I've been spending a lot of time in gratitude lately and, just like everything else in the Universe, the more I focus on it, the more it expands. So now I am not only feeling gratitude most of the time, but it seems like everywhere I go, that's what people are talking about.
Gratitude is a game changer.
I like to expand gratitude to include the higher frequency of "Appreciation". It is the frequency of everything wanted: prosperity, health, fulfilling and loving relationships and creativity. Wallace Wattles devotes an entire chapter to Gratitude in his excellent book "The Science of Getting Rich", a true classic. He says...
"Faith is born of gratitude. The grateful mind continually expects good things, and expectation becomes faith. He who has no feeling of gratitude cannot long retain a living faith."
That's food for thought. So what happens to us when we forget about the concept of gratitude? When life's events continue to happen 'to us'. We feel as if we're a buoy on the sea of life, anchored in our place of dissatisfaction, frustration and discontent. We feel as if we're being tossed about by the elements with no ability to control them
As the grateful heart expands, the heart absent of gratitude contracts.
And the owner of that heart? They begin to notice everything that is wrong with their life, their job, their family, the world. Negativity expands quickly in the conscious mind. The conscious mind LOVES it and, until it is controlled, the mind can be like a beast that needs to feed on negativity, criticism, judgment and 'what's wrong'. That's why the news is so successful and appealing: the primary focus of the news is 'what's wrong'.
It's so acceptable to talk about 'what's wrong' in our society, too. Wayne Dyer called it the 'Ain't It Awful Club'. There is no shortage of topics for conversation in that club. Wattles speaks to this in these words: "Without gratitude you cannot long keep from dissatisfied thought regarding things as they are. The moment you permit your mind to dwell with dissatisfaction upon things as they are, you begin to lose ground. You fix attention upon the common, the ordinary, the poor and the squalid and mean; and your mind takes the form of these things. Then you will transmit these forms or mental images to Formless, and the common, the poor, the squalid and mean will come to you." Of course, no one would choose for that to happen; it is just the unhappy byproduct of a negative default setting.
It's said that when we feel negative emotion, experienced as a contraction in our bodies, it is simply because we are not viewing things as Source/God/Higher Power/Universal Intelligence views it. And the difference, the distance of this gap, is proportional to just how bad we are feeling.
Without gratitude, a victim mentality begins to take over.
It can be subtle at first, and then become all consuming. What it consumes is that sparkle in our eyes, the smile that easily crosses our lips, prosperity, compassion, peace of mind, Oneness and loving relationships. It will devour them all given the chance. All the while, the antidote is right there: Gratitude.
One way to start a practice of gratitude is to start each day by giving thanks for being alive.
During the day, at the first sign of a complaint, or negativity or when you feel your body beginning to contract, ask "What is there to be grateful for in this moment?' At the worst times in my life, I could be grateful for drawing breath, for the ocean and the trees, and always for my dog. Even if there were times where everyone else in the world seemed to be on the opposing side to me (a sure sign that it was me!), I could always be grateful for the pure unconditional love of my dog.
From there, with a little practice, we can find something else to be grateful for, then something else and soon it becomes easier and easier to have a heart overflowing with gratitude. From that vantage point, we get to see the world through the eyes of Source, through the eyes of appreciation.
Just as negativity and complaining will topple our internal and external world...
Gratitude will build us a sanctuary and our outpouring of gratitude will have you being your best and bringing the very best in life to you.
In gratitude and appreciation, seeing the best in you and for you.