“Gracias a Dios!” My mother would say this incessantly… So would every other Latino-American woman I know.
We are grateful for everything from God. Whether because we were indoctrinated when the Catholics came to South America, or we came from Spain which was mainly catholic.
This phrase was simply in us, part of our culture. In Canada, I learned ‘thank you’ for the first time.
Thank you is a requirement, it isn’t just good manners. It is thanking our fellow human beings for an act of kindness. If we want more goodness, then we have to praise it more!
For me, my ‘gracias a Dios’, ‘thank you, God’, takes on many faces.
P.S. I realize this can be a controversial topic. Please understand we are each entitled to our own opinion. I am inclusive. I believe in possibility. I am cool with what you think, and I hope you would honor what I think too.
For me, it is God, the universe, Mother Nature, spirit, Buddha. The vis, soul, consciousness, etc.
Many names, the same meaning.
To tell you the truth, I’m super grateful for my childhood. I was exposed to all. In my adulthood, I was exposed to Jehovah’s witnesses and to Christianity.
My one issue is when we are called sinners. I feel that it puts us into a category that doesn’t allow us to be better than that. So I choose not to believe that, but I love everything else that the church stands for.
Gracias a Dios!
The most important factor in having a grateful God practice (or whatever you call it) is that you repeat it. So practice is absolutely necessary, and you need to feel that your energy is one with it. Otherwise, you can never relax into the practice.
So gratefulness is key. It is spoken about in the bible as a staple of a good life.
The question is this: When good comes to you, how do you respond? Do you credit yourself or do you give it to God? Do you feel grateful and completely enveloped in grace?
I encourage you to give it over. If you wish to receive it, you must first deliver it. If you do not… Well, then how can you expect it to get better?
As it says in the bible:
Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7 NIV
So let’s start with the Grateful Way for 7 Days Challenge. For the next seven days, 2-3 times a day (depending on your eating pattern) hold onto your Grateful Dung™ Bracelet and name 3 things you are grateful for before eating. Make sure you don’t repeat the same thing twice during the week.
If you pray before you eat, this is the perfect complement to your practice! If you don’t pray before you eat, give this a try! Get your whole family involved, spread the love!
This simple act of pausing and taking the time to acknowledge the blessings in your life actually has an important physiological effect on your body. It helps us get into the parasympathetic state, A.K.A. the ‘rest and digest’ state.
We can do this! It will change life and your mindset. Here’s the tool to help:
From the outside looking in, especially in this day and age of social media, you look at people’s lives and get a bit of ‘comparitis’. Yup, this is a legit condition, in my mind of course. Often you begin to feel ungrateful and unhappy in your own life.
Things aren’t always as they appear. We often only show the good things in our lives, trying to avoid the trials and tribulations that are just part of the natural flow of living and breathing on Mother Earth. Reality is we have sooo sooooo much to be grateful for. You may think others have more, but it’s not about that. Being grateful is about cultivating your mindset and your relationship to the divine. Everything serves a purpose. The good, and the bad, light time or lessons. It’s time to get grateful in your daily grind. It’s the only way to ground so you can glow and grow.
Why is Gratefulness Important?
Gratefulness gives you stability like a 600 lb elephant, a 10 000 year old tree in the forest. Like the humpback whale waxing, weighing and waving through the ocean.
Sh*t happens here, happens there, happens everywhere. And thank God!
Because you know what happens if you don’t sh*t?!
Things get heavy, slow, toxic. Disorder reigns.
No one said this was going to be a perfect life! Part of being human is picking up and dealing with your sh*t. Always keep your proverbial pooper scooper handy! You, like your dog, have to clean up your shit too.
Nature’s Natural Cycles
It’s natural! Animals do it. Nature decays and breaks down and turns it into soil. You intake food, utilize what you need and excrete the rest.
Starting with the sh*t and natural breakdown and decay, on the other side comes a forest of blossoms blooming, leaves-a-rustling, the smell of pine, flowers and mold and sometimes excrement left by the animals! Part of our natural cycle.
Remember, watch where you step!!
It’s simply the natural balance, yin and yang, life and death.
