Discovering Gratitude

I have always been the kind of person that looked ahead in life. Continuously planning and reaching; giving my all to obtain my goals. I have never been one to shy away from the hard work that was needed to achieve my dreams. If there was any obstacle in my way, I would overcome it. I began to recognize that if I really wanted something I would, and could, make it happen. Back then, I thought I was manipulating things around me to obtain what I wanted, for lack of any better word. Now I have learned that what I was actually doing was "manifesting". Manifesting not only sounds much kinder, but it speaks to the positive intention being put out as well. It gives credit where credit is due; in this case, to my effort and hard work.

Always looking ahead isn't necessarily a negative quality. It can motivate and inspire a person. However, I realized a couple of years ago, that in all my looking ahead, I was never really present, happy, or satisfied in my life. Even when I accomplished something I set out to do, it was never enough. I would have already set my sights further and have had a new goal by the time I was achieving the first. I noticed that this was creating a cycle of negativity and lack of appreciation in my life for the things that I did have and had worked so incredibly hard to attain.

I wanted be fully present in my life. I wanted to feel happiness and satisfaction with my accomplishments in the moment. Acknowledging this lead me to discovering Gratitude. Gratitude, by definition, is "the expression of appreciation for what one has". It is a choice that a person makes, not simply an emotion that can be felt. The more attention and focus we apply to being grateful, the easier it becomes. I began to practice this and apply it to my life, and I started to see big changes!

Life didn't become easier exactly (it isn't supposed to), but because I had begun shifting my focus and truly appreciating what I had at any given moment, I was able to feel pleasure and contentment throughout each day, regardless of where I was at in my manifesting process. I also became aware that it was possible to feel joy, even during the struggle of working towards a goal, when I was grateful for each and every step I was taking to get there. Lastly, I discovered that by making this change to consciously be grateful and thankful for what I had on a daily basis, I seemed to attract more and more blessings my way.

Ten years ago, I was working in the medical field. I had decided to enter this field because I simply wanted to help others, but I was burnt out. I saw so many people treated as numbers and dollar signs. I became disillusioned. While I encountered many doctors, nurses, and staff that truly loved and cared for their patients and went the extra mile, I was getting beaten down by all the others who didn't. I have the utmost respect for the medical community, and even with all my disenchantment, I never imagined I would leave it.

Shortly after beginning to practice Gratitude in my personal life, I started to feel a large pull toward Reiki and Mediumship. I had personally explored them both while looking to heal and improve myself. I was drawn to Reiki and Mediumship because I was in awe of the ways they could provide avenues for healing. comfort, and love. I also saw them as a way that I could be of service to others, and help to heal them. I was so grateful that I had discovered both of these practices in my life, and I desperately wanted to share them with other people.

Reiki is a form of energy healing performed by gentle touch. I was introduced to Reiki in my adult life. The first time was probably through my sister, who was attending massage school at the time. While there, she was required to study some other modalities, including Reiki. As she told me about her experiences with it, it certainly piqued my interest as well. It did take me many years after to find a Reiki Master and schedule my own session, but once I did, I was blown away, and wondered how I had ever gone without this in my life. I felt whole, healed, and so very thankful. Appreciating the effects Reiki was having in my life, and feeling inspired by the amazing Reiki Master who was providing me with my sessions, I decided I needed to learn all I could from her in the hopes that I could one day provide others with the same serenity, relaxation, and healing that I was receiving.

Mediumship is the act of communicating with spirits, and I had been doing this my whole life. As a child I would see and talk to spirits, but as I got older I slammed the door closed, so to speak, on communicating with them; in particular, seeing and hearing them. I began to have extremely vivid dreams. These dreams, included premonitions as well as spirit communication, and they continued into my adulthood. The dreams did not stop until the moment I finally opened up the door and began to practice communicating with spirits once again. As I reopened that door, I no longer have dreams where I am able to communicate with them. Now they just come directly to me. It took a tragic event and subsequent death of a very dear lifelong friend of mine to send me running to a Medium myself to try and make sense of it all. That medium became a much respected mentor and teacher that I am still fortunate enough to study under to this day.

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would become a Reiki practitioner as well as a practicing Medium and be diligently working to provide support and guidance to others through these services, I would have laughed you out of the room. Yet, here I am. While some of the seeds may have been planted at different points earlier in my life, the majority of this transformation began with Gratitude as a catalyst.

And so, when pondering words that held meaning to me personally, as well as highlighted themes in the services I wanted to offer, I didn't have to think too long or too hard on what name I wanted to practice under. Gratitude was there immediately; right from the door. Grace followed soon after. Grace and Gratitude Intuitive Healing Arts was born.

My advice is this: Give thanks every day for the blessings in your life, both big and small. Being grateful has become an integral part of who I am, and I continue to apply it to my daily life. Practice being thankful, even when it is hard. In fact, make sure to do it especially when it is hard! When you do this, your personal vibration is energized, optimistic, and welcoming. You become open to creating and manifesting your dreams and goals without any negativity pulling you away. You will begin to recognize, and joyously stand in, your own power. No matter what you do in your life, let Gratitude be a guide.

Eleyna Bernhard

Creator of Grace and Gratitude Intuitive Healing Arts

Kensho Loft