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Is there an area of your life in which you feel challenged or blocked or that is not going as think you’d like?

Try exploring the gratitude inquiry process below. It’s a brief yet powerful exercise that can uncover potential hidden gifts in a situation you may yet be consciously aware of.

This isn’t the same as attempting to feel grateful for something you are not grateful for per se, which may be untrue or unrealistic or lead to denial. That said, it’s possible you may end up feeling grateful for a given situation you feel called to explore this with after answering the below questions. (This exercise may not be relevant for all situations, obviously go with your feelings with that).

Looking at things from a different and more objective perspective, which some of these questions encourage, isn’t about skipping or covering over what you’re currently feeling. Honour and process wherever you’re at and whatever feelings are there to allow them to move through you and release.

I’m sure, like me, there have been problems, challenges or crises you’ve faced that you now look back on and realize what you gained and were gifted with through them; what they led to, what may have been beneficial, what qualities awakened, how you awakened, what love, healing, awareness, and so on. Perhaps some of those situations you now do feel grateful for.

The below exercise isn’t about pretending to feel OK about something you don’t, ignoring or denying your feelings, or coating anything over. It can elicit genuine gratitude in a way that may surprise and support you, however. You’ll know if that gratitude is real by how you feel.

(Ask yourself the below questions in relation to any ‘problem’ situation/experience):

* What have I learned or can I learn from this situation?
* What gifts/insights/qualities have I received or developed, or might I, from this situation (now or in the future) that might benefit me?
* How might my life be enhanced by this experience, if not right now, then in the future?
* Has my love and compassion (for self or others) deepened or does it have the potential for doing so through this situation?
* Have I become softer/stronger/wiser/humbler (add any quality), or have the potential for doing so through this situation?
* How has this challenge helped me discover more about myself?
* What positive qualities or experiences has this situation (or person) exhibited that I can be grateful for?
* What good has come from this situation, or could come from this experience, for myself/others/the world?
* What positive qualities and traits have I discovered/developed/accessed/demonstrated in dealing with this challenge (that I can feel grateful for)?
* How can this situation open me to more love for myself, others and the world?

Much love,

Aine Belton


Showing 42 comments
  • Bilba

    Thank you Aine, for sharing this with us. It is so helpful when we learn how to develop ourselves, through breaking up the process. It can be difficult to just keep on hearing ‘oh well just be grateful.’
    So many of my own problems have helped me to understand and accept adults & children when they go through difficulty. Like a shy child reluctant to speak up in a lesson, or an anxious adult coming for reiki. I was once there and give thanks I can now empathise with them and assist them on their journey.
    Love BX

  • Dr Ed Moloney

    I have been sharing this with my clients for a long time and you express it better than I have ever seen it before -bless you.
    Dr Ed

  • Xiomara Ripalda

    Necesito ayuda en el area de comunicacion con personas
    que amo y mi esposo tiene dificultad en cerrar los tratos de trabajo y ademas no escucha mis susgerencias

  • Rose

    Love this – great questions! They really work. This is great!
    Much thanks!! Rose

  • ebune ayenuwa

    Hi Aine, thank you for this thoughtful insight you share about been thankful in small and big things, i will henceforth put it in to practice.. thanks

  • Ms.RS

    Very good reminder. We tend to forget things until repetition makes it natural. Giving thanks for you and your work.



  • Rose

    hi Aine,

    maybe i never told you…..Thank you, Thank you, for your priceless gift of sharing your wisdom and sound advice….let it be a reminder to all….gratefulness is key to being in the moment and keeping our heart open to giving and receiving love.

    wishing you much joy and love, Rose

  • azza

    thank u dear Aine for that my proplm is ilfe the life like stop around me ,and itry hard got my love back to me or even feel of me ,,but im so enjoy with u and sent u much love peace ,,

  • James

    Thank you for everything!! Much love, James

  • Manuel Garcia

    Looking for the good,while going thru
    The not so good.and picking out the
    Things that are a blessing to me and
    Others around me really help and make
    Me happy.

  • al sart

    Thank you for your beautiful, thoughtful insight and clarity that you so often share with those who are seeking peace, joy, love and understanding. I am grateful for so very many things in my life and I am learning more and more to be grateful for the challenges as well as the wonderful things I am experiencing in this life. Your thoughtful loving communications are a wonderful blessing for all who listen, see and feel.

    Thank you Aine.

  • Andrew Agbonlahor

    Great Aine, God bless you for all the love you share. Keep up the good works.

