This time of year we are bombarded by that word, “grateful.” We’re expected to be grateful. What happens when you don’t feel grateful but you are told that you should be? What if you feel guilt or pain about not feeling grateful? What if the pain that you feel prevents you from noticing those things for which you are inherently grateful?
David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar gave a TED Talk about the “gentle power of gratefulness.” He says that if we can “stop, look and go,” we will be ok. It takes a lot of practice to do this but if we can stop the negative thoughts, look around at the gifts that we do have and go forward, we can be happy. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy. One way to build these muscles is through meditation. Another way is through neurofeedback. The type of neurofeedback system that I use, NeurOptimal, trains the brain to be more present- it stops the ruminating negative thoughts, which enables us to look at what we do have so that we may move forward.
Steindl-Rast says that we all want to be happy and in that, we are all connected. In order to live gratefully, not just this time of year, we need to be aware that every moment is a given moment and is therefore, a gift. He says, “If we didn’t have this present moment, we could have any opportunity to do anything or experience anything. The gift within the gift is the opportunity. What you are really grateful for is the opportunity, not the thing that has been given to you. We can avail ourselves of this opportunity, or we can miss it, and if we avail ourselves of the opportunity, it is the key to happiness. Behold the master key to our own happiness is in our own hands. Moment by moment, we can be grateful for this gift.”
The power of gratefulness can literally change the world. Steindl-Rast says that, …”if you are grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share. If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people, and you are respectful to everybody, and that changes this power pyramid under which we live.” In order to be happy, we must be grateful.
To learn more about NeurOptimal neurofeedback, click on this link. If you would like to talk about how neurofeedback can help you or to learn more about how to move through the pain that you are currently experiencing, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.