Gratitude is the memory of the heart

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, 6×6, Encaustic on wood panel by Lisa Wilson (*win this! details below)

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. 

~Meister Eckhart

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

To learn more about Lisa or LifeUnity and to be notified of upcoming projects (including course offerings!), connect with Lisa at

on Facebook at,

on Twitter at,

and on GooglePlus at


If you are new here Welcome!

This introductory post will introduce the blog, and this post will help us get better acquainted.

Please sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all the fun


“like” our Facebook Page for ongoing Blissful Discussion!

18 thoughts on “Gratitude is the memory of the heart

  1. Hi Lisa!

    Wonderful! I took something from a person ahead of me in the grocery line – someone I am acquainted with, and even more now – and put it into my pile of things to purchase (then, of course, gave it back to her!). She was immensely grateful, and I am grateful now I have a new friend.

    Gentle hugs!

    • Kathy says:

      Congratulations Janice!! You were the selected winner of our contest!! Lisa will be in touch shortly to work out the delivery details! Thank you so much for spreading the gratitude!!

  2. Sarah, I am so glad that it resonates with you!! Always happy to find someone else with whom to share this space. Honored to be connected…

  3. I stand in awe of your wisdom and stand tall in celebration of your talent. You continually speak to my heart and soul and touch my life when it’s most needed. Thank you, thank you so very much

  4. This morning I held my Mother as she cried. I spoke gently to her in our embrace, with assurance of my love, support and intention to be there for her as she walks through her frustrations and overwhelm of dealing with an aging spouse who is sickly and forgetful. I felt a shift in my world, and an opening in my heart.
    thank you Lisa, for this opportunity to share.

  5. Love this, love this, love this! I really really do. I love the idea of LIVING gratitude as opposed to expressing it. Let your life be the expression of gratitude! I did something for a friend, but I want to remain anonymous about it so I’m not going to spill the details. I just wanted her to receive without worrying about having to thank me or repay me. <3

  6. Natasha: You always make my mouth and my soul smile. THANK YOU.

    Jeanie: I’ve read this comment yesterday and today and teared up both times. I’m still choked up. There is a beauty so much deeper than words in what you have done…and I am so grateful that you shared.

    Chel: Sometimes anonymity is the greatest of blessings…the positive vibes remain out in the world for all to enjoy without attaching themselves to one person. I’m sure your friend is reaping in those benefits!! (Thank you, too, for all you share here at Bliss Habits and through your site….)

  7. Jennifer says:

    Oh Lisa!
    How very timely!
    We missed you so at our gathering last weekend, but how perfect to find your wisdom waiting when we were

    Even though I was completely exhausted from our painting weekend, and had endured abuse from family-of-origin members for being away (long story…a great aunt died on that Friday, a woman who had been dying for some time, who had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks and had come home to die, a woman whose death was a relief to probably both her and her children), I came home and fed my sister, one of the loudest abusers.
    She has even more widespread food allergy issues than I do, and I’m the one with “food we can eat”. I fed her, even while her commentary continued, and I felt deeply grateful for having the ability to feed her and continue to love her, even through the abuse. I also felt deeply grateful for the ability to hold my head up and not fall apart…something I have only recently learned to do.

    My 15 year old says she is grateful, and *I* should be grateful for allowing her a kitten in the house…..except that …. oh wait….I didn’t yet! Oh Hannah! LOL

  8. Jennifer!! Oh my – your story made me laugh and cry! How I wish I could have been there with all of you as well…the photos REALLY drive that home. What a BEAUTIFUL story and one that I see challenges in at every angle. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude – and expressing that – is so hard to do in that situation. It is BEAUTIFUL hearing that. (And re: the kitten…I just snicker and dread the day I have my kiddos tell me the same)

  9. 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 love that quote! Thank you for a great post and beautiful artwork too! Lisa

  10. Melissa says:

    Lisa, not sure if time limit is up, but it doesn’t matter, just wanted to share what I did yesterday, when an opportunity finally arrived. A dear friend who lives with her 4 children in a different town to her hubbie due to work commitments etc, came back to our small town to visit her hubbie for Easter. They came around yesterday for cuppa & a playdate. I then kept the kids her kids (so that meant I had 7 kids!!) so they could have a couple precious hours together before she has to leave with the 4 kids today.

  11. Efsun Alper says:

    Hi Lisa, thank you for the lovely post and the generous giveaway. There’s something about this painting that really pulls me in. Feels like an unknown, but calm & serene journey in solitude. I’m not very “lucky” with give aways, but maybe this time it’s my time 🙂
    As for the gratitude experiment, I’d planned on doing some grand gestures, but I realized quickly that didn’t quite work that way for me any more. Instead I’ve spent some time on the phone with my grandma, helped out friends in need (with supplies, babysitting, or just plain listening), got lilies for my husband and delayed “bath night” (got many thanks on that one!), organized several fun outings with friends, let my kids enjoy chocolate bunnies, made breakfast for dinner, got the entire family covered in color at a Holi celebration. This I can do all the time. And I’m grateful for that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *