“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you,” that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart
I recently read something written by a man that left me with a feeling I haven’t yet articulated. Uncomfortable. Slightly sad. And something else that I haven’t identified yet. He said, “There’s really very little to be thankful for these days…” and then went on to reminisce about how wonderful things were in his childhood.
Now, I don’t know what the man’s experiences were between his supposedly sublime childhood and his twilight years, or what caused him to get lost in nostalgia. Were things really better back then, or just the memories he had chosen to hold onto, the ones that felt good to remember?
I have no idea what kind of life he had, what dragons he slew, what sorrows and heartaches and hardships he endured. But I do know that no matter how bad things were for him, or how bad things are now, there is always something to be grateful for.
I know. You’re probably thinking I have no idea what YOU have been through. That if I knew your story I wouldn’t say such things. You’re right. I don’t know what has happened in your life. But I do know we’ve all endured something, and there’s no point in comparing your ‘somethings’ to anyone else’s ‘somethings’ because each and every one of us has a story that means something. But it only means something to us.
The meaning we’ve attached to our stories has created our perceptions of how the world works as well as who we believe ourselves to be in the world.
Some of our stories contain nightmares straight out of hell. Some of our stories are woven from threads containing thorns as well as roses, giving us a few minor dents and scratches that are part and parcel of this thing we call life, as well as many bouquets of delight. And then there’s everything in between.
But no matter what has happened to us, our human experiences are catalysts for our soul’s growth. Our life is our soul’s curriculum. And that is why I choose gratitude. Because I know that the challenges you and I have experienced have provided us with rich, profound opportunities to cultivate courage, resilience, integrity, wisdom, strength, fortitude, kindness, compassion, generosity, skills we wouldn’t have mastered otherwise, and yes – gratitude.
I typically avoid writing traditional messages of Thanksgiving at this time of year. Not because I’m ungrateful, or that I think the messages are unimportant. It’s simply because I choose to express gratitude every day, not just save it in my back pocket for one special day or one season of thanks giving each year.
Therefore, thanks giving is a daily practice in my life. And not just once a day like taking a shower in the morning. Gratitude is an ongoing, ceasing, never-ending practice. Like yoga, gratitude is not something you *do.* It’s a quality you embody, someone you become.
I’ll be the first to admit that several years ago when I first began studying the Law of Attraction and implementing the practice of gratitude I only expressed thanks for what was good in my life. Commodity gratitude. I felt happy and grateful when things were going well. Grumpy, worried and out of whack when things were tough or not going my way.
It took me a few years of practice to understand that gratitude isn’t something you give only when things are going well. It’s a state of being regardless of what’s going on inside or around us. It’s grace in action. And in grace we live in the magical flow of this beautiful thing each of our souls signed up for. LIFE.
Grace doesn’t mean we don’t, or won’t ever, have challenges, upsets, or traumas. We do, and we will. And yet in the space of grace we are invited by life to live from intention and choice rather than reacting to every not-going-my-way circumstance we encounter.
Incidentally, through the Law of Attraction, the universe interprets our dominant vibration as a signal for “I love this! More please.” If our energy is focused in the direction of fear, anger or any lower vibration emotion for long we start to get more of the same. On the other hand, if our attention is primarily focused on joy, compassion, love, generosity, kindness and gratitude we get…you guessed it! More of the same. By keeping our attention focused on gratitude (our intention) the Law of Attraction magnetizes to us more of those things that resonate on the same wavelength of what we’re grateful for.
Think of it like you’re ordering off a menu from the universe. You don’t need to ask for anything. Just give thanks for every blessing (even if it’s a blessing in disguise that you would have formerly called a challenge or a pain in the tush), and more blessings of similar kind will automatically and inevitably show up.
If you already practice gratitude, kudos to you! But if you’re new to this Law of Attraction thing or you need a gentle reminder to pay attention and give thanks for all the blessings in your life I’d like to invite you to begin a daily practice of gratitude and thanks giving.
I’ll go first. Here are a few of the things I’m grateful for:
- Peaceful Partings – for being such beautiful gentle souls who helped my 21-year old furry friend transition pain-free and in peace last year. What a tremendous blessing they are!
- Sunshine, fresh air, clean water
- Indoor plumbing and hot showers
- The ability to delight in all my eyes see, my ears hear, all I touch, all I sense with my entire beingness
- A strong, healthy body with incredibly intelligent cells
- Warm socks and slippers
- A soft, warm very comfortable bed to sleep in at night
- An insulated house (I don’t know how Laura Ingalls managed to not freeze to death in those uninsulated cabins in her Little Houses on the Prairie!)
- Delicious, nutritious, nurturing food that has been loved and cared for by the soil, sun, wind and rain, and all the hands and hearts that cared for it between its cultivation and my table
- Discernment and wisdom gained from life experiences
- Intuition and guidance from spirit
- The ability to connect deeply and authentically with others
- A car that, even though it’s not shiny and new it has heat, runs well and gets me from point A to point B hassle-free
- Living in a country where, as a woman, I am relatively safe
- My daughter. She is such an amazing, insightful, wise sage. I fell in love with her the day she was born. I love you to the stars, Marina Bobina!
- The beautiful luminous soul-sister friendships I’ve cultivated over the years. Thank you for being authentic, wise, terrific listeners, always mentors, kicks in the butt when I need it, truth tellers and truth seers, and steady rocks in the stream of my life. You know who you are and I love you dearly.
- My best friend of 10 years. You’ve been such an amazing gift in my life. A catalyst for growth and healing and love. Thank you. I love you dearly.
- Life. All of it. The good, the bad, the sad, the painful, the delightful. Every last golden drop.
- And finally, last but not least, I am so grateful for the amazing women I have the priviledge and honor of working with. I’m grateful for their courage in saying “Yes” to their dreams, and “No” to their fears. I am grateful that life that I have listened to the voices of my heart and soul and have been gifted with such an amazing path to walk in this life. I love that I know my purpose, and am deeply honored to work with women all over the world and help them live in greater alignment with their soul’s path and purpose.
How about you? What’s on your gratitude list?
With love and gratitude,
“Gratitude opens the door to…the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude. – Deepak Chopra
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