Gratitude as a Catalyst

Gratitude opens the door to…the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.

– Deepak Chopra

Practicing the experience of gratitude consistently for several years now, I notice that I’m reaping the benefits of an internal world filled with more moments of peace, brief periods of grief, and profound grace. I continue to cry easily for all the good in my life, for this deep sense of safety I now live, for the love and appreciation that spills over in my interactions with many others.

Shifting your focus to gratitude for the sake of the heart-opening, brain-rewiring benefits can begin an enduring transformation in the quality of your life no matter what goes before you.

What a miracle that you are breathing, that you can open your eyes, and that life energy flows throughout your being.

As a daily practice, you can wake up and say, “Thank you for another day of being alive.” More importantly, when you connect these words with a feeling in your heart, you shift your focus to the reality that you actually have another day of your precious life. What a miracle that you are breathing, that you can open your eyes, and that life energy flows throughout your being. Rather than thinking, “I have to feed the dog, wake up my kids, and go to work.” you can begin to see the good fortune in these ordinary activities that someone else on the planet may not be able to experience.  For all those whose pet died today, for those who are empty-nesters or did not have children, but ached with their whole hearts to be parents, for those who just lost their jobs, you hold high and understand that celebrating your blessings matters greatly. It means you don’t take these seemingly ordinary things for granted.

When you are grateful for what you have, I know you understand the magnitude of what I have lost.

– Brene Brown

When we have endured loss, we actually can experience gratitude from a heightened awareness and place that endures over time. We can hold both experiences in our hearts of the ache and the fresh, full, new day that calls to us. Grieving is a kind of gratitude for it means we continue to love deeply. We’re thankful for the broken opened heart that unleashes all the gushy tenderness, affection, and appreciation out into our world.

During 2014 and 2015 I almost lost my son to death twice. I now know in my bones how sacred and precious life is. Grateful is not a big enough word for what I experience when I hear his voice full of presence and vitality on the phone. He lives vibrantly alive. He resides a long plane ride away from me. I no longer get to look in his eyes or hug him and tell him, “I love you!” on the daily. Yet, our heart connection remains strong, clear, and deep. For those who have lost a child, I recognize I only placed a big toe in the ocean of “grieflove” you swim every day.

Knowing that you may choose to hold your loved ones in your arms with much tenderness this evening, that you can appreciate the simple meal on your dinner table, that the next breath you take can be a deep one from your diaphragm, that your kind words and genuine smile for a stranger can be generously given, all demonstrate the power of thankfulness to imbue your life with an energy that opens doors and windows to that which remains a wellspring of inspiration. Where there once were only walls, may a practice of gratitude gently turn the doorknobs of your life and allow you to walk out into the bright sunshine of this day, this most glorious day.


Laura Staley
Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately helps people thrive by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, mind, body, and soul. Laura knows that there’s a relationship between the conditions of our homes or workplaces and the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by almost two decades of working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to empower her clients to produce remarkable results in their lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes speaking, writing, and compassionate listening. As a columnist, Laura writes personal essays focused on self-discovery, feng shui, emotional health, and transformations from the inside out. Laura is the published author of three books: Live Inspired, Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui, and the Cherish Your World Gift Book of 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a fulltime parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include laughing with loved ones, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. She resides in Black Mountain, NC with lovable dog, Layla. Laura is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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  1. Expressed in a way that only you can express it – with fierce love, passion and acute awareness of the fragility of life, yet all of its enduring beauty, color, texture and variety. Your glowing self awareness is how we have come to know you. Thank you for sharing this Laura, always a breath of fresh air to read your offerings.

    • Thank you so much for all you beautiful and kind words, Tom. I truly appreciate your eloquent, straight from the heart feedback. I’m grateful to know this essay resonates.

    • Thank you so much, Larry! That shift in perception can be such a game-changer from burden to delight. I delight in how Deepok Chopra calls it gladdening the heart with gratitude. I appreciate your reflection on that contrast you two sons share about the double shift. Both ways exist as we see the world through our own unique lens.Your kind words consistently touch my heart. I appreciate you very much.

    • Thank you so much, Brian! I love you too, my friend! There’s so much to be grateful for every single moment we live. I know you know this in your heart and soul!

    • Thank you so much for your kind, supportive words, Melissa. Your reflections touch me and lift me. I’m completely grateful. Sometimes your words cause tears to well up, including this time. I appreciate you.