Try to sit down and make two lists. One of all the things that you have and one of all the things that you don’t have. The first list should include every single thing that you have, starting from your eyes, ears, hands and legs, because there are people who don’t have some of these. Include all your physical and mental faculties before moving to material things. If you write very sincerely without leaving out anything, you will not be able to complete the first list! That is the truth. If you find you are unable to finish the first list, it means gratitude has started happening in you!
The problem is that there is a continuous expectation in us all the time. That is why gratitude doesn’t happen easily. We continuously receive input from our eyes, nose, ears, tongue and touch. Based on this, we continuously expect something or other to happen in a certain way. When we see someone who has a better house or a better car, it registers in us. When we hear of some great achievement by someone, it registers in us.
Our energy moves only outward, constantly following our five senses, never inwards towards our self. Gratitude is when this process reverses and you suddenly awaken to the abundance in you! With gratitude there is no expectation or greed.
Working with expectation is like pouring clarified butter into the fire to quench it. Can you quench fire by pouring clarified butter into it? Never! In the same way, you can never feel fulfilled if your actions are rooted in expectation. You will only tire your senses.
You can live either in expectation or in gratitude, never in both.
With expectation there is a desire to possess things. You become the owner. With gratitude, you become the enjoyer. When you are the owner you enjoy only the few things that you own. When you are the enjoyer, you enjoy everything in Existence. When you look to own, nothing will seem enough. When you enjoy, everything seems to be overflowing! That is the difference. When we believe that what we need is always only outside of us, we will continue searching like the night guard! When we believe that Existence always gives us what we need, we will find everything within us all the time. When we work with expectation all the time, we will carry a subtle violence in our body language. It is not deliberate violence, but inherent violence. If we become a little sensitive to our body language, we will be able to catch this.
Watch yourself when you type on the computer, when you handle phone calls, how you place the phone receiver back in its cradle, with what aggression you walk, how you close the door behind you, how you hold your child’s hand… everything. You will see that everything carries a subtle violence in it. You can try this. The next time you close the door, remember and observe how you closed it. Now, open the door and close it again softly, with tremendous gratitude and awareness, until it closes completely. Feel yourself when you do it. You will observe the difference between the two experiences. The second time, you will suddenly soften inside yourself! This is the effect gratitude has on you. With gratitude, your entire body language changes.
When you start experiencing deep gratitude, your responses to situations change. You start resonating with Existence. Your body will flow with that resonance, with a cool grace and softness. All your actions will arise out of this grace. There will be no violence. Only joy will be flowing. Then anything you do will only make life sweeter.
source: Living Enlightenment