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Why is everyone into gratitude: 10 critical benefits and 13 easy practices that really work.

awareness better life better life tips coaching habits happiness meditation mindfulness relationships suffering Nov 27, 2019
10 critical benefits and 13 easy practices that really work better life b-air

(By Eldad Ben-Moshe)

Loved ones ❤


Anger, frustration, depression, stress, anxiety…

Not exactly what comes to mind when you’re thinking about gratitude and giving thanks, is it?

More to the point, it’s the opposite of what gratitude feels like.
It’s the opposite of what it brings to your life.

That's because It’s the opposite of what gratitude brings to your life.

The benefits related to gratitude and being thankful are many and surprising.
Did you know, for example, that gratitude can even change
the neural structures in your brain?

And if you wanted to, would you know how to practice gratitude so that
you’d cultivate more of it in your life,
and get to experience the many benefits it brings?

That’s what this post is all about.
So if that's what you want, keep reading and make the best of it.


In this blog post, you’ll learn:


“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving.”

– Proverb


What’s the deal with gratitude?
Why is everyone into that?


Giving thanks is one of the most powerful things you can do to have a happier, better life.

It's something I've been doing daily for at least 15 years
(yes, giving thanks is that good),
so I’m talking from personal experience. 

It affected my life so profoundly that I declared it as one of
my 18 best tips for a happier, better life (click here to read them all).

In fact, it was mentioned both in tip #2 and tip #3. 

It’s so powerful that I recently upped my game with that.  
I used to do it 3 times a day, before each meal, and recently I added
it to my morning ritual, and again before I go to sleep.


So what’s the deal with gratitude?


We all want to live a happier, better life.

Many times we seek it outside, in the world.
More money, a new car, a bigger house, relationships…

The interesting thing to keep in mind is that we do that no matter
how much we already have.

So once you'll get that thing you want now?
You’ll still want more. You'll still be unsatisfied.
That’s just how our mind’s game goes.

Unless you do your inner work on that,
this automatic mechanism will control your mind,
and keep happiness always one step away.

The Course in Miracles calls it 'The ego’s salvation plan' which, simply put, says 'When I’ll have that, I’ll be happy', or in the Course in Miracle's words, "If this were different, I would be saved.":


"The ego’s plan for salvation centers around holding grievances.
It maintains that, if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved. Thus, the source of salvation is constantly perceived as outside yourself.

Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, “If this were different, I would be saved.” The change of mind necessary for salvation is thus demanded of everyone and everything except yourself."

- A Course in Miracles, Workbook, Lesson 71


Lao Tsu says the same thing just as beautifully: 

“He who knows when it is enough, always has enough” 

- Lao Tsu, The Tao Te Ching


Gratitude, on the other hand, is giving thanks for what you already have.

That does not mean you’ll never want anything else,
or you ’shouldn’t’ have hopes, dreams, aspirations, and goals.
Both as a coach and a person, I do not subscribe to that.

But it keeps your mind from forgetting all the good you have going,
and from focusing only on what’s lacking, what’s missing, what you desire.

It keeps you from believing that your happiness depends on achieving or
obtaining this or that. It keeps you away from the ego’s false salvation plan,
a plan that never works.


Seek not outside yourself.
For it will fail, and you will weep each time an idol falls... 

Seek not outside yourself.
For all your pain comes simply from a futile search for what you want,
insisting where it must be found. 

What if it is not there?
Do you prefer that you be right or happy? “

- A Course in Miracles, Text-29.VII.1


Dr. Robert A. Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of Davis, California,
is one of the most dominant gratitude researchers. 

He calls gratitude “the forgotten factor in the science of well-being,"
stating that “For too long, the concept of gratitude had been ignored.” 

So what we can do is to foster a state of gratitude by developing a habit of
being thankful for what we already got.
Not instead of wanting to evolve and live a better life, but alongside it.


How come giving thanks actually work.


Now you might ask yourself (or me) -
‘Eldad, why is giving thanks so powerful?
How come being grateful helps me live a happier, better life?’

Well, I’m happy you ‘asked’… ;-)

Scientists, psychologists, and spiritual teachings all try to tackle this question
from their perspective. The thing that they all agree on though is simple:
It does work.

