The practice of gratitude isn’t just a nice way to start your day; it’s a powerful path to peace and happiness. It’s time we understand that making love instead of war also requires warriors.
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Choosing vulnerability, positivity, generosity and gratitude instead of giving in to fear takes a warrior. It’s nice to be grateful but it’s also one of the most difficult and challenging things to practice when your path is a mine field of triggers and all people seem to want to do is set them off.
The discipline of observing, exploring and choosing the thoughts taking up precious real estate in your mind requires intensive, daily training. Understanding the workings of your habitual thinking and conditioned beliefs is like knowing the enemy’s plan before they attack. Making a positive, on-purpose practice of love, generosity and gratitude the way you interact with the world is the ultimate weapon. Killing them with kindness isn’t just a cute saying; it’s a fierce tenant of this kind of warrior. “You can’t nice this away.” said a wise soul to me. A word about boundaries. We need them.
Compromising yourself by pretending you don’t need them will get you squashed. So with the same love, awareness, and gratitude you build your day with, create boundaries with people that become your impenetrable armor. Just because gratitude is your default doesn’t mean you don’t need virus protection. Purchase the upgraded version. You may be nice, but you’re a warrior.
The following practices will help you create an attitude of gratitude and become a warrior of love:
1.Use awareness to observe your thoughts and beliefs moment to moment.
This is basic training, so you have to pass it before moving on to higher ranks. Get good at looking at what’s happening around you, what you’re thinking about it and what you’re feeling about it. Take notes (use a journal) to help you. Start to reflect and explore your world instead of reacting to it.
2.Begin to notice how thoughts make you feel.
When you go through your day your body will feel a certain way in every interaction. Start to notice how things make you feel. Understand the mind body connection and get really curious about it. Take notes (journal) about it daily.
3.Learn how feeling the body equals intuition.
You’ll start to up level your game when you notice thoughts have sensations and you’ll take it even farther when every thought you have gives you information about the scenario you are in and you find yourself “feeling” into the situation instead of thinking about it. This is the weapon of intuition. It’s the GPS system of your soul. It will direct you if you learn how to read the map.
4.Divide the feelings into “Yeses” and “No’s.”
Some feelings in you are a yes and some are a no. In general, some sensations feel heavy, smothering, restricting, tight, sticky or suffocating. And some feel light, free, weightless, easy, or flowing. Confusion and fogginess go in the no category. All of these sensations tell you something about the issue at hand. Start putting them into categories and figure out how to sort them so you’ll be clear when they show up and you need to make a decision.
5.Train yourself to know how the yeses and no’s serve you.
It doesn’t matter if you feel a yes or a no…each one serves you. If you’re trying to make a decision, or have a discussion, or choose your next step you’re being guided by the way your body feels in that moment. Learning when to use a yes or a no to your advantage and what the stakes are if you choose one over the other is a powerful tool in your day to day practice.
6.Choose different ways to think and believe that serve your peace and happiness.
When you can “see” the thoughts in your head and you can feel their connection in your body as a sensation, you have a choice. Some stuff is there to be felt and healed. Some stuff is there to give you the opportunity to choose differently. What will you choose? Will you prioritize yourself? Will you choose what is right and true for you? Or will you choose what you’re supposed to choose, think, feel and be? Will you judge and react or will you feel and respond?
7.Set firm boundaries.
Boundaries are there to protect you. When you choose gratitude and love as your way of being, it can seem like you shouldn’t have boundaries, but the opposite is true. You need beefy ones. When you’re attacked with negativity and the doubt, fear and shame come at you you’ll need some fierce armor in place to help you stay grounded in your purpose and mission. Set boundaries that help remind you what you stand for, what you’re fighting for and the bigger mission you have for your life. It doesn’t serve you or the people you’re helping to be squashed because you don’t know how to set boundaries.
8.Be fierce when it comes to your attitude.
Don’t apologize for being you. Figure out what you’re about and then go be it without compromising yourself. Can love, generosity, gratitude and joy be fierce? Yes. A warrior has to stand strong in what they believe, no matter what that is. You’ll wonder, you’ll doubt, you’ll be tricked into believing what others believe…and that’s when you go back to basic training. Stay awake and aware and remind yourself what it is that matters to you. Half the battle is in your mind. The other half is in the other part of your mind. Be vigilant. Be brave. Be consistent in your practice.
9.Notice how you judge others ways of being.
Notice what other people do, think and say and realize it has nothing to do with you. Notice how you judge them. This will be the stealthiest land mine. Just when you think you’ve got this warrior thing down you’ll be blindsided by what someone does or says. It will sabotage your training. It will test you over and over again. This is the battleground of the warrior. This also warrants a visit back to basic training so you can observe and feel what’s happening. Rely on that training and trust what you feel to guide you. Your personal conversations will be where you win or lose this game, but the conversation you have in your head about it first will be the secret weapon.
10.Fight for positivity, generosity, gratitude and love with all you have got.
Don’t back out of this fight because you think nobody cares or is paying attention or the world is hopeless. They’re counting on you to back out. They think gratitude, love and happiness are for hippies. They think we don’t understand the fight. They think we are weak. They think we’re irresponsible, head-in-the-clouds, unicorn-loving peace makers (and we are). They don’t respectthe power we yield. Especially when we band together.
Keep standing tall inside of your worth and power. Honor your mission of love and gratitude. Pull out your purposeful weapons of positivity, generosity, and awareness and join hands with others doing the same thing. Support each other. Warriors are more powerful in numbers and this kind of warrior tribe can heal the world.