Things that help us heal typically follow this balance, dark and light, fast and slow.
Opposites are required. It’s the ebb and flow of the ocean (salt and water). The night and day, darkness by the moon and lightness sunshine brilliant by the sun (exercise and sleep). The castor oil bean can kill you, the oil will heal you (food and pharmacy).
Without grind, there is no grace.
Live & Learn
Accept it and move on. Move forward, look where you are going, not where you’ve been. Except to make sure you don’t repeat the same thing twice. As in step on the same piece of turd.
How does that saying go?
Foul me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you…
Learn to mold your mind, to think in the right way. Learn how to best deal with the obstacles and challenges that are in front of you. Part of molding your mind is adopting a practice of gratefulness.
The Practice of Gratefulness
It is said that gratefulness is the connection to the natural creator. The creator of light and darkness, empty and soul-full.
To keep your soul fulfilled, you must live in gratefulness. This is very difficult when the going gets tough. This is when you must toughen up and get going. Keeping your mind constantly in the same thought process, always grateful for both the good and the bad in this life.
So what is the easiest way to start a grateful practice? Because I know you never did the journal you were recommended to do, or the 3 things before you retire to bed at night.
How to Start a Gratitude Practice
To create a habit, simply connect it to something you do daily. Smokers who drink coffee find it very hard to quit because they are reminded to have a cigarette every time they drink a coffee.
It’s the same as why I like to link the castor oil pack to sleep. Because it’s the best time for it and it we have patients who track their sleep through monitors and it’s always improved!
Eating is something that we typically do every day. So let’s link gratitude to that habit.
Do you remember the scene in the new Lion King movie when Simba’s hair flies through the wind, is eaten and turned into excrement, only to be rolled by the dung beetle back to Pride Rock? Then Rafiki finds it and exclaims that Simba, their king, is still alive!!!
According to Egyptian legend, what the sacred scarab does is create the womb for the spark of life. Seeds implanted into their rolled dung are in the optimal environment to grow and then glow. Legend says the lotus flower (a symbol of rebirth and recreation of life) lives for this opportunity.
It is said that the sacred scarab is also the living manifestation of the Egyptian Sun God Ra, who rolls the sun into the sky everyday. This is why it such a popular hieroglyphic on Egyptian murals.
And well, poo… sh*t… dung… It’s kind of my thing.
The dung beetle bead of our Grateful Dung™ Bracelet is made of black obsidian from the Austrian Swarovski crystal maker. This stone is supportive of the 1st chakra; the root chakra, which is essential for us to feel grounded, safe and secure. It also helps us to activate our creativity.
I have a new mantra at yoga. It used to be, “in flow, let go”. Now it is, “in flow grace, let go of the great creativity in side of my soul”.
I inhale and exhale.
Back to the bracelet, it’s also composed of Tiger’s eyes beads that support the 3rd chakra; our our solar plexus chakra. It is the center of your heart and soul connection, where you feel the butterflies in your belly. You’ve got those ‘gut feelings’ baby!
For flow in the digestive tract, the 1st and 3rd chakra must be optimized. They are typically the weakest link along with the 5th chakra (the voice/thyroid) of the human body.
But first we must start with the foundation. So hold onto the dung beetle bead before you eat. Say three things you are grateful for.
Placing your mind in a grateful state prevents any negative thought processes like anger. Do this before every meal. The more you practice, the easier it will be for your body to grow into it. It will become natural!
Easy, simple! Honor your food, love the life you live, and beyond everything – be grateful in your daily grind. Remember it is natural for sh*t to hit the fan. What you do with it dictates the direction of your destination and how you fall into your fate.
The Grateful Way for 7 Days Challenge
For the next 14 days I invite you to join the Grateful Way for 7 Days challenge! Here’s how:
Go to my shop and buy a Grateful Dung™ Bracelet. This will be used as your Gratitude Stone, as your guide through the 7 days. Stay tuned to social media for daily posts and sign up to our newsletter to receive emails on gratitude for the week.
You will hear why we chose the dung beetle (obviously because I love my poo, but there are so many other reasons), tips on how to be more grateful, reminders to practice your gratitude… everything we can do to keep you in the know.
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