Gratitude, giving thanks, really does make your life happier and better.
Which is precisely why they all try to explore how it works.

The main reason is that
you see, feel, and experience the results of your thinking.
So when you focus on what’s 'bad,' painful, and ‘wrong’?
You’ll add to your misery. 

Gratitude simply shifts your focus.
If you focus on the good things, you’ll be adding joy and hope to your life.

It’s like pushing the clouds away so that you could see the sun that’s behind them.
In turn, the sun will come in and light up the picture of reality that
you have in your mind. 

In a way, giving thanks changes the way we see the world, ourselves, and others.


Now listen carefully because this is important:

  1. I’m NOT talking about ‘fake it until you make it.’
    Don’t make up good things.
    Focus and see what really is good in your life.
    We want to keep it real, not to create artificial bypasses and live in illusions.

  2. I’m  NOT saying you should ignore what’s painful, what you want to change,
    and just sit there and pretend to be happy with it all.
    Not at all.

    I help people live a happier, better life both through teaching and through coaching.
    I’ll never tell people to ignore what’s bothering them. 

    But studying and practicing psychological and spiritual paths since 2003,
    I’ve learned a thing or two about how our mind works.

    And I know how our mind can focus on what’s bad, 
    ignore (or even deny) the good stuff,
    and make things look worse than they are.

Imagine a painting with sunny blue skies to the left,
and grey storm clouds coming in from the right.

Now narrow the painting’s frame to include only the right
part of the painting - only the grey, stormy skies.

This is what the mind does ever so often.
And what you focus on is what you’ll see -
even though the blue skies and the sun are still there.

If you’re an enneagram type 7, you might not focus on the painful things,
but instead, you’re likely to ignore them and run away from them.
But ignoring the pain doesn’t make it go away, does it?

It’s not a healthy long term strategy.
But having gratitude for the good things while dealing with the pain is.

On the physiological level, things get quite surprising.

One of the most exciting findings is that gratitude has a long-lasting effect
on our biological
functioning – especially the brain and the nervous system.  

Moreover, according to
The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center of UCLA,
can even change the neural structures in our brain (!)
and make us feel happier and more content.

Gratitude also enhances the work of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine,
which manage our emotions, anxiety, how ‘good’ we feel,
and immediate stress responses.

Further research suggests that gratitude benefits the immune system. 

In short, while any research can be argued, and I'm no science expert,
more and more evidence is coming from the scientific world on the benefits
and influences of gratitude.

I must be honest, too -
I did not sit and read the research, which is why I won’t quote them or post
references to them. I’m not a scientist, it’s not my game.

But I didn’t make anything up.
Everything that you’ll read here is a result of my research and studies on gratitude,
and it resonates as true to me as someone who is practicing and studying since 2003.

In a way, you can say that I’m not trying to prove anything scientifically,
but rather to paint a picture. Do with that as you will.

And if only half, or even 10%, of what I'm writing here is accurate?
It’s still so beneficial that you might want to stop reading and start practicing.



What Are The Benefits of Gratitude
(or Why Should I Cultivate Gratitude)?


As a coach and someone who’s been studying how our mind works for many years,
I know it’s all about the motivation,
the ‘why should I do it?’ or ‘what’s in it for me?’. 

Ok, maybe not all, but it’s a massive piece of the puzzle.

So let’s
take a look at some of the main benefits that giving thanks,
or gratitude, generates for us. 

As we go over them, you’ll see that there are 3 types of benefits:

Psychological benefits

These include happiness, mental strength, motivation, bouncing back from misfortunes, etc.

Simply put, positive psychology relates to gratitude as acknowledging the good things of life.

Whether you’re thanking someone else, yourself, your luck, or god,
your mind is focused on what’s good, and that makes you feel satisfaction & happiness.
Pretty simple and straightforward, right?

Physical benefits-

These include our physical health as well as the physiological effects
of psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression.


Social benefits-

Including relationships, communication, empathy, etc.


1 - Giving thanks makes you feel happier.

Simple, but the search for happiness (and the avoidance of pain)
is in the background of everything we do.
So it’s kind of a big deal.

