HandsOffThis past week I hosted our annual staff appreciation dinner! Every year we gather to celebrate the year that has past and to look forward to the one in front of us. Every year the same thing happens for me. I am filled with gratitude.

And as much as gratitude is a part of my life, I realize I also have it connected to a control switch. Meaning, if it feels like I am too grateful, it will trigger something that disrupts my gratitude. Or, that if I am grateful all the time.., my gratitude is diminished. So I attempt to keep my gratitude dialed into an acceptable range! Oh my…

Now mind you, this is not all the time. But I catch myself doing it frequently enough that it puzzles me. I know better! Of all the generating energies we can embody, gratitude is probably the most potent. When we embrace and lean into our gratitude it expands and so does our ability to imagine, envision and create. So the more we are aligned with our gratitude, the easier it is to manifest and actualize our goals and desires.

So why would I want to limit or control my gratitude?

It makes me think about another situation that has me question the value of many spiritual teachings. The “I only experience Love” phenomenon. As if being able to feel and express only one emotion should be a goal. It kinda creeps me out. Saying “I only feel love” is like saying “I am always in neutral”.

The real growth and expansion we seek is achieved by learning to dance with ALL of our emotions. There are no good ones or bad ones. They are all part of our human experience. They are the most real thing in our lives. Our thoughts or what we perceive in the physical are all molded and shaped by our beliefs, biases, past experiences and backgrounds. We shape what we think and or experience… these are our perceptions.

But our emotions… they just are. And, they are unique to each of us!

Now many of us have looked at our responses to various emotional situations. For many it was the beginning of the journey to unraveling our beliefs or attitudes about our reaction to these situations or recurring patterns in our lives.. Perhaps trying to understand the triggers or limitations they create. We even, over time, begin to shift of change our automatic emotional response(s) to these situations. We slowly replace reactionary emotions with those that are more aligned with where we are in our journey. We respond in a different more authentic way based on our current level of personal awareness.

intentionallivingWhat we are doing is becoming conscious of our own values and beliefs. Not trying to reduce the number of emotions we experience. Our emotions are what fuels and guides us to our next level of awareness. So if we are stuck in a paradigm where we can only experience ‘Love’… than we have likely stunted our own growth.

It is this perspective (and I get that this may only be my perspective!), that I think affects my willingness to hangout in the energy of gratitude! That somehow, if I only feel gratitude, than I am not being honest with myself.

I know, I know… it is short sighted. But at least today I am aware that I am susceptible to trying to change or control the emotional state of gratitude…, and what I am doing is no different than those who see themselves as ‘only’ experiencing “Love and Light”. I am actually limiting the generating energies of gratitude! One of the many delicious emotions available to us everyday.

So today I am taking my hands off the controls. Today I am grateful.

With Light, Love, and Laughter