A Life of Gratitude
We all have a desire that at some point is born within us. For some, with that desire often comes the struggle to bring it to fruition. For others, it is effortless.
I had recently reached a point in my life where I felt stuck. There were certain goals that I wanted to achieve but I didn’t know how. I was taking actions to move towards these goals and yet I still wasn’t getting there. I felt frustrated and defeated. I’m sure many of you know the feeling.
I asked myself, “what is it that I’m supposed to do in order to achieve what I desire?” Obviously, I didn’t hear a booming voice answer my question. But it has been my experience that the universe will answer just as loudly – but in very subtle ways.
Almost immediately, this idea of gratitude started showing up everywhere. My mom, who had just finished reading The Secret told me that the book explains how gratitude is an important part in the law of attraction. As you express gratitude for what you already have, more will be given to you!
I also started seeing gratitude quotes pop up on Facebook. I would listen to spiritual teachers on Youtube or read their latest blog post and they would just happen to be talking about gratitude.
Gratitude is a word that is thrown around quite a bit. We most commonly express the idea when talking about showing gratitude to people. But do we know what it really means in terms of the life we’re living?
Gratitude is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a feeling of appreciation or thanks.” So we could say that gratitude is expressing appreciation or thanks to the universe for what you have.
So everyday I started writing down 5 things that I was grateful for. Even if I was in the middle of a negative situation, I found the positive aspect of that situation and wrote it down. Within just a few days I had manifested something I had wanted!
And even since then, this is something that has worked for me in a variety of ways. I am suddenly aware of the abundance that pops up when I least expect it. Just last week I found $40 in an old purse that I haven’t used in about 4 months. I was recently writing down on a daily basis all the aspects that I loved about my current job and then one day I received a phone call from my supervisor with an additional opportunity.
Here are some ideas that I am currently using or have used in the past.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
Author Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance (that I highly recommend) encourages her readers to keep what she calls a gratitude journal. Everyday, right down five things that you’re grateful for. In the beginning it might be difficult. It could be something as simple as having a roof over your head and food to eat or a great parking spot. However, simple as they are, we all know that these are big things because they mean something to you. But you will see over time that your list will evolve…as will you. (Simple Abundance)
- Keep a book of positive aspects.
Esther and Jerry Hicks who offer the teachings of Abraham suggest that we keep a book of positive aspects. Each day, pick 3-5 subjects and write everything positive about those subjects in your life. In their book, “Money and the Law of Attraction,” Abraham says, “In your state of appreciation, you lift all self-imposed limitations (and all limitations are self imposed) and you free yourself for the receiving of wonderful things” (pg 191).
- Say “Thank you” for that Penny from Heaven
Recently, the beloved Dr. Wayne Dyer passed away but he left behind many wonderful teachings about gratitude. Whenever he would go out walking, if he found a coin on the ground, he would pick it up and say, “Thank you, God.” He does this as a reminder to himself for all the abundance that flows into his life. (It’s Never Crowded Along the Extra Miles)
- Nightly Gratitude List
Another wonderful idea comes from Doreen Virtue who makes a mental list before she goes to sleep each night of everything that she’s grateful for. This helped her to stay focused on the present moment and not worry about what she will or will not have in the future. Focusing on the future can create stress and worry. Focusing on the abundance you have now helps to avoid that. (http://www.angeltherapy.com/blog/10-life-lessons-i-learned-angels)
- Recognize Prosperity
Louise Hay encourages her readers to rejoice in other people’s prosperity. If you see someone else who is successful – maybe they received a raise at work or started a new relationship, or even won the lottery – rejoice with them and remind yourself that there is enough for everyone. They are successful and you will be too. No one is more or less deserving than another (You Can Heal Your Life).
But don’t get me wrong. I’m no Pollyanna. I have plenty of days where I am overwhelmed with the questions of “Why aren’t things going my way?” Some days I can’t see the positive. Some days you’re going to hit rock bottom and you won’t be able to see the abundance or see that it’s coming. And that’s okay. Once you hit rock bottom, there’s no where to go but up. By simply taking 5 minutes a day and trying one of these practices you will quickly see a shift in your life!