In May, a fabulous woman (Bonnie Muenz) introduced me to a book called “The Magic” – all about the magic of the practice of gratitude. With her and 5 other women from our mastermind – Starting Over 2018 with Bonnie Muenz – we worked our way through 28 days of gratitude practices! It was simply transformational!
So much so, that when the 28 days were over, we went back to Day 1 and started all over again!
After the growth that I experienced through that challenge, I participated in September in setting up a Facebook community group – Radical Gratitude Community – where we could pass on all of these insights to others! Because I firmly believe that gratitude – even in the face of adversity – is essential to a spiritually fulfilled life!
In fact, we are reminded, throughout the Bible to give thanks in all things.
It’s not always easy to give thanks in all things – quite often we are living through painful experiences and times. And yet – sometimes it is gratitude that pulls us through those tough times.
I want to share with you a discussion I had recently with some friends about the power of a grateful heart! One the beautiful things I’ve discovered with Facebook, is that it allows me to join up with other rich souls and share our experiences with gratitude – especially the power of gratitude to transform our lives.
Today, I want to ask you a simple question:
What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?
I realise that we are living in a time of hardship – perhaps things are not going as easily or fluidly as you had hoped that they would. But can you notice the blessings in the midst of the trials and hardship? Can you stay humble – throughout to the other side – and remember the moment and the lessons?
The say that pain is inevitable – but suffering is optional!
So, I ask you today – what is your adversity? And within that adversity – what can you control? What do you have that you can do? What is the one thing that you can improve in the quality of your life? Perhaps instead of sitting in the shade, you might move you seat into the sun – or perhaps you want to move it from the sun into the shade. What do you have control over?
How are you choosing to go about your day? When you wake up in the morning – are you choosing to set your intention for the day? Are you simply surviving? Or are you thriving?
This is all about the choice of your state of mind – not your circumstances. Do you remember “think on these things”? What are you choosing to think on?
So I repeat – if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday – what would you be left with?
Yesterday, I complained about the speed of my internet — forgetting… I have internet… I have a computer… I have a roof over my head… I have safety! I have groceries and food to eat. I have a car, gas & transport!
Being grateful is a choice – is that part of your natural disposition? Or do you need to work on creating that habit? What is that one small thing… that one small thing… that you could focus on and be grateful for?
Perhaps you asked for growth – and you forgot that in order to be strengthened the iron is first smeltered in the fire! Charater-building happens in the midst of hardship – not when it’s easy.
You don’t build muscles sitting around!
If you want to tone muscles, you have to put them to work! They need to stretch and grow through effort!
Yes, I know that gratitude can feel like a hard stretch! How can I be thankful & grateful when I am feeling angry, sad and resentful? What causes you to feel angry or sad or resentful? What are the thoughts that are taking you to those emotions? Could you choose to focus your thoughts on something different?
Perhaps you’re focused on regrets –
- I invested my time with the wrong people
- I trusted those who didn’t deserve my trust
- My work & endeavours have failed – I have nothing to show for all the time I invested!
- I wasted my time!
But.. have you paused to consider that who you are today is a direct result of the struggles you have lived through? The strength that you have is the direct result of all the working out you have been doing!
Associating with the wrong people – gives you an appreciation for the right people!
Burning everything to the ground – is an opportunity to build from the ground up! The chaff is all burned away, leaving only the most precious metals!
If you are not sure where to start with your practice of gratitude, allow me to offer 3 potential starting points:
- You are not alone. We are all intimately connected – there is Oneness with God/Spirit/the Divine… and we are all connected to each other! Take a moment to pause and simply lean into this connection of pure love.
- Hope & Faith abound. Hope is the expectation and desire for an outcome. Faith is the complete trust or confidence in that something. This is not about understanding and being able to comprehend the “how”! This is about knowing that your job is simply to take the small — intentional — step today. That one step in the right direction. Knowing that tomorrow you simply need to take the next step. A friend of mine once wisely shared his prayer for difficult times: “Lord, please make the way straight in the darkness — and show me the way when it’s not straight.” His job was not always to see the way… if it was dark, he knew that he simply had to take the next step in faith. And if there was light, then he could see where the next step was!
- Every difficulty is a learning opportunity. What did you learn today? What are you grateful for today – that has made you stronger or wiser? What did you change about yourself today – that makes you a better version of yourself for tomorrow?
I leave you with this closing promise: