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Expanding Our Understanding of Gratitude

Article by Angie Webster

An important part of learning and practicing Reiki is working with the Reiki precepts. While hands on healing will help us greatly as we do self-Reiki and receive Reiki from others, the more we meditate with the precepts and explore what they mean in our own personal lives, the more our healing can progress. The precepts are about our own growth, expansion and awareness. They help awaken our understanding of our true inner nature, seeing the Divine in our own heart. Through this practice we can heal any areas of blockage, illusion or separation.

The precept about gratitude states: Just for today, I will be filled with gratitude for all my many blessings. There are many ways to understand this precept and the healing that gratitude can bring to our lives. Gratitude is a very expansive energy that brings opening and makes room for more good to come in. When you are grateful for something, it is something like sending out an energetic invitation for similar situations or energy states to follow.

Gratitude is an energy that is similar to love and joy and it feels warm and wonderful in your heart and in your body. It feels like opening and allowing light to pour in. It makes me think of the way I feel when I look up at a beautiful blue sky with gorgeous fluffy clouds on a sunny day. No constriction; just freedom, peace and clarity. Gratitude is based in the present moment, yet it opens the way for Source to shower more joy upon you.

Expanding Our Understanding of Gratitude

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For a long time, gratitude was one of the precepts that I didn’t think I needed to work with as much as the others. I felt I understood gratitude. However, I continued to meditate on all of the precepts and over time I began to be aware of something in myself. My understanding of gratitude was based in lack. I was very grateful for many things, but it was nearly always because I was fearful of its opposite or I wished to avoid the loss of what I had. For example, if I was grateful for my home, it was because I didn’t want to live in someplace worse or be homeless. If I was grateful for my food, it was because I remembered times when I had been hungry. If I was grateful for a happy time with a friend, my thinking would shift to lonely times that I didn’t want to return to. My gratitude was intertwined with worry and constriction, and I didn’t even realize it! I was stuck in fears from the past, resurrecting themselves in the future in my mind.

I also realized that I felt that gratitude was something I was supposed to do when something good happened to me in order to ward off the bad things. It was as if I subconsciously felt I would avoid punishment if I was just thankful enough. This view of the world left me in the role of a victim of a very hostile and abusive God. I know that is not the case. However, when I constricted my energy by being fearful, I was no longer allowing gratitude to flow through me. I was only focusing on what I didn’t want, rather than on the beautiful gift in front of me. I was narrowing my own energy channels and essentially refusing the gift I had been given.

If you think of giving a gift to someone, when that person is receptive of the gift and you can feel the joy radiating from them, then you will feel open to giving them more gifts like that one. Their joy communicates that they are open to receiving. You will feel joy as well and will want to give them more gifts in the future. Those are the energy signals you are exchanging with each other. If you gave someone a gift and they thanked you, but you could feel tension or they seemed reserved in some way, you would be unlikely to offer the same type of gift again, out of respect for their comfort. You might feel that you had given them the wrong gift or that they were not open to receiving gifts from you at all. Their tension and lack of joy communicates that the channel for receiving is either closed or is not open to what was given.

This is how gratitude works. It send out a signal of joy and openness to the Universe that our channels are open to what we have received. The Universe happily responds by offering more gifts and, through the energy of gratitude, our energy channels are open to receiving them. Gratitude simply feels good to experience. It is not a state of resistance and contraction. It is not avoidance of harm or lack. Gratitude is bliss in our blessings. It is awe in our abundance, material or spiritual. When we live in true gratitude, we open to it more and more. We begin to feel joy and wonder for all things.

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Angie Webster
Angie Webster

Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).

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