Expressing gratitude, to others and to ourselves as well,
often brings feelings of happiness, optimism, and even bliss.

While this is an obvious result that is easy for anyone to experience and see,
positive psychology research seems to strongly and consistently support
that observation.

It is sometimes even said that
gratitude is a ‘natural antidepressant.’ 


“It is not happiness that brings us gratitude.
It is gratitude that brings us happiness.”


2 - Gratitude helps you have more relationships.

Showing gratitude to new acquaintances is highly likely to win you new friends,
as they’re more likely to want a relationship with you. 

Yes, there is research about it, but do we really need them to know that it’s true?


3 - Gratitude helps you improve existing relationships.

Similarly, showing gratitude to your friends and family is likely
to make them feel happier about their relationship with you, as 
showing gratitude to others makes them feel good.

Furthermore, giving thanks can be done from a very selfless place.
Selflessness is likely to make your friends and family appreciate you
and love you more, just like selfishness is expected to do the opposite. 

Some studies have looked at how gratitude can improve relationships.

For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express
gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person,
but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.


4 - Gratitude improves physical health. 

Gratitude is being linked by research to having fewer pains, feeling better,
taking better care of your health, slowing down the aging process,
and even with benefits to the heart and blood pressure
(according to the book “Gratitude Works!” by Dr. Emmons.)


5 - Gratitude improves psychological health.

Gratitude is reported to increase empathy and reduce toxic emotions
such as aggression, guilt, shame, envy, frustration, regret, resentment,
and the desire for revenge.

Gratitude is also shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress (checked by
measuring the levels of cortisol), improve heart function, and increase mental
and emotional resilience to painful experiences. 

It seems that giving thanks and appreciation rewires our brain to deal with
in a healthier, more mindful way. 

I would not have thought it rewires our brian myself,
but I was really not surprised when I found out about it.


 6 - Giving thanks improves your self-esteem.

One of the reasons for this is that being grateful for what you have,
you compare less to others, and have less of that ‘neighbor’s grass is
always greener’ effect. 

Additionally, appreciating what you have often leads to appreciating
yourself more, which leads to a better sense of confidence and self-image.


7 - Gratitude improves sleep quality.

Research from 2009 found that giving and receiving kindness, including gratitude,
activates the hypothalamus - an area in the center of the brain
plays a part in many
essential functions of the body.

Sleep cycles, your sex drive, emotions, appetite, digestive juices, and even
weight control, to name a few.

you might already know that it’s recommended to do spiritual practices such as
meditation both in the morning and before going to sleep.

For similar reasons, I recommend giving thanks not only during the day but
going to sleep as well. 
It does make a significant impact.

And if the research about the
hypothalamus is right,
this sounds like even more solid advice than I knew.


8 - Thankfulness makes you a more positive person.

Just like being grumpy and angry breeds more dissatisfaction in your life,
so does gratitude bring more positivity. 

As the saying goes- “where your attention goes, your energy flows.”
You don't have to be a new-age hippie to agree with that -
simply replace the word 'energy' with thoughts, emotions, or mood.


9 - Gratitude increases mental strength.

Studies show that gratitude (and other positive feelings) reduce the levels of cortisol -
our ‘stress hormone,’ and even helps significantly with overcoming trauma.

For example, a study from 2006 found a correlation between gratitude and lower rates
of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) amongst Vietnam War veterans.

Seeing the positive things and focusing on solutions are in common to both giving thanks
and mental resilience, so the correlations studies are finding are not surprising at all.

Other research, from 2015, suggests that gratitude is effective in treating depression as well.
Since gratitude affects both our
psychological and a neurochemical state,
both of which are causing depression, this does not seem far fetched either.


“It is impossible to feel depressed and grateful at the same moment”
– Naomi Williams


10 - Gratitude improves (& saves ) your marriage.

Imagine this:

You’re having another fight with your partner
(never happens, I know. That’s why I said 'imagine'…). 

See the fight. Hear the arguments.
Maybe you’re reliving something that already happened.
Maybe you’re projecting something new.

Either way, see what that makes you think of your partner.
How it makes you feel towards him or her.
And see how that keeps adding to your anger, frustration, or whatever it is you’re feeling.

