The power of gratitude never ceases to amaze me. Such a simple act has such a dramatic effect on life.
Being grateful changes our perspective of things. We as people in modern society are taught and learn to focus on the things we dont have in life. If we dont own a home, we may yearn to own one. Once we buy a home, we start dreaming of a bigger one with a pool and a three car garage. If we obtain that, we may start setting our sights on a house higher on a hill with a view or more property. No matter what we have, it never seems to be enough.
One day on vacation sitting by the pool, i was sipping a beer. I rarely drink so sipping a beer feels special and even a bit decadent to me. So there i was, soaking up the sun and sounds enjoying my decadence when a lady in a beautiful big floppy hat sat down beside me. She was holding this beverage in a tall curvy glass. The drink was blue and came with a skewer of fresh fruit. This was a very regal looking drink and my first thought was, “i want one of those”… I didn’t even know what was in it but it was bigger, brighter and shinier then my beer, so i craved one. My first reaction was desire. I was in a place of lacking something that i thought i wanted. Within a moment or two i reminded myself, i dont enjoy sweet drinks. I further reminded myself that i dont enjoy the taste of hard liquor much either. This drink surely had both flavors going on. Suddenly, i was content with my beer again.
Wanting more, bigger, shinier things in life is not wrong. It’s a part of our experience here on earth to dream of things that we want and when we accomplish those things, to dream bigger.
For me, often times the dream of something is more fun than obtaining it. But it is crucial to remember, as we dream for bigger things, to never stop appreciating what we already have. A pace to live, food, clothes,.. are never things that though be taken for granted.
Appreciating all that we have in our lives changes our mindset to “having” rather than “lacking” something. It may sound backwards but feeling like we have plenty in life typically leads to more coming to us easily. If we come from a mindset of lacking something, we are more likely to struggle to obtain more of anything. We tend to manifest what our thoughts reflect. If we feel like we have less, then we will no doubt have less. If we feel like we have a lot in life, then we will attract more.
Gratitude also reminds us to appreciate things in life. I appreciate my very reliable truck. I appreciate people in my life who love and support me. I appreciate a very comfortable home. If we forget to be grateful, we lose appreciation for these things. Like the little child who has a bedroom that is knee deep in toys but is unable to appreciate any of them. Or the child who has one over-loved teddy bear who adores it and cherishes it.
Gratitude suits all demographics in life. Rich, poor, tall, short, healthy, ill… we ALL benefit from being grateful. People around us benefit from us being grateful as well.
Gratitude sets our vibration to a frequency that the universe responds easily to. When we are grateful for our friends, we attract more. When we are grateful for our job, we get promoted. When we are grateful for a great meal, the meal becomes more delicious.
When we forget gratitude, the universe responds to that as well. When we are not grateful for a meal, all food tastes more bland.
Here is a little experiment that i really love: find a pebble or a piece of beach glass or even button from an old shirt. The object itself really does not matter. I call these gratitude stones. Carry the stone in your front pocket every single day for a period of two weeks more. Here is the key to this experiment- every time you reach into your pocket and feel the stone, it will remind you to think of something that you are grateful for in that moment. The stone is a gratitude reminder. It will be really odd at the times you find yourself touching the stone. When i do this, i end up touching my stone dozens of times per day. Sometimes i get a little tired of thinking of things to be grateful for,.. which makes me chuckle because of how silly that is. But this simple act of gratitude will change your vibration in life and you will no doubt notice good things coming to you.
Here is one last gratitude exercise: when you find that something irks you or frustrates you, in that moment where you recognize that you are not happy and not grateful, think of a positive aspect to that moment. If you get stuck in traffic, just consider that it is more time to listen to good music. If this line at the post office is long, think of something that you admire about the person in line ahead of you. You get the picture. Small adjustments in our thinking changes our perception of all things.
We will talk about gratitude more in the future because it is a glorious and enormous subject. But in the meantime, let me leave you with this,.. most of all, be grateful for all of the tiny little moments in life. The smile of a child in the car next to you. A bird on your window sill. A spider lurking in its web. These are each things to cherish in life. It will serve us well to not ignore them.