress rising and feel pulled in many different directions. Our heart longs for inner peace, quietude and the confidence that things will turn out fine. Gratitude can be the answer to what our heart is longing for.
In the book Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer by Gregg Braden, the author helps us understand the concept of gratitude as a prayer. Reading his book and understanding how to use this concept has brought profound inner peace and joy into my heart. Earlier on in my life I was taught, or I understood prayer to be, a request to God. In Braden’s book, however, the author offers a different perspective derived from many different ancient wisdoms.
In a nutshell, Braden encourages us to feel the gratitude in our hearts as if the prayer has already been answered. He states, “Feeling is the prayer.” In other words, we should feel the emotions of happiness and peace as if we already have what we want or need. Braden adds that for our prayers to be answered, we must transcend the doubt that often accompanies the positive nature of our desires.
In my work, I help people create inner peace in their lives and I share this concept with them. The ones who do it regularly begin to experience a transformation in their lives. Some of them have had remarkable experiences by just practicing gratitude as if their desires are already a reality. This is not a new concept, however, the challenge for us humans is that we want immediate results. If we can release the attachment to outcome and hold on to the practice of experiencing the feeling of gratitude in our hearts and through our whole body, we can experience miracles in our lives.
I have tested it and it works. Many of my clients have tested it and they say it works too! To “feel the feeling,” you bring mindful awareness to your body to notice the feelings that are present when you practice gratitude as if your prayers have already been answered. Your body is more relaxed, you may have a smile on your face and experience a sense of deep inner peace in your heart. Your intuition will awaken and provide you with guidance. It’s important, however, to not create attachment to results.
From Buddhism I am learning to embrace the concept of “being” versus “doing” and to let go of attachments to outcomes. To embrace this paradigm, I must let go and my unconscious puts up a fight. I do it gently and slowly and with persistence. As you practice gratitude, being in the moment without attachments to outcomes, the thoughts that offer resistance begin to fade. A sure and fast way to feel better is to get a piece of paper and write 100 things for which you are grateful. You not only will feel better, but you will feel empowered and more in charge of your life and your future. This approach also works very well to help shift struggles in relationships.
Thanksgiving is almost here and I invite you to practice feeling gratitude in your heart as if all your prayers have already been answered. And every time your brain wants to convince you that it won’t work and wants to make you believe that things will not get better, you have to remember that you can make a choice: you can either nurture the belief that you already have what you need or want, or you can nurture the opposite. I hope you choose to nurture your faith and cultivate a deep sense of gratitude.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with love, joy and inner peace.
Veronica Correa, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker, certified hypnotherapist and life coach. To learn more about her work, visit www.thepersonalwellnesscenter.com or call 410-742-6016.