If I could gift you one thing in life it would be an understanding of the power of gratitude. It can transform your life. Nothing needs to change in your physical world; there will still be bills to pay, work deadlines to meet, illnesses to negotiate, relationships to navigate but your life can start to change how it feels exponentially with gratitude.
Gratitude shifts where we place our focus from a position of lack and negativity to a position of abundance. Lets imagine the following; you get up in the morning and you see your partner. There may be a myriad to places that this sends you if you have had many years together; love, joy, anger, resentment, taking them for granted, admiration, respect, fear, playfulness. These are all choices. We choose where we focus. No-one makes us focus on the negative parts of life but there is an over-riding tendency to do that. So, how about you chose to focus on the positive. “Hey, thanks for making that beautiful meal last night, you really went to some effort and it was amazing.” OR “You look great in those jeans, honey that style really suits you.” “I’m so glad you are in my life, it’s so much richer for you being here.” If it’s an authentic statement from the heart your partner will glow and so will you. Those statements feel very different to, “how come I take the bloody rubbish bins out every week?” and “Why don’t you empty the dishwasher once in a while.”
The gifting of gratitude is magic. It not only lifts the spirits of the recipient but it also allows the bearer or gratitude to attract it back in. You see, what you give out you receive back.
Experiment. Try this for yourself. There is a tendency for us to focus on the things in life that feel difficult or aren’t going to plan. Ill health, financial problems, relationship difficulties and so on. We chew these hurts, worries and frustrations over in our heads for much of the day. This creates stress and anxiety. It is counter productive for we are not focusing on potential solutions but on the problem itself and this is tiring. A tired person is less likely to be able to come up with innovative solutions or move into acceptance of the stressor if solutions are not presenting. Shift into Gratitude for a while and see what happens.
Lets go into our mind and find a current problem. Got one? When we focus on our problem its like we take a magnifying glass and send all our attention towards this part of our life. We conveniently forget all the parts that are blessed and in abundance because we take them for granted. We do. If our current life were to be represented as a football field and all the parts (mother, worker, friend, socialiser, exerciser,) were allocated around the ground and our ‘problem’ occupied the ‘forward pocket’, we conveniently forget about the rest of the field and that magnifying glass focuses on the forward pocket and makes it appear like our whole playing field. It’s a distorted view. Get the magnifying glass off the problem. Get it back in perspective.
OK so what do we have to be grateful for in this current life? In Australia, the list is endless. When was the last time you felt appreciation for our fresh air? In many countries this isn’t available. We turn on a tap and we have running water. Are you taking that for granted as you hop into your shower in the morning? Most of us have a roof over our heads at night and warm bedding to snuggle under. Electricity and gas; heating and cooling. Do you just assume that is your right, or do you ever remember that we are privileged? We have a ready supply of fresh food and the variety available is unreal! The world is on our door step. We have beaches to swim at, stunning countryside and national parks to explore, movies to attend, sports to participate in, bikes to ride, clothes to wear, jobs to contribute to, a democratic system of government, a country that values peace. Beautiful music of every genre to lift our spirits. Theatre to attend. Cars to drive. How are you going out there? Are you now joining in? We have ABUNDANCE. Have you been taking it for granted? Missing it?
How about you play with being IN gratitude for a whole day just to see how it feels. Give thanks for every little something that is part of your world. Choose to place your focus on gratitude for what you still HAVE rather than what is lacking and watch your sense of the world change. It becomes a far brighter place. Full of opportunity and possibility rather than a life of threats, drudgery and negativity. You could create a gratitude board. I have one. I wake up to see it every day on my wall. Reminds me that I am blessed. THANK YOU for reading this.