“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie
Who wouldn’t want to find the key to living a better life? It does not take money or tremendous effort to accomplish that goal. The truth is that attracting abundance to our lives is much simpler than we think. It is all based on thought and perception.
We cannot possibly realize the immense power that comes from our thoughts. What we focus on grows–that is the law of the universe. When we live our lives with gratitude or appreciation for what we have, we occupy our minds with optimism. When we focus on what we are lacking, our minds become filled with negativity that breeds thoughts of bitterness, jealousy, and resentment. Living a life of gratitude is what brings abundance into our lives. The more grateful we are for all gifts large and small, the more abundance we attract to us.
Having gratitude means being thankful for the many gifts and blessing we have. Many people say that they are grateful; still they find themselves experiencing negative thoughts when life does not go the way they expect it to. And many people say that they have little to be grateful for when in actuality they have much more than they think. It is all based on point of view, and our point of view is something we consciously control. We all have the ability to shift our thinking. We can take any situation in life and find something good in it, if that is our inclination. Good and bad things happen in life every day. What outlook we choose to focus on is entirely up to us.
Granted—we do live in a material world. We all want nice things and many of us dream of becoming wealthy. Many of us equate wealth with money. And we all want a harmonious life. There is not one thing wrong with that way of thinking, as long as we learn to accept what comes our way. As the Rolling Stones song goes, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you’ll get what you need.” Our hopes, wishes, and dreams are what motivate us to reach goals. The trials and tribulations of the journey our wishes take us on is how we learn and grow.
We cannot pick and choose when we want to be grateful–we cannot use our gratefulness just for a particular expected outcome. It does not work that way. And besides, this way of thinking is based on the assumption that we do not already have abundance in our lives.
Quantum Physics studies are verifying that matter and reality can be changed by our thoughts. The Law of Attraction, one of the five fundamental principles of existence, tells us that “like attracts like.” It is a scientific fact that thoughts are energy. Neurons in our brain produce thought. So if energy follows energy, than energy follows thought.
To put it in simpler terms, we attract what we put out. The universe is not biased–it does not decide if a thought is good or bad. It just responds to the vibrations we put out there. When we live life with sincere gratitude and appreciation, we change the vibration of our energy and we attract more of what we want. How we think is what we get, and gratitude is the key.
On the other hand, when we focus on what we lack, we create blockages and limitations. We become imprisoned by the vibration of our negative energy. As a result, we attract what we think, which in this case is negativity, while repelling the very things we desire. Like I said, our thoughts are very powerful. No one would deliberately disrupt the flow of abundance that comes into his or her life. Those who do it do not realize that they are doing it.
Some of us have already, or will gladly accept this truth at face value and apply it. For skeptics and naysayers, the only proof is the proof itself; living a life of gratitude is the only way to prove its effectiveness and to understand the immense power of it. The universe is infinitely abundant–we just have to allow it to do what it does best and learn how to work in harmony with it. We accomplish that through the practice of positive thinking; through a conscious effort to “go with the flow.”
Gratefulness can be found in the simplest of things like having a warm, comfortable place to sleep and having running water and electricity. Anyone whose life has been disrupted by natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, or major lifestyle inconveniences like power outages and water main ruptures, quickly realizes how much they have taken for granted. And when we, or someone we love, gets sick or has declining health, we suddenly realize how much we took our health for granted. Every breath we take is a gift and a miracle. Imagine the alternative.
Many people equate abundance with money. Sometimes that is true, but abundance goes well beyond the possessions we have or the situation we are in.
To be grateful is to be accepting. This principle may be easy to understand, but can be very difficult when our current circumstances are less than desirable. We are creatures of habit. It takes a huge leap of faith to believe in something we have never acknowledged working in our lives before.
Some may think, “Sure that way of thinking works for her, but it has never worked for me. I am just unlucky.” Others may not allow themselves to think any other way, because subconsciously they believe that they do not deserve to prosper. In any case, negativity breeds negativity. When we worry or resist, we attract that which we dread.
Having gratitude does not mean denying that problems exist. The experiences and challenges we face in the course of our lifetimes are many. What it does mean is incorporating a simple practice that makes it easier to accept these experiences.