  • carol McIntire

    As always, your message is just what I needed to hear this Thanksgiving morning. I was in an event that I was told the wrong time for set up, and that I had a wall to display my work, which is large. I arrived and all told me I was an hour late, There would not be a wall for my display. I had worked hard for the event.. My first reaction was surprise, then I received a negative attitude from the organizers when I tried to think of possibilities. I felt humbled. I took my things back to the car. Came back in and decided to enjoy the other venders. I had a great time, but underneath a question to myself was….. why would I create not displaying my work in a good light? You have helped me open my eyes to new ways to be prepared, and being grateful for all involved, as my teachers.

  • Lorraine

    I’ve been instinctively applying this to a recent break down in a relationship, being grateful for all that the relationship brought to my life, how it transformed my life in very positive ways that I will be forever grateful for. But I’ve been struggling with the hurt of the betrayal that caused the break down. I guess I need to work more on accepting that I feel hurt and that’s okay, while appreciating all that I gained from the relationship while it lasted.

  • Naraya

    As always dear Aine, fresh, simple and pracical reminders to living a life of happiness, love & freedom. Will share your article on the YOUth Shift Africa facebook page, thank you! Bright blessings!

  • Tracy

    Thank you for this. Lately during this 1st trimester of my 1st pregnancy, I have watched as my emotions have been in constant flux. I continually work to remain patient with myself, as I praise my fiance for the same. There is no doubt in my mind that positive thought creates positive outcome. We all need to remember that only the present moment is what we have to work with… be there in the moment and feel love and loved.

  • Jen

    Thank for all you have shared, all your generosity, passion and inspiration. I value it highly and am very grateful!



  • Susan


  • Mike

    Thank you so much and happy Thanksgiving!! <3

  • Raoul

    Thanks for reminding me about always being grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • BK

    Thank you for sharing your light Aine, you have a way of writing that empowers and uplifts the spirit.

  • Kamal Janjani

    Many thanks Dear Aine, your post are wonderful, GOD reflect through you and your writing, it raise our awareness and help us to keep our thoughts, feelings positive, even in challenging time everyone has to pass throug their life. Please keep writing, Regards

  • Alec

    I really love this. Maybe you can add a Twitter button so we can share such beautiful eloquence easily, beyond Facebook?

  • Xiomara

    Estoy psando dificultades con mi relación y también con el trabajo. Que debo hacer? Para voltear esta situación aceptar y bendecirla !

  • Lulama

    Wow, this just emancipated my mind & heart equally. I’ve just recently experienced a terrible betrayal, but after reading through this piece on gratitude I’m turning the negative into positive all thanks to your thoughts & sharing. Stay blessed. Lots of love from South Africa, Joburg.

  • jeanne rocque

    thanku for another beautifully written piece.because of u I have learned 2 have graditude.

  • Sonya

    Hello Aine,

    Thank you for sharing… Your memories brought back many of my own painful memories.

    I am heartened by some of the ideas dreamed up by our children, e.g., the Buddy Bench (

    I still like my animals more than most people. Oh, well.


  • Manuel Garcia

    Hi Aine
    Thank you for your kindness,thanks for teaching others about
    Gratitude ,and how to best get it working in our lifes ,it helps.
    Most of all thanks for caring.


  • Digafe feleke

    Hi Aine,

    Thank you for sharing this thoughtful insight.

    Kind Regards

  • hellen

    This is great information.
    am gonna do this wth my current strained relationship.
    Thanks alot

  • Amy

    Thank you for this detailed list of excellent questions to ask and a proactive method for finding “the good in the bad”. I have an ongoing housing relationship with a person who most people would label as difficult. I have to speak with her every Sunday morning, and I find myself dreading that conversation as early as Friday afternoon. Your list of questions has helped me reframe the situation.
    I still wish that I did not have to deal with this person, but soon, I may realize what gifts the situation can offer.

  • Donna

    Your incredible insight and wisdom is always such a blessing and has often brought clarity to situations in my life and also assisted me to help bring a change of perspective to others that are struggling. My life has transformed immensely and I know it will continue to do so. I am so grateful to be connected to you and truly appreciate the grace of your wisdom.

  • Euchariste

    Thank you so much for your always generosity. The article of today is a source of spiritual informations. Everybody can find something to grow. So, I am so grateful to be connected with your gratitude community and I really appreciate to be a member of a such vibrational environment. Lots of love.


    I always follow your advices, emails and meditations – but IF and WHEN there is a FEE I can’t afford it, as I’m on meagre govt OLD AGE ALLOWANCE, NOT WELFARE – I am 86 years old, and last year i LOST my 46 year RENTED HOME to the landlady!

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