Gratitude is often misunderstood for groveling and scraping. It is the one action of the being that requires acknowledgment of a deed done. It requires a humble spirit that admits a need. It requires an open soul, that accepts help.
Gratitude does not cost us money or time. It costs us, our self. It costs the ego to undergo a tremendous change in outlook.
When in a retreat, years ago, one of the leaders noticed that the participants were too unfocused and scattered. He set up a circle, in the courtyard, with a chair. He put two basins of water and two towels in the middle.
He directed that, if anyone had a need to tell anyone else something important, they were to go to the center of the circle, pick up the basin and towel, go before that person, kneel down, and wash their feet.
The hardest part of this exercise was not with the people who did the washing, although, I am sure some people would have a hard time doing that. The hardest hit were the people in the chairs getting their feet washed. The presence of someone at your feet asking forgiveness, or professing love or friendship or even just sharing their heart, broke most everyone there.
It had a cleansing effect on the whole. No one walked away unmoved. No one walked away inattentive.
There was thankfulness and gratitude, abound, all around. No one went, unscathed. Give over to gratitude. It is one of the acts that is selfless and undemanding of its own. Gratitude, blesses the giver and the receiver equally.
Practice gratitude, it will make you stay in the now, not want what is next. It will make you love what you have, not wait for what else is to come. It will make you happy to be satisfied with the way things are and what you have. It is not a tool to be lazy, it is a tool for grounding, and it opens your heart.