The universe is perfect. To grasp that concept is to believe that nothing in the universe ever goes wrong. There is a larger order and greater plan for all that is, was, and ever will be. Our attitude about our life experiences is based on our perception. Everyone sees and experiences life from a unique vantage point. Yet we all live in the same world. It is not the world that’s different—its our point of view.
For example: Person A has booked a flight with an airline to go on vacation. She gets to the airport and finds out that due to a weather issue, her flight has been cancelled. She is furious because she has been inconvenienced and her plans have been changed. She begins lashing out at anyone within range that is affiliated with the airline. Deciding that everything about her trip is now ruined, she cancels all her plans and spends the rest of the week brooding. She blames the airline for ruining everything and vows to never book a flight with them again.
Now let’s talk about Person B who is in the exact same situation. He appreciates the fact that the airline has canceled the plane for the safety of its passengers. Though he is disappointed and not happy about the inconvenience, no one would be, he sees it as a sign of protection from the universe and says a little prayer of gratitude. He is willing to accept that if his vacation is meant to be, it will happen. Tomorrow is another day—he will see what the day brings.
That is what I am talking about–same situation, different perception. Person A has taken an angry, victim stance. Person B has chosen to focus on gratitude rather than allow his negative thoughts to take over. This was a conscious decision on both of their parts.
Who has more power? Person B does because he is the creator of his circumstance. He has taken control of his thoughts.
By contrast, in choosing to be a victim of her circumstance, Person A has lost her personal power. She is no longer in control; she has allowed negativity to take her over.
We do not have to search for abundance. We all have it. We just have to believe that we do. The practice of gratitude requires very little effort on our part and the gains are tremendous. If this makes sense, you are probably wondering how you can change your way of thinking.
You can do this by paying attention to your thoughts and interactions–by making it a practice to simply say “thanks” for the little things, like gifts or kind gestures that graciously come your way; and to those who bring them. If there isn’t a person to thank, say it anyway.
We all know people; maybe we are even guilty of it ourselves, who cannot gracefully accept a gift. They say things like, “Oh you shouldn’t have,” “It really was not necessary, “or “why did you go to that expense,” when they should simply say “Thank you.”
We change our way of thinking by taking responsibility for our part and acknowledging something positive about every situation we find ourselves in–present one included. We do this by accepting that we are just as worthy of the infinite universal gifts as anyone else and of allowing good things in our lives. And we do this with faith that God, A Supreme Being, or the Universe hears our prayers; by thanking them just for listening. There is a theory that faith based gratitude is the most powerful form of all expressed gratitude.
When we show gratitude to life, life shows gratitude to us. When we are grateful for what we have, we have more to be grateful for. It is simply the Law of Attraction.
A great way to jump-start the gratitude practice is to make a monthly list of thirty things about your life that you are thankful for. That will give you a gratitude focus for each day. Some people find it helpful to have a gratitude journal and a daily practice of writing all the things they are thankful for. And some people enjoy taking gratitude walks where they can quietly reflect on their life, or look around and find things in nature to be grateful for. However you choose to do it, before long, with practice, your ability to appreciate will become second nature.
The gift of empowerment comes once gratitude is firmly placed in our lives. Then we have that accomplishment to add to the list of things we are grateful for. It is an endless cycle that goes round and round. Developing this practice and changing our perspective, therefore allowing abundance to flow, opens us up to all the possibilities that exist in the universe. The ultimate goal is to keep the abundance in a constant flow. We never want to hoard our abundance; that will only block the flow. By sharing our gifts, we stay in harmony with the universe.
One of the most important messages to take away from all of this is that the universe has perfect timing. Everything happens when it is supposed to, not because we want it to. Honoring that universal truth will soften the blow of every disappointment we may face in life.
To quote Brian Tracy, “Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”
About the Author
Randi Fine is a Radio Show Host, author of two books, and Life Issues Counselor living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Love Your Life is a journal that she writes to connect with others who share in her mission of spreading light, love, and healing to the world. Randi hosts the blog talk-radio show, A Fine Time for Healing: A Sanctuary for Your Emotional Wellbeing. On her show she discusses self-help and spiritual life-skill topics that heal and enhance the life experiences of others. Randi Fine published her memoir, Fine…ly, in 2010 and her inspirational book, Awaken from Life, in 2012. Randi is a deeply spiritual person, following an enlightened path of her own design. It is a connection she faithfully trusts to guide her in every aspect of her life.
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Featured Image Credit: Canon in 2D