A Simple Meditation on Tuning In to Gratitude


So here we are, the holidays are knocking on the door of our present moment with a crescendo of urgency.  It can be ironic how a time of celebration and connection can bring a wave of stress and pressure on so many lives.

If we re-frame our lives as music, we gain lots of insight into the song and dance of the seasons as well as our own unique part to play during the 'movements.'

In music we learn that each note, each harmony has a certain feeling...an inner quality that when we hear it, it triggers some emotional response.  Certain note relationships have a harmonious effect on us, calming our nerves and creating relaxation. While others can create dissonance and trigger stress. 

We can simply listen to how different musical scores in movies create a mood.  In a drama and suspense movie, the music will be intense to engage an emotional response.  While in a romantic or touching movie, the music will be more tender and 'touching.'

So what if life is like this...what if our internal emotional states are the music that we play. 

The 'inner note' of anxiety has an effect on our mind and physical body for example.  Consider this as a 'note' tuned sharp.  Depression can be considered as a 'flat note.'  These notes create a certain instability in our music which can have ripple effects in our life. 
Conversely, a different quality of notes reflect a different quality of being. Notes such as: Love, Appreciation, Joy, Gratitude, all create a different inner state...

So how might we tune these notes?
Let's begin with Gratitude:

Take a moment to simply be and sit quietly.
Take at least 3 long slow breaths, as even as possible on both the inhale and exhale.

Notice how slowing down the breath creates a calmer feeling inside, perhaps even more inner sense of space.

As best as you can, place part of your attention in the center of your chest.  Sensing this center as best as you can from the inside out.

Staying present with the sensing, recall a time in your life that you felt gratitude.  If none come to mind, imagine an experience that you would be deeply grateful for.

As you do this, stay present with the feeling.  Gratitude has a certain quality to it which we feel.  Feel it.

Stay present to the note of gratitude and see if you can increase the volume of the sensation.  Perhaps you may need to revisit the internal remembering of gratitude, but do your best to stay present to the feeling rather than lost in the mental story.

While staying present to the sensation of gratitude in the center of your chest, breathe deeply, long and slow into the feeling in your body. 

Beginning at the center of the chest and allowing the breath of gratitude to fill as much of your body as you can. 
As you exhale, allow the feeling of gratitude to radiate outward as a gift to the world.
Repeat this cycle at least 7 times. 

Notice how you feel. Do your best to stay present to this feeling for a minute or so and simply let your consciousness absorb this 'note' deeper and deeper in your body.

We've just 'tuned in to gratitude.'  Practicing this in the morning will have great impact on your day as well as before you go to sleep. 
If you notice yourself in a different 'note,' perhaps while shopping or out in the holiday frenzy, go back to this exercise.  Perhaps your in a long line at a store and feeling anxious or impatient....use this in that moment and notice the change.

Music is life and perhaps more importantly, Life is Music.  We can tune our instrument, practice our craft, and allow the art of who we are to sing out into the world.  Thus our life becomes our song and hopefully makes all of our interactions a little more harmonious in the day to day..

It is with a deep resounding moment of gratitude that I thank you for reading this and hope it helps in any way
Wishing you all the best