• Irene Quintavalle

Gratitude is the e_motion of the heart


People generally learn gratitude after great losses or great traumas. In fact I started practicing gratitude while myself going through a great moment of loss, I was being stripped away by certainties and basic needs. Although we don’t have to go through pain to feel and practice gratitude, life give us a waken call, and gratitude, for sure, has been the greatest learning I have had.


Gratitude brings joy.


After a while of practicing gratitude, writing down one thing I was grateful for each day, my days suddenly became filled with moment of warmth and sparkles of joy. During the day, I now often think: "oh this one is going to be the gratitude for the day."

I know people who write three or five gratitude moments every day, and it is not difficult for me to believe there are at least as many, and recognizing even ONE a day, will definitely change your life.

I became more appreciative of the simplicity of life. When this happened, possibilities expanded, joy expanded, and beauty became so apparent, everywhere. I learnt then to look out for beauty, even in the difficult moments. Not to escape from them, not to avoid them, but as an anchor to remember that beauty still exists, and with it, hope, possibility, courage. Gratitude is courage my friend. Is the courage of finding something good when everything around is falling apart. Gratitude is the e_motion of the heart. It is what opens the heart when it's contracted.


Gratitude often makes me feel less alone. Gratitude fills the space I often occupied by ‘never enough’. It transforms those spaces in ‘good enough’, in ‘more than enough’. Gratitude washes away regrets. If you are grateful of what is presenting in each moment, you cannot possibly have regrets. You don’t seek to grasp what you missed. You acknowledge the living experience, you give the importance and the presence that it has. And in doing so, you carry that special moment in your heart, with joy, and won’t seek for a better one. Gratitude keeps you in the present. It brings all of yourself in the here and now. When you are in the here and now, things are more manageable, less stressful, less scary. You come back to your body. To presence. To your center.


When I pause to think about my daily gratitude, lots of moments come through: how good is a warm cup of tea. How beautiful was to see the sun today. How peaceful is the sound of the rain on the roof. That dog running after his ball, the embodiment of a moment of joy and connection with his owner. Witnessing a couple holding hands. Knowing I am healthy, I can walk, I have a roof under my head and food in my fridge. Meeting with a dear friend today. Encountering a new friend today. Getting in bed when tiredness comes into my system. My father and my mother, who gave me life, and love me no matter what. My nephew’s voice saying ‘ciao zia’ (hi auntie) over the phone. God painting the sky at sunset. The beauty of a flower blossoming. This...


And then, there are extraordinary moments that happen. So I write about those too.


Gratitude is love. Is an immense step towards self-love. Gratitude is to see and let yourself be seen. Gratitude is a powerful tool that we can all access. We just have to say it.


Thank you my friend for reading, thank you for being part of this incredible journey that is life.

In love,

Irene

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