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“What you feed grows and what you starve dies.” I was thinking about samskara (habits of the mind) today. Recalling gratitude throughout the day is such a powerful tool in developing healthy habits of the mind. I will feed my gratitude today and feelings of lack, loss and scarcity will diminish.
Generosity is a two part event. The giving and the receiving. Giving anonymously is good to exercise the former. In order to complete the cycle, however, there must be some exercising in the ability to receive; to receive with grace, with enthusiasm, with authenticity. Gratitude is a way to practice this. It completes the cycle of giving. The universe, the divine, your higher power, has given to you with open arms – no thought of reciprocity except to take, use and enjoy the gift. That’s it. So gratitude is the way to say thank you. Gratitude and engagement. Engage in the gift. The gift keeps on giving: as you practice gratitude you also create positive emotions in yourself.
The brain and nervous system relax and receive. You build habits of positive thought. While you are building positive thought you are avoiding negative thinking. This negative thinking; these habits of the mind referred to as samskara in yoga, harm us and harm our world. So the gift of receiving the grace of our higher power, being grateful, creates positive habits of the mind, which in return allows us to live in positive energy which is….a gift to the world. In receiving we are giving. Kind of a sweet connection to make. And by “feeding” the positive we encourage it to grow; at the same time “starving” the negative. So don’t delay – start your gratitude list today.

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This blog post was written by Kcyzy Hawk, author of Yoga and the Twelve Steps.