“Just be grateful for what you have.” I’ve been told that many times in my life. And it used to annoy me cause my life felt so hard. Then in my late 20s I thought I’d give the gratitude thing a try. After all, I kept reading about it in self-help books. Well I kept a gratitude journal for awhile. And I tried my best to feel grateful for the little things in my life. But I never seemed to feel much better from those attempts.

Until a few years back when I finally got to experience what deep felt gratitude can be like. It was down in Peru. How did it happen? It was sparked by an ayahuasca ceremony. That is specifically why I went to Peru. I felt compelled to attend an ayahuasca retreat that year.

Well, the morning after my ayahuasca ceremony I woke up very early. I heard the soothing sound of birds chirping. And as I sat up I noticed the sun was just starting to rise. I already felt good because I had a profound experience the night before.

So I got up and decided to walk around the property where I was staying. No one else was up yet and the entire area felt very peaceful and calm. This retreat was a simple but magnificent private property in the Sacred Valley outside of Cusco. We were surrounded by mountains and the scenery was spectacular by itself.

But after what I’d been through the night before…this landscape felt very different to me. First off, as I walked into the yard and breathed in as the birds continued to sing, it was as if their music filled my chest cavity with glorious sensations I’d never felt before. It became a beautifully bone chilling sensation of connection. Connection to the birds. And it then turned into deep blasts of gratitude throughout my body. Gratitude for being connected to these amazing creatures. Gratitude for being a live. This got so overwhelming that I burst into tears.

Tears that for the first time in my life were from gratitude. Tears that were uncontrollable. I had only cried before that for things that made me feel sad or depressed. This was an entirely new way to cry.

As the tears slowed down a bit, I shifted my attention to the flowers on the bushes near me. And for the first time, I not only saw the color of these flowers with more of a vibrant luster than I remembered but I felt one with the flowers. And that too caused me to explode into tremendous tears of gratitude.

And this continued as I walked around the property. I cried tears of gratitude for the trees, for the mountains, for the clouds, for my body and the fact that I am a living, breathing human.

Now you may read that and think, ‘C’mon, that’s sound exaggerated.’ And I totally get that. The old me was probably even more skeptical.

But let me tell you, that type of core connecting gratitude is not only possible…I now believe it is you birthright. I believe all of us have the ability to experience that and should make an effort to do so.

A big part of getting there is accepting that it is a possibility for you. Also, you can easily watch the show “Human Planet” and connect with some real gratitude. It is streaming on Netflix and is an incredible show that documented the lives of people in some of the most extreme climates on earth. 

I’m convinced you can find profound gratitude without going to the extremes of ayahuasca. Give it a shot and I bet you’ll be surprised what you find.

I appreciate you reading this post. If you enjoyed it…

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The Surprising Power of Gratitude

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