Now, instead, take a deep breath (or more),
and find the things you’re grateful for in your partner.
Focus on that.

Give thanks to your partner, in your mind, for the good things.
And notice how that makes you feel.

Now that you’ve experienced a small taste of the difference in the feelings you
have towards your partner in each scenario, imagine the conversation you’ll
have with them in each scenario as well. 

What will it look like to talk to them from an angry, frustrated place?
How will that feel?

What will it look like to talk to them from a state of gratitude?
How will that feel?

This is not a small thing.
This difference is one of the things that can save - or break -
any relationship, and especially romantic ones.

It’s not easy doing this in the heat of a fight.
If you can - do it.
If you didn’t make it - do it the first time you can after the fight is over.

How can you practice - and experience - more gratitude in your life?

Now that you know the many benefits of gratitude and giving thanks,
or the 'why', you might want to know all about the 'how'.

Different factors affect our level of gratitude.
The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, California, did a study
with over 2000 participants.

They found a correlation between factors such as gender, age,
employment status, and spirituality to experiencing gratitude.

Here's what their findings look like:



 (Source of data & graphs: Greater good magazine,
the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, California)

But regardless of your gender, age, etc., 
there are practices you can do to help you experience more gratitude.

And with such indispensable psychological, physiological, and social benefits as
we’ve seen above, practicing and cultivating more gratitude in
life is very well worth your time.


13 easy practices for cultivating gratitude that really work.


1 - My Personal Daily Practice.

As mentioned above, I used to give thanks  3 times a day - before each meal.
I was just saying thanks for whatever came to my mind at that time.

I love it because it's really easy to forget to practice during our oh-so-busy lives,
and food is a constant daily break,
so it's easy to remember and cultivate the habit this way.

I still do that, but recently I also started naming 10 things I’m
thankful for in my morning ritual,
and again before I go to sleep.  

To learn more about my personal practice,
click here to read about my 18 best tips for a happier, better life
(check out tip #2 and tip #3 for my gratitude practice).

But why limit yourself only to what I do? 

Sometimes what’s attractive for one isn’t so for the other.
And what’s working great for me, might not do it for you. 

So as a coach and a perpetual student,
I gathered up some other noteworthy
for you to choose from.

I do practice some of them occasionally.
The others work for my clients,
or seem to me like they’re highly likely to work.


2 - Self-appreciation. 

Come up with at least 5 things you appreciate about yourself.

Most effective when done as soon as you can after waking up,
in front of a mirror.

Some say it’s better to say these things out loud,
but I'm doing it internally and still feel great benefit from doing that
(I sometimes practice this myself, and I aim at 2 minutes)


3 - Gratitude Journal.

That’s the big thing nowadays, and for a good reason.
Journaling, or even the occasional writing, certainly bring results.
It has a releasing, healing effect as well.

You can do it in a dedicated journal, in voice recordings,
in a document on your computer, or in a phone app -
whatever works best for you.

As always, done is better than perfect
(if there’s even such a thing as perfect at all).

The important thing is to focus on the things and people you’re
grateful for (big and small, past and present), and make a note
of that in a tangible form.

That can be writing, recording, typing - 
whatever way works for you.
Just take it a step further than merely thinking about it.

A big fat bonus is to write
why you’re thankful for it as well.

The 'why' takes the practice deeper and makes all the
difference in the world.
Trust me on this one.

Ideally, make a habit out of it.

If you can write what you’re grateful for every day,
you’ll be doing yourself a great service.

You can also look back and enjoy what you were grateful for in previous entries. 

You can even make your journal fun and attractive to you by choosing its cover,
adding drawings, using colors, stickers, etc.
(yes, let that inner child of yours have some fun. You know it’s good for you.)

Another version of the gratitude journal is the ‘3 good things’ journal -
all stays the same, but you’re committing to writing at least 3 things
you’re thankful for each time.

Or better yet, 5.
Ok, let’s make it 7 😉

Don’t be afraid of the greater challenge -
it brings greater benefits, too. I’m sure you have it in you.


4 - Mental thanksgiving.

If you see that writing/recording just isn’t happening for you,
and you really tried, just say thanks in your mind.

