When we recognize and express gratitude for all that that we have in our lives, we impact our lives in ways that we might not at first recognize. Our experiences are altered by our expectations, which are driven by our thought processes and our level of gratitude.
The Law of Attraction as Related to Gratitude
The law of attraction is based on the idea that we receive the things that we focus on. When we focus on the negative, or on our fears, we act according to those thoughts. When we change our thoughts by focusing on gratitude, we create an environment for reciprocal positivity. The law of attraction allows the same high level of energy associated with gratitude to bring positive opportunities and situations back to you. Here’s a story that you may be familiar with.
An individual is travelling from one village to the next when he comes upon a farmer working in his field. He asks the farmer what the people in the next village are like. The farmer asks “What were the people like in the last village?” The man replies, “They were rude, unfriendly, dishonest people.” The farmer tells the man “You’ll find the people in the next village are the same.”
A second man was travelling between the same two villages and came upon the same farmer. He too stopped to ask what the people in the next village would be like. Again the farmer asked, “What were the people like in the last village?” The second man replied, “They were kind, friendly, generous, great people!” Again the farmer said, “You’ll find the people in the next village are the same.”
The moral of the story is that we’ll experience what we expect. If we live our lives in a way that attracts unfriendliness and negativity, that’s what we’ll find. If however, we live our lives in a way that attracts friendliness and generosity, then that’s what we’ll overwhelmingly find. If we tend to be grateful, we will find much to be grateful for.
So how do you apply this concept to the ‘real’ world? By focusing on what we want out of a situation, rather than reacting to fears of what might happen, we create a positive relationship. Our confidence is boosted, we feel in control, and things come our way with less effort. By staying committed to your goals, you experience the positive benefits of the power of intention and are less likely to be derailed from achieving your goals. In turn, you have more and more to be grateful for.
You create your own universe as you go along.
– Winston Churchill
Opening our Hearts through Gratitude
Oftentimes when people talk about their gratitude, it brings them to tears. Why does this happen? It happens because expressing gratitude opens our hearts. As we shift our focus, our thoughts, from what we want in the future to what we have now, in the present, we experience an internal shift. We move from a place of lack and struggle to one of abundance and peace. We push out the struggles and challenges that we might be experiencing and make room in our hearts to experience the good things that are waiting to come into our life.
Have you ever watched Undercover Boss? The owner or CEO will go undercover under the guise of someone trying to get a second chance at life and will work a day in various functions within their own company. The results are astounding. The owner is often overwhelmed with gratitude for workers who give it their all for the better of the company. As a thank you, the owner or CEO typically thanks the selected workers with gifts and/or opportunities to further better themselves. The circle of gratitude is obvious as both the giver and recipient are in tears… tears of gratitude. But if you think about it, who is the giver and who is the recipient? Both benefit from the other’s gratitude. Both grow from the experience. Both are more compassionate for the other’s position. Both benefit from opening their hearts to the other.
We can practice gratitude anytime, anyplace, as a regular part of our day-to-day lives. But sometimes, setting aside some quiet time helps us to regroup and to refocus on what we have to be grateful for. When expressing gratitude, use the guidelines below to create a practice that works best for you:
For this exercise, you will want to find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted and where you will not have distractions. This might be your bedroom or study if you share a house with others; otherwise, your kitchen table or sofa will do. If you enjoy nature, you may enjoy a quiet place on a trail. You can complete this exercise mentally, but oftentimes you may find it more beneficial if you write in a journal. So let’s get started.
Visualize and Describe the Gifts That You Have Received
This is the first step. What is it that you are grateful for? What are the gifts that you currently have and that you have received over the course of your life? Consider not only the things that you have, but also the people, the love and care, the relationships, the experiences, and the opportunities for growth. List the gifts you are grateful for until you’ve exhausted all ideas. Take as much time and space as you need. It often helps to write about your gratitude in a journal, forming the words and sentences that describe what you experience and how you feel.
Pour your Love and Gratitude
Now that you have listed the gifts that you are grateful for, feel the gratitude in your heart. Your heart is the center in your body and is associated with love. By bringing your attention to your heart, feeling the love and gratitude, you’ll feel the warmth expanding within your chest. Now visualize this love and gratitude pouring out of your heart to the people and circumstances that provide the gifts in your life. Visualize a stream of pink liquid flowing from your heart to the heart of the recipients. Note how this makes you feel, to give the gift of gratitude back to those who have given to you.
Receive the Blessings
Now that you have poured your love and gratitude to those who have given to you, more love and gratitude is returned to you. Feel that stream of pink liquid flowing back into your heart, then permeating throughout your mind, feelings and body. How does it feel to receive the blessings back?
Practicing gratitude opens our hearts and minds. It also helps others to open their hearts and minds. It affords us great things through the law of attraction. You may even want to create a vision board (this can be a physical board or even a Pinterest board) with images of things you are grateful for and for which you hope to achieve. Viewing your board on a regular basis will help you to remember what you have to be grateful for. Can you imagine a world where everyone practices gratitude on a daily basis? The abundance we all would welcome? It’s a tall order, and it starts with you.
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