Friday, April 20, 2007

Gratitude Reminders

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One of the most important things we can do in the quest to reinvent ourselves for a better and more balanced life is to express gratitude on a daily basis. By zeroing in on the things we have (and therefore be grateful for them), we set in motion to attract more of the same.

You will recall that the law of attraction says the more we focus our energy thoughts on what we want and have, the more it will come back to us because the universe is like one giant mirror. It eventually manifests in physical reality our most heavily concentrated thoughts. Thoughts become things and based on my experience, they show up far quicker by maintaining an attitude of gratitude. It's an energy thing. I'm not a Quantum Physicist so I can't explain why exactly but I just know it works.

You can't help but feel good when focusing on the good in your life. This puts you in a better mental frame of reference. When you're in that state of mind, what happens when you encounter adversity or an unexpected obstacle? Instead of wailing like a victim ("Why is this happening to me?"), you'll automatically perceive the situation in a different way ("What can I learn from this?"). You're more apt to take things in stride and let things roll off your back as opposed to getting all uptight over something that you have no control over. An attitude of gratitude places you in a more harmonious state, allowing you to be in sync with the universe.

Here are three things that help me maintain an attitude of gratitude:

1. When getting dressed, along with spare change, car keys and my wallet, I also include a smooth, transparent stone with an angel inside it. Throughout the day, when reaching inside my pockets for something, I inevitably come into contact with this stone, triggering an outpouring of gratitude (i.e. "Thank you God for this beautiful day" or "Thank you, thank you for - fill in the blank"). At the end of the day, as I am emptying out my pockets and putting everything back on the dresser, what comes out? That's right -- the stone! It causes new thoughts of gratitude to pass through my mind because now I'm thinking about the good things that happened to me earlier in the day (i.e. "Thank you for the wonderful news from so and so."). I end up going to bed with these new thoughts, in effect "metabolizing" them throughout the night. What a great way to end your day on a positive note!

2. I created a file on my computer called "Stephen's Gratitude List." It outlines every single thing I could think of to be grateful for. Several times a week I review it, sometimes adding new things, other times adjusting it. On that gratitude list are big and small things. If you really think about it, it's impossible not to be grateful for something even when things appear not to be going very well. If you look hard enough, you'll find tidbits of good things in your life. For instance, you could be grateful for your eyes to read this while you're in the midst of a painful situation at home or work. Or you could say you're grateful for heat and hot water when there's a major blizzard swirling all around you. It's all a matter of perception and focus!

By the way, having a gratitude list and looking at it several times a week is an excellent way to snap you out of the doldrums and quickly put you in a better frame of mind. In fact, it's guaranteed! For those of you who have your hearing, I'll bet that when you're feeling the blues and you want to snap out of it, all you have to do is put on your favorite music and Presto! You're feeling better within seconds. Would that be a fair and accurate assumption?? Well, since I can't hear music, I have my gratitude list to achieve the same thing!

3. And the final thing that helps me is to be on the lookout for triple numbers like 111, 222, 333, 444. I don't know where I got this from but I believe God, the angels and/or the universe are constantly sending messages to us in a variety of different ways. I believe every time I see a triple set of numbers, I am being reminded that the angels are there with me, guiding me along my spiritual journey or perhaps confirming that I'm on the right path. Wouldn't that be something to be grateful for? Certainly! For example, I'll be driving along and suddenly see a postbox alongside the road with 222 on it. At that moment, I'll say a silent prayer of thanks. Or I'll be at my gym on the treadmill and happen to glance down at the digital readout and see 444, triggering something like: "Thank you God, Thank you for the energy you are pouring through me on this treadmill." Suddenly I'll feel a burst of new energy and I end up wanting to run at superhuman speed - I'm not kidding you!

Food for thought: Why not carry around a nice, cute little "gratitude rock" where you can feel it throughout the day, reminding you to be grateful? What about creating a gratitude list and reviewing it several times a week? Or how about being on the lookout for triple digit numbers between 111 and 444? Do something, anything that will help you maintain an attitude of gratitude!
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