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Guest Column

How to have an attitude of gratitude every day 

By Dr. Vidya Reddy

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Let us awaken our most divine aspect by cultivating an attitude of gratitude. That’s right! We can shift every aspect of our existence by simply giving birth to a new attitude and placing some attention on our ability to be grateful. 

As a thought exercise, I’ve learned a lot of things over the past few months and feel compelled to share them with you in the spirit of robust helpfulness. If you would like more information, techniques, and meditation based on Life Lessons, please refer to my blog:

Guest Column How to doctor

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Photo by Johnny Antezana

Dr. Vidya Reddy

How does it work? 

Well, for the past decade, I have started each morning with a few minutes of gratitude. It happens the moment I wake up before I even open my eyes!! As I slowly become conscious or aware that I am no longer sleeping, I silently ask myself, “What am I grateful for?”

I don’t answer. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but I just repeat that question over and over like a mantra. After I have silently asked about 50 times, about a minute or two has passed. 

And then I sit for a minute and just fill my mind and my heart with everything I am grateful for. People, animals, experiences, opportunities, the miracles that unfold each day – both profound and mundane – the sunset, the sweet light of the moon, someone being patient with me (more patient than I had been with someone else), my food taking an hour to be prepared so I could reflect on hunger and those less fortunate than I, the stubbing of my toe to make me remember the power of paying attention, and they just keep pouring into my awareness. I commit to only a few minutes before my eyes open before I drink in the morning.

Over and over͕ I ask, “What am I grateful for?” And when I realize that I’ve drifted away from the process, I drift my attention back to the question, “What am I grateful for?” 

Then I open my eyes, RPM (rise, pee, meditate), and I already have ten minutes of gratitude rippling through me before I’ve even brushed my teeth!

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The lotus position helps focus the mind

Why would I do this ritual more than 2,000 mornings in a row? Because, where attention goes, energy flows. Because whatever we place our awareness on blooms and blossoms and grows…and what we drift our awareness away from withers, diminishes, and dies.

And by placing my awareness on gratitude before I have even absorbed one ray of sunlight, gratitude becomes the trajectory of my morning, my day, and my week! 

Every seed I plant throughout the day is planted in the fertile soil of gratitude. Some of the greatest heart-based teachers such as Osho, David Simon, and Pema Chodron have stressed that enlightenment cannot be achieved by meditation alone. 

If our heart is heavy, that heaviness will stand in the way of bliss. If our heart is heavy, then our meditation will be more of an intellectual exercise and we want to move out of our head and into our heart.

Starting our day with gratitude ensures that we move through the day with grace and ease. And that’s the space that I choose to live my life from. I am not always so graceful or so easy, but my morning gratitude practice starts me off on a sweet, forgiving͕, compassionate, grateful path. It’s up to me to stay on it or find my way back when I’ve strayed throughout the day.

What a magnificent journey to be on! I invite you to join me every morning as we start the day in gratitude. 

It doesn’t guarantee that the day will unfold perfectly or as predicted but it does guarantee that as each moment unfurls its miracle, I am right there ʹonly a few heartbeats away starting from a space of gratitude. 

Keep meditating͕, keep trusting. 

In Peace, Love and Gratitude. 

‘Til next time.

Dr. Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC


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