Super beneficial, and again, done is better than perfect
(a big shout-out to all perfectionists out there… ).

And while we’re at it, if you’re religious or spiritual,
a thankful prayer is the best prayer there is.

In fact, according to the Course in Miracles,
it’s the only true prayer:

 Asking for things "is merely wanting, out of sense of scarcity and lack.
These forms of prayer, or asking-out-of-need, always involve feeling
of weakness and inadequacy." (ACIM, The song of prayer)

It could never be made by anyone who knows who he really is.

Instead of 'I need this to be happy, please give it to me,'
true prayer only says 'thank you' :

"It is a song of thanksgiving for what you are.  Herein lies the power of prayer.
It asks nothing and receives everything." (ACIM, The song of prayer)

Knowing who you really are is everything.

And in knowing who you really are,  you find that there is nothing to ask for, nothing you want, nothing you need.



5 - Count your blessings.

This one's pretty straightforward.

Write the things you feel blessed about, grateful for, etc.
Focus on the feelings that come up as you're focusing on all that good stuff.

If you were having a hard time when you started doing this,
notice whether or not you've experienced a shift in your mood or feelings. 

You probably did, even if it was only a small one
(they all count, and accumulate) -
so if you feel like you didn't, try giving it another, closer look.


6 - Helping others out of gratitude.

It might be someone you know who is in need.
It might be volunteering.
It might be someone who is sick, old, or ‘just’ a sad friend. 

As long as you do it out of gratitude to them, and not for your ego,
you’ll be cultivating gratitude in your life.

Golden tip: make it about them.


7 - Be grateful for your achievements, big and small.

Many self-employed entrepreneurs know that celebrating successes,
big and small, has a significant influence on your mental state.

But not many speak about being grateful for achievements,
and there is a difference between celebrating and being grateful.

So while you use achievements, both business and personal,  to celebrate,
add some thanks-giving to the party and spice up your life with even
more gratitude-based benefits.


 8 - Meditate.

The benefits of meditation are so many that it would take an
entirely different post just to mention a fraction of them.
And there are, of course, different forms of meditation too.

So for the sake of keeping things simple and actionable,
I’ll suggest simply to sit in a comfortable position, breath,
and keep your focus on your breath.

Then, try this:

Any time you find your mind wandering, bring your attention back to
your breath (ideally - to the physical sensation of your breath, such as
the sensation of the air coming in and out of your nostrils).

When you feel calm and ready, bring to your attention things that you're grateful for.
Do it slowly, do not jump from one to the other too fast.

The idea is to focus on the feelings that arise when you
bring those things you’re grateful for to your awareness. 

It is those feelings, the experience of gratitude that will spread through your
body, mind, and soul, that you want to focus on in this meditation,
not the person, situation, or thing that you’re grateful for.


9 - Gratitude notes or  letters (or text messages… )

Make them long or short, whatever you like, as long as they’ll be
expressing your genuine feelings of gratitude. 

You might even decide eventually not to send the letter.
While the intended recipient might miss out on the beautiful experience
of receiving your gratitude, it’s still going to be worthwhile for you to write it.

In other words, write first.
Deal with the fear of sending it later.

Done is better than perfect.

The secret behind these thank you notes,
or at least one of them,
is described in the book Upward Spiral.

The author, Dr. Alex Korb, suggests that gratitude requires
focusing on the positive,  and writing (and receiving) thank you
messages focuses your awareness on the good things you have. 

Wanna go the extra mile?
Deliver the thank you note yourself and read it to the recipient.  

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes,
you can do that while you’re dressed up as a bunny
A good laugh is very healthy, you know. 


10 - Partner up with a gratitude bunny. Ah, buddy.

Why practice gratitude alone when you can have company?

Team up with a friend, partner, or your dog, and share things
you’re grateful for (dogs are probably better listeners than cats).

Better yet, set a specific time for it and make it something you
do once a week, or once a day.

You can share in turns, ask questions, or any other modality you like.
It’s not about the form, it’s about the essence.

Make it fun, or serious, whatever works for you,
don’t worry about the ‘how’ too much.


11 - Gratitude Jar.

Even better than a candy jar, this one starts empty with
small pieces of paper and a pen or a pencil beside it.

