Developing a Gratitude Practice
There are many ways that our animal friends help us to evolve and grow on our spiritual paths. One of the most obvious ways is that they show us so much unconditional love that we can experience feeling it for ourselves.
In this way, our beloved animals are like a key that can unlock our well-protected hearts. They help us to get into our heart-space and truly feel Love in a deep and genuine way. And in difficult times it can seem like they alone can help us to access this feeling in our lives.
It may be that this feeling of Love that you experience from and towards your animals is enough for you, or perhaps you’d like to explore how our animal friends can help us in deeper more meaningful ways. In more spiritual ways, in fact.
Starting to see our pets as spiritual beings is an important part of the process of our unfolding spiritual relationship with them. It’s one thing to recognize that they are spiritual beings, it’s quite another to treat them this way in every moment of every day. It may take quite a shift in our point of view to see them more as Soul Equals than creatures we have ownership over and responsibility for. Yes, we have taken different forms and have very different priorities of focus, but keep in mind the fact that animals live closer to their higher-selves than most of us ever manage to do!
Realizing that they are spiritual beings that are in our lives for specific purposes compels us to delve deeper, so that we can truly embrace and benefit from this guidance. Some of the lessons may be associated with certain behaviours or situations that they bring into our lives. These may challenge us to develop new ways of thinking or being, as we are required to make changes to accommodate the circumstances. Other lessons may come when they reflect back to us certain energies or behaviours within us, that we ourselves can’t see. In this way they force us to take a more honest and open-minded look at how we are and how we show up in the world.
Or the lesson may be that they help us to access certain thoughts or emotional experiences through being in our lives. This is the approach I like to take when it comes to feeling gratitude and giving thanks for the things around me.
Developing a Gratitude Practice is one way we can employ our relationships with our beloved animals for our own greater good and spiritual evolution. In a sense we can use our love for them to access a higher vibration.
Starting a Gratitude Journal and committing to making an entry every day is one way to do this. Making it a habit so that it becomes a part of your daily self-care routine, just as washing and brushing your teeth is, means that you are actively taking charge of the vibration you are beaming out into the world.
To do this, make a time when you and your animal friend can spend 10 minutes or so quietly together. If possible within each other’s physical energy field, but if this is not possible, for example if you are not in the same physical location or if your animal friend has transitioned, then hold an image of your animal steadily and lovingly in your memory or mind. You can look at a photo too.
Start by thanking your animal friend for being in your life, you can do this aloud or by saying the words in your mind. Tell them all the reasons you appreciate them. Tell them all the parts of them that you love. Tell them how they make you feel when you look at them or spend time with them. Tell them you know you are in each other’s lives for a reason, and that you are open to find out what, if they want to communicate with you. Notice any thoughts that pop into your head immediately after you say this. Many times our animals communicate with us in this way, sending us words, images or feelings that arrive quickly and often unexpectedly. Noticing them and trusting them will open you up to being able to communicate intuitively with your animals yourself.
Then, go to your journal and write out some of your thoughts about your animal friend. Write two or three of the things that they are or do that bring feelings of love and positivity into your life. Really focus on these and amplify the positive feelings and emotions that they bring forth. Spend a few minutes revelling in how much joy your animal makes you feel. Bring to mind too, how your animals feel joy. Notice how they live in the moment and truly appreciate even the smallest of pleasures with great gusto and enthusiasm. Look for areas in your life where you could take on this attitude of giving yourself over to the pleasure of the moment.
Each day re-read what you have written and add to the list.
Over the next few days, expand this voicing of gratitude out into the greater world. Start to notice and give thanks to the animals that you encounter as you go about your day. See the birds in the trees and rivers and thank them for being there doing their very important jobs of balancing nature. Notice the trees and other living things around you and give gratitude to them for providing us with a beautiful and supportive environment in which we can thrive.
At the close of the day, make a note in your Gratitude Journal of all the things you have noticed and sent loving, thankful thoughts to throughout the day. A simple list is enough, or give more details if it feels right and you can devote the time.
As we step into this “attitude of gratitude” as I’m sure you’ve heard it called, it raises our vibration and helps us to focus our attention and so our energy towards all the good things around us. Because the Law of Attraction reads our thoughts and feelings as energetic offerings, focusing our energy in this way formulates our point of attraction. As ‘like attracts like’ it means that the Universe will match our vibration and give us more of the same. In essence you are saying to the Universe that this is how you want to feel. The Universe matches this vibration of love and positivity and brings you more physical and material things to feel this way about.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel grateful or positive when you have physical or material challenges. But remember, the physical results you are experiencing today, are the result of your past vibrational offerings. Today is a new day, and one in which you can offer a new vibration, and start attracting new results.
This is the time that you can use the animals and other living things in your life, to help you to cross this bridge and break the cycle of negativity. Remember, where you place your attention is where your energy is flowing. And where your energy is flowing decides your point of attraction to which the Universe will respond.
As you start to bring all the positive aspects more into your daily awareness not only will you be attracting more good into your life, but you will also experience a shift of consciousness as you begin to perceive the things around you in a way that brings you closer to your higher-self.
So give it a go! Start a Gratitude Journal today and thank the animals around you for helping you to find and cherish the beautiful moments in your life.