During extreme adversity, we can still look through a lens of love.

Pure gratitude opens us to experiencing grace—that is, the awe-inspiring awareness of the gift of being alive. Through the eyes of pure gratitude, everything looks more beautiful. We are touched with awe.

Lessons learned for unlocking and experiencing the pure and simple gratitude of being which people may find especially helpful in these times:

Knowing what inspires you the most.

It’s all about perspective; we can decide how we want to see our situation. Practice this feeling and nurture the awareness it creates. You can even have fun with it by asking yourself questions such as: What inspires you more or differently? Buying a new car or the smile of an elderly neighbor you have called on to just see how she has been doing?

You can ask yourself the same question as applied to other situations, too, and make a list of the things that inspire you most. Chances are, they are not material, but instead, have to do with human connections and moments spent together with others. Appreciating the profound joy in these moments will bring immense gratitude is one key to experiencing pure gratitude.

Seek and You Shall Find.

Goodness can be found all around us if we seek it out. But we tend to forget that. If we try acknowledging and celebrating this goodness wherever it is present. One way to do this is to thank everybody present before a meal and acknowledge any special events that may have occurred since you were last together: birthdays, new jobs, new children or grandchildren.  Also, it helps when you give thanks to those who are less fortunate and do not have family, food or love surrounding them.

Come up with some creative ideas to celebrate the joys around you in the midst of unrest. Why not do something special to join in the fun. The point is this—keep yourself in the spirit of things that keeps you connected to friends and loved ones.

Surround yourself with like-minded people.

We can influence others by being our best selves, and can become better, more grateful people by surrounding ourselves with others who do the same.

We are at our best and feel most grateful when we have more to give to the world. But if we find that the people we’re spending time with are making us feel drained or don’t live in a place of gratitude themselves, gratitude can be hard to experience. Allow yourself to decide how much time you’ll spend with people who have that effect on you, and to limit it as needed. On the flip side, indulge in spending time abundantly with people who you feel grateful simply to be with.

Free yourself to connect more with gratitude

If you find yourself spending time or energy worrying about your things—how to care for them, the expenditures they require, where to store them—they are getting in the way of your experience of the gratitude of being. Letting go of them will free you to connect with gratitude more profoundly. It also brings an opportunity to remember the joy each thing once brought you, to be grateful for the memories of those times and to imagine the joy these things might bring to a new owner.

Anyone of these four steps has the potential to unlock a new level of gratitude. Taken together, they can unlock a beautiful way to simply be.

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