There are many benefits to living in gratitude. Aside from helping one shift from a deficit to an asset-based mindset by focusing on the abundance one already possesses, it can decrease feelings of sadness and anxiety, among other things. One of my favorite authors had this to say about gratitude, words that resonate deeply with me:
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” -Melody Beattie
Sometimes keeping up the practice of gratitude takes a reminder. In my case, I have a group of accountability partners who share their lists with me each morning. On some occasions, seeing their list has prompted me to write my own when it slipped my mind. If you are just getting started with a gratitude practice and do not have your own accountability partners, a physical reminder such as a gratitude stone may be helpful to you. Whether you’re interested in learning how to create a gratitude stone or using it as a tool to help shift into an asset-based mindset, you’ve come to the right place!
Gratitude as Meditation
The act of pausing and expressing gratitude, be it verbally, written, or simply thought out, is an act of meditation. Meditation is a mental exercise where one focuses on something in order to reflect and practice consciousness. By focusing on what we already possess and meditating on it, we open ourselves up to peace and joy, and we raise our vibrations at the same time.
After creating your gratitude stone, keep it with you in your pocket, bag, or by your bedside. Every time you see it or chance to touch it, pause a moment to take in a deep breath and meditate on one or more things you are grateful for. You can say aloud or think to yourself a short mantra, such as: “I am grateful that I woke up this morning.” Or “I am grateful for this delicious meal.” It’s amazing how much a moment of gratitude can affect your day, and, if it becomes a daily habit, on your life. Even on the toughest days, you find things to be grateful for.
Using Mandalas in Meditation
In ancient Sanskrit, Mandala means circle. Historically, mandalas have had geometric designs within them that are intricate and interconnected. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the mandala is believed to represent not only the Universe and the many connections within it, but also the spiritual journey within the individual. In essence, the mandala represents one’s connection to the infinite.
Mandalas originated in what is now known as Nepal in India and were brought by Siddhartha Gautama (the founder of Buddhism) along the Silk Road and other monks to China, Tibet, and Japan during the 4th century. Although mandalas originated in Buddhism, they were eventually put to use in Hinduism and other forms of spirituality as well.
Different Forms of Mandala Meditation
There are many different forms of mandala meditations, from coloring them, to creating colored mandalas with sand, painting them, or drawing your own. Drawing your own mandala on a gratitude stone is the form we will focus on here. If you know that a particular chakra is out of balance, you can make your mandala the color of that chakra. For instance, if you know that your Solar Plexus Chakra needs attention, you can make the mandala on your gratitude stone yellow.
Making Your Gratitude Stones
The first thing you will want to do is find a stone by your home that you can hold on to that will ground and remind you to be grateful for what you have in your life. Go for a walk and keep an eye on the ground. Find a stone that calls to you. Once you have found your stone, go home and wash off the dirt and dust with water. Lay it out to dry. Watch the video below for the next steps:
Once the stone is dry, you can use paint, a sharpie, or another instrument to create your mandala. While you create your mandala, meditate on all you are grateful for and place good intentions into your stone with your thoughts. Let it dry for a day or two in the sun or a warm place and place it in your bag, pocket, your nightstand, or some other place you are sure to return to it at least once a day.
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