Make it your daily practice to write at least one piece of paper
with something(s) that you’re grateful for, and put it in the jar. 

As the jar fills up, bask in the joy of seeing - visually - how
many wonderful things to be grateful for you have in your life.

I love the visual effect of this one.
Like a story or a metaphor, it can sometimes bypass the rational mind,
and leave a more profound impact, overcoming many unconscious defenses.

As simple as this practice sounds, it’s quite sneaky and effective.

12 - Imagine a different life. 


Have you seen the old man outside the seaman's mission

Memory fading with the medal ribbons that he wears

And in the winter city, the rain cries a little pity

For one more forgotten hero, and a world that doesn't care

So how can you tell me that you're lonely

And say for you that the sun don't shine

Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London

I'll show you something to make you change your mind

- Ralph McTell


Need I say more?

Well, perhaps a bit…

Just to state what I don’t mean by that.

I don’t mean you should pity people or feel superior to them (please don’t).
I'm not saying you shouldn't give a hand, or a smile, or a hug.

I’m just saying that inevitably, knowing that things can be much worse can
remind us of the good things we have, and that can lead to gratitude.
Just like passing by an accident when you're driving, seeing the wrecked cars.

Another variation on this is to remember bad times or events you had in
your own life, and to be grateful for overcoming them,
giving thanks that those time passed. 

Yet another way of doing the same thing is to look at all the opportunities you have,
and how you’re lucky and privileged.

No guilt, though. Just be grateful for it.
Then you can go and help the less fortunate ones if you'd like -
from a place of gratitude, not from guilt.


13 - Experience the magic.

This, too, was on
my 18 best tips for a happier, better life
(click here to read them all)

Take a walk, look at the skies, look at a baby, smell a flower.
Sorry for being corny here, but magic and beauty and love are indeed all around you.

Sometimes all it takes is just to take a look around,
take a few deep breaths, and experience the magic.

You can just look around and absorb it all,
or see if there’s something specific that catches your
awareness and focus on that.

Personally, nature helps me a lot with that.
But it doesn’t have to be on a hike in a faraway place.

Even when I’m walking down the street, I can look at the skies,
the trees, the dogs, and at humans too.
There's magic in all of us, and everywhere.


How often should I practice?


Now that you know what can you gain from giving thanks,
how can you cultivate gratitude in your life, and how is it working,
your next question might be how often to practice.

Obviously, there is no 'should' here.
There's no right or wrong. 

But as far as the effectiveness of the practice, if you want to see results,
the best thing would be to choose 1-2 exercises, no more,
and gradually make them a part of your life.

It can be a part of your morning ritual, before every meal,
before going to sleep, or once a week -
depending on the practice you choose and your life circumstances.

Consistency is the key. Slow and steady wins the race.
Which is also why I don’t recommend overdoing it.
Choose 1, or maximum 2 practices.
Don't overwhelm yourself.

Remember that I’ve been practicing since 2003,
and even I still do but a fraction of all that I wrote above.

Be in it for the long run - take baby steps, one step at a time.
Gradually, over time, you can add, change, etc.
The important thing right now is to get started and to keep going.

And don’t expect a magic pill.

Things are a process, and while some effects might show up very fast,
by and large, you’ll see the benefits over time.
So give it time. 


Things I’m grateful for right now.


What’s the point of just writing all of that and not practicing myself?

Allow me, then, to both lead by example, and shed some light into
my personal life to make it all the more interesting.

It might also inspire to think about the things you're grateful for, 
and making a similar list of your own.
If you do, notice the feelings that arise as you're being grateful.

Here’s a list of some of the things I’m grateful for right now. 

Notice that none of them are ‘big,’ hard to achieve things.
I'm not rich, I don't own a house or any expensive asset
(my car is by far the most expensive thing I own,
and it’s only worth about 2500$). 

One thing such a list can help you with if you do one yourself,
is to remember what’s important to you in life,
and focus and those things, in good times and in bad.
So go ahead and do it too.


1 - Matan.

Matan is my 7 months old angle of a boy. 

Need I say more?


By the way, Matan in Hebrew means...  Giving.

2 - Erica.

Erica is my beloved wife,
and Matan's mom.

