I am so excited to have one of my favorite people on the planet guest blogging with us today. If you have been following Bliss Habits for any length of time I am sure you have bumped into Lisa of LifeUnity a time or two; her amazing awareness work speaks to me often and through it we have become very good friends. I couldn’t even dream up accolades that would do justice for this amazing woman, artist, mother and friend. I am grateful everyday to count her as my friend.
Today Lisa is here not only to share her powerful point of view, but also her incredible artistic talent. Today she is including a chance to win one of her fabulous awareness paintings as incentive to spread gratitude! How cool is that?!
Please enjoy her marvelous and generous foray into gratitude.
Gratitude is a reminder of the radiant peace that is at our core. Even in swirling confusion, even amidst tremendous fear of not having or being enough, even at the bottom of this seemingly endless pit is that peaceful light. When we strengthen our awareness of that center of being, we become free to make choices that reflect that nature.
Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
~Jean Baptiste Massieu
We often think of gratitude as something we do. Something we express or something we feel. What if gratitude, at its deepest, is something that we are?
What if gratitude is a way of being in abundance, a recognition that we always have enough, that we always are enough? (In fact, that we are more than enough.)
What if, through knowing gratitude, we are free to explore our lives and the rich experiences that such grateful living offers?
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,”
that would suffice.
At the end of every month I dip into fear. When the monthly paycheck is on its last legs and suddenly the brakes need replacing, my stomach is in knots. My peace-knowing mind is still repeating its gratitude for healthy kids and a safe home…but its alter-ego fear gremlin is running around knocking things over, pulling out hair, and simply inconsolable.
I am terrified of not having.
I’m willing to bet you know this feeling.
And you know what? I don’t have the answer to make those gut-wrenching, nerve-wrecking feelings go away. But part of my practice as an Awareness Artist is exploring the questions and the experiences.
So I investigate. And when I explore that terror of not enough, it seems like a bottomless pit. I call out and my echo goes on eternally, hauntingly calling back to me never enough, never enough, never enough. So I plunge into it.
In practical terms, this means I explore this feeling through meditation. Sometimes it is the sit-on-the-cushion-close-your-eyes type meditation. More often, it is a quiet reflection wherever I happen to be. I simply become aware of that terror when I see the bank account nearing zero and a week left before payday. I feel the pit of never enough, cry a bit if I need to, then find my breath again.
And so far, the first of the next month has always come.
There have been some close calls and some disasters. But time keeps on ticking. And my breath keeps on coming.
When I sit with this, slowly the never enough blackness becomes less frightening. I recognize a small but peaceful center within me…a center that is gratitude. This center radiates just enough light for me to move through the unknown and scary places of not enough. It gives me just enough energy to wake up on the 31st of the month and take the next step.
We all have our pits of never enough.
Never enough money, never enough love, never enough time.
I invite you to stop avoiding the darkness. I invite you into your discomfort.
I’m not doing so because I want you to join me in my fear. (*insert evil laugh*) No, I’m doing this because I believe at our core, we are gratitude. We are love. We are that which knows we are enough, more than enough – that we are unity, that we are whole.
And when we realize this, we radiate a light – no matter how dim – that shows us all of the possibilities for our next step.
In seeing these infinite possibilities, we become free to choose our way.
In knowing the peace that exists through living from that core,
we make our choices not from fear and not through judgment,
but simply as an exploration of this life.
All from a little gratitude.
The Next Step
Two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take;
the larger kind we feel for what we give.
~Edwin Arlington Robinson
I invite you to take the next step beyond reading these words. I invite you into experience.
Practices like gratitude journals or thanking those with whom you interact can be beneficial. But in the spirit of oneness, I invite you to experience the gratitude of another. The next step?
Do something for someone else that might make them feel grateful.
We’re not getting attached to the outcome here, so if they don’t express thanks – don’t worry about it! You are simply offering an invitation to experience gratitude.
This can be a small act or a large one. Offer a dollar to a child in a store. Invite someone into a discussion and truly listen – offer them the opportunity to be seen and heard. Hide a favorite quote in a library book for the next patron. The possibilities are endless.
Share what you did in the comments section of this post.
Read what others have done. Celebrate the kindness that is being spread in the world and the possible experiences of gratitude that are being lived.
*I will pick a winner at random from all of the acts of gratitude shared here and on the companion post over at LifeUnity (Hint-enter on both blogs for better chance of winning!) by next Wednesday, April 11th. The winner will receive a 6×6 print of my recent encaustic work, Gratitude. ***Update***Lucky comment number 3 is the winner! Congratulations Janice!!****
Now go. Be grateful.
LISA RENEE WILSON is an Awareness Artist and owner of LifeUnity. She invites mindful exploration of the experiences of living – from meditation to the laundry. Through writing and art (encaustic, acrylic, and mixed media), she encourages everyone to journey with her into awareness.
Current projects include a FREE online mindfulness project, the Wild Elephant Project, based on the book by Jan Chozen Bays. (Join the project at www.lifeunity.com/wild-elephant-project.)
To learn more about Lisa or LifeUnity and to be notified of upcoming projects (including course offerings!), connect with Lisa at
on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lifeunity,
on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lifeunity,
and on GooglePlus at gplus.to/LifeUnity
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