Gratitude Increases Ki
One of the strongest Ki boosting practices we can do is feel and express gratitude. Here’s a little exercise so you can get what I mean: connect the tip of your index and thumb fingers of both hands and connect the fingers together. Your hands would look like two interlinking circles. Now close your eyes and spend a couple moments thinking about who and what you’re grateful. Wait until you feel the sense of gratitude rise up within you, then try pulling your fingers apart. You’re trying to keep the index and thumb linked on both hands as you try to pull them apart. Did the fingers stay linked? Probably so. You may have even noticed how rock solid they felt too, like “there ain’t no way these fingers are comin’ apart!”
Ok, let’s try the opposite sensation of gratitude; think of the last time you were deceived, betrayed, ripped off, taken advantage of or someone you just plane don’t like. The point is to bring to mind things that upset and make you feel you’re far from grateful. Once you feel far from grateful try pulling the fingers apart. Did they unlink? For most of us they did, for the strong-fingered type determine not to let the hands come apart, you may have noticed how much harder you had to try this time around. Or that the fingers slid apart a little., actually unlinking.
The body becoming strong is an example of harmonious Ki. The body weakening is obviously a demonstration of the opposite, of diminished Ki. The point of this exercise is to demonstrate how gratitude affects your Ki. It bolsters it, makes it stronger, more vibrant. When you feel grateful for something, don’t you feel a warm feeling wash over you that feels so calm and comforting? So, why aren’t we offering more gratitude to the world? To the people whom we’re grateful for?
I’ll give you my answer to that question. Often times I don’t express gratitude because it makes me feel vulnerable. Feeling vulnerable makes me feel insecure, which also makes me afraid. As backwards as it may seem to be afraid to tell someone how much they mean to me or how thankful I am for things they’ve done, it’s true. Not to mention, when I do feel grateful for someone, truly grateful, it’s a big feeling. Sometimes when I try to convey in words how that big feeling feels, the force of it being expressed just makes me breakdown and cry. When that happens, I go from feeling vulnerable and afraid to also feeling stupid. Those are all reasons to avoid expressing gratitude, right?
Now, if you’ve read some of my earlier blogs, you know that my personal mantra is “fuck it, do it anyway.” As unyogic as it may seem to you or as offensive as those words may be to your sensibilities, it’s the God’s honest truth, as some would say. Those five words govern my life. Why? Because life is full of fear and whenever I feel too afraid to do something, I recite this mantra, bolstering my Ki and my resiliency, and I go ahead and do it anyway. On more than one occasion, I’ve turned this mantra on my fear of expressing gratitude, of seeming silly for appreciating someone or something so much. The result? I told them how grateful I was anyway. Sometimes after doing so, I still feel a little stupid, but it’s events like Las Vegas and the like that remind me that it’s a measly fear worth facing should I never get the opportunity to tell someone again.
It’s a pretty simple equation Gratitude + Someone = Vulnerability, but when you divide Vulnerability by Gratitude it equals changing Someone’s life...if only in a small way. Furthermore, this isn’t an entirely altruistic act! Because when we share gratitude it boosts our own Ki. It makes us stronger energetically, braver mentally and happier emotionally.
It has been a longtime goal to express gratitude to everyone as soon as I feel it for him or her; whether that is in the form of words in the moment or expressed later in an email or card. This is harder than it seems! Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum of life or even the drama of it. For this reason, I’ve made it my goal in October to express gratitude to everyone that deserves to hear it. I wonder if you’ll join me in this practice? I can promise you two things if you do: you’ll change at least one person’s life and you’ll feel all the benefits of strongly boosting your Ki.