Yes, sometimes it gets very hard.
That’s relationships for you.

As the saying goes, “
He who wants a rose must respect the thorn” (Persian proverb). 
In other words, you can use those inevitable hard times to grow as well.
Gratitude will help with that. 

I love Erica deeply, and I’m extremely grateful for having her in my life.


3 - Health.

Corny, but true. 

Even enneagram 4s will agree that not everything
needs to be unique and special….


4 - Nature.

Trees, skies, stars, sun, moon…

Birds, dogs, dolphins, whales, monkeys, lions, bears…

Mountains, oceans, rivers, lakes, valleys…

I’m a nature guy if you haven’t noticed yet.
It fills my heart and soul, gives me incredible bliss,
and I’m forever yearning to have more of it in my life.

Yes, even when I was backpacking in nature for years
I couldn't have enough of it.


5 - Our new home.

...Speaking of my love for nature,
I always want to live in a tent,
on a beach, on the roads…

But I admit, I do enjoy homes when I have them.

We just moved recently, and our new home is so lovely
(I know I said I don’t have any expensive assets. It’s a rental).

Simple but great, with some trees, and it feels so cozy.
I’m very grateful to be able to live here.

Funny thing  -
Just as I was writing this,
a mother deer and her baby passed in front of the window,
walked around on the snow, and grabbed some apples from the tree.

As if that’s not enough, as I was enjoying the deers my friend’s parrot
flew over and landed on my palm,
and we played for a while.

Did I mention I love our home and nature?


6 - What I do have.

While I don’t have a lot, I do have plenty.  I’m thankful for having the basics (food, clothes, shelter), and for all the other things I get to have as well.

And while the mind always asks for more, I’m very grateful for what I have, and for the ability to quiet my mind and discern between what I should really get and what’s just another whim. Well, let's be honest and say I manage to discern most of the time…


7 - Family and friends.

In case you were wondering,
this list is not in order of importance… 

Very few things in life are more important than a loving,
supportive family, and friends.

I’m very blessed to have both. 

If you’re reading this,
know that I’m grateful for you from the bottom of my heart.


8 - Guidance & spirituality.

I do believe we’re able to tune into something greater than ourselves. 

Another way of looking at it is that we are something greater than ourselves
('ourselves' here means the body, personality, and all that goes with it).

Connecting to the spiritual side of life - a journey that’s been continually
evolving for me, especially since 2003 -
completely changed my life.

Since then, I always view life through the spiritual lens.
It’s what it’s all about for me.  


9 -  The privileges and opportunities I've encountered in life.

Gratitude isn’t only about the present, it’s also about the past. 

We all have bad times, but good times too,
and I’ve certainly had my fair share of those.

From the family I was born to, through living next to the sea,
all the way to world-traveling for years as an adult,
I’ve been very fortunate indeed.

And since you hear from me so much about A Course in Miracles,
the Enneagram, B-AIR, meditation, yoga, and all that jazz,
let me add that I’m extremely grateful for crossing paths with those too.

This immediately brings gratitude to all my teachers,
past and present (and future), to my awareness
(see how gratitude works and spreads?).

I’ve been fortunate in that too, learning from some of the world's most
excellent experts in their fields, dead and alive, in person and otherwise.


10 - The Better Life Awareness Center & community.

With and without relating to the previous paragraph,
I can’t ignore the Better Life Awareness Center, and it’s beautiful,
ever forming community (and I don’t want to either.)

Speaking of privilege and gratitude, while facilitating this is very demanding,
even more so as a fresh father, I’m incredibly grateful to god/life/love/the divine
for this opportunity, and to you too -
whether you’re part of the Better Life Awareness Center community,
or you’re reading these words for any other reason.  


11 - Love.

This goes both to inter-personal love, but more than that,
it goes to Love in it's greater, broader, spiritual sense. 

Final note: You can do this! 


Choose the thing(s) that inspire you the most. 

Don’t over-do it, keep it simple and joyful.

Take one baby step at a time. 


Remember -


  • Implement.
  • Baby steps.
  • Joyfully.


Done is better than perfect.


To your better life,
with tons of 💖


Eldad Ben-Moshe
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center