Gratitude and Receiving at the Freedom Resiliency Summit and Beyond

Gratitude public domain meme photo, pixabayby Michelle Atlas

My trip to São Paulo, Brazil to speak in the Resilience Summit called "FREEDOM" with my friends from the Al Siebert Resiliency Center was extremely meaningful.

I experienced Brazil as a people-first culture. No one is too busy to connect, for a meaningful conversation, a hug, a kiss or to express love. Not a day went by that I did not have multiple open-hearted interpersonal encounters, mostly with people I had never met before.

Although most do not speak English, or do not speak it fluently (the national language is Portuguese), I had a profound sense of belonging everywhere…with everyone.

In one case, the only survivor (actually thriver) of a terrible plane crash and I were struggling to communicate. He finally took my hand and said "Love." That was it. That was the whole conversation, "Love." What more is there to say anyway?

Our host, Dr. Claudia Riecken and her family and team, looked after our every need. They were a model of how to be with and give to each other as a human family. The experience was visceral, tactile, passionate and authentic. It is instilled in my heart and body, I hope permanently. It was unforgettable. I'm so grateful!

Why is gratitude so important?

I lived in a yoga and meditation community (an ashram) for 12 years.

Teachings about life and spirituality were often delivered in a "Fire Course." We would sit around multiple blazing fire pits staring into the flames, while our teacher imparted the most meaningful life lessons.

One magical summer night, she asked "What is the highest emotion one can embody?"

Someone said "love," she said "no," another said "joy," "no"!

There were several other attempts at the correct answer, I can't remember them all.

I summoned up my courage and speaking into a microphone, before hundreds of people, I said "gratitude" and she said "YES!"

What does gratitude have to do with receiving?

Our capacity to receive (or not) tells us what we believe we deserve and what we believe we are worthy of. Gratitude requires the ability to receive. If we are not taking life in, i.e. receiving it, how can we be grateful?

In giving we have some control. Being a receiver is more vulnerable than giving.

To receive we must allow ourselves to be filled.

So, to receive, there must be room inside.

This means not having all the answers about our own life or the lives of others, not knowing what's next, not seeking fulfillment at every turn.

It means living as a true learner, which, according to the research of the late Dr. Al Siebert, is one of the highest resiliency characteristics.

When we are open, curious and learning there is no telling what kind of unanticipated discoveries, miracles and gifts we may receive that may inspire a perpetual state of gratitude!

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Michelle Atlas, ASRC Resiliency FacilitatorMichelle Atlas, PCC, is a Newfield Certified Coach and Mentor Coach, a Certified Resiliency Facilitator and Facilitator Mentor, and a Sacred Money Archetypes Certified Coach. She has provided resiliency training to top level US federal government leaders and certified resiliency facilitators in Singapore and Sweden. As founder of Michelle Atlas Coaching, Michelle inspires her clients to use their greatest difficulties to become their true self and to empower their relationship to money, so they can create rich, meaningful businesses/careers, relationships and lives. With her lifetime commitment to personal development and spiritual practice, laser focused intuition and a huge transformational toolbox, she’ll help you discover courage you did not know you have, so you can create change you did not think possible. Michelle is also an Al Siebert Resiliency Center Board Member. © Al Siebert Resiliency Center
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