“It’s not what happens to you, but how you choose to react to it that matters.”

 – Epictetus


Hi This is Oakley Ogden and in this practice, I’ll refer to our last session and build on it, helping us flex our gratitude muscles. The more we practice flexing our gratitude muscles in the face of triggers, the stronger we get, and the stronger we get, the more opportunity we give ourselves to step out of reaction and choose our response to the world around us.

So let’s get started.

Close the eyes, and take a deep breath. Let it out with a sigh. Two more. Inhale together, and exhale with a sigh. Last one, inhale, and easy exhale. Relax the body, forehead, jaw, shoulders and arms, hips and legs. Give yourself over to gravity just a little bit more.

And now picture before you a person, place, or thing, that brings a smile to your face. It can also be a memory of a time or event that brings a smile to your face. Using the power of imagination, visualize that thing in front of you. Really see it, and allow your heart to expand through the feeling of gratitude. I’m so grateful for X b/c X. Im so grateful for my pet b/c she’s taught me unconditional love. Im so grateful for the food I have b/c it nourishes my body which allows me to be active during my day. Im so grateful for …. b/c ….

Now relax the mind, and just breath in the heart, growing the feeling of gratitude and the expansion of your heart with every inhale and exhale. Feel the gratitude expanding past your own body and beginning to illuminate the space around you. Really and truly, let yourself feel and see this vibration of gratitude shine through you and around you.

And now, offer this gratitude to the person, place, or thing in front of you that you were working with and simply witness what happens for you…. Again, breathe.

Now move the person, place or thing, to the side, and bring forth a stressor or source of tension in your life; this is a new person, place, or thing that triggers you. And without losing your state, place this stressor in front of you… and pour over it, like water, the gratitude you’ve cultivated. You can do it. You have nothing to lose. You are a lantern, shining your light onto this person, place, or thing before you.

Good. Now let the stressor go and bring back before you the person, place, of thing that brings a smile to your face… and breath. I am so grateful for X b/c …. And breath. Inhaling and exhaling.

Remember that gratitude always lives inside of us. Some things bring it out in us while others can trigger different emotions. By flexing our gratitude muscle, like we just did, we can become stronger in the face of triggers and begin to define our emotional reality rather than have it dictated for us.

We can’t change what happens in life, but we can change how we respond to what happens.

In our next session, we will take this even further into the world of manifestation. . .