Gratitude is more than being thankful one day a year. Gratitude is a practice. For some, it’s a way of life.

Why do some people swear by the practice of gratitude? Why do these people have joy-filled and abundant lives?

In other words, why does gratitude make you happy and wealthy?

•  Because gratitude is about presence.

It’s about waking up in this moment and being here – really being here – and noticing what’s around you. Most people are so busy thinking about the next thing, or about their horrid past, that they don’t wake up and look around at their present moment – the only moment there is.

•  Because gratitude is about honoring YOUR precious life.

Do you ever compare your life with someone else’s? Do you ever wish your life were better and more like [insert famous person’s name here]?  Sometimes we can lose ourselves in wondering how we “measure up” to some standard set by our families or by the media.  Comparison is the mind killer.  The antidote is gratitude.

Gratitude requires that you validate your own life. (And you really don’t have any other life, do you?) It forces you say YES to the gift that is you. The choices you’ve made and the changes you’ve gone through— they have brought you here. Even if here is a place that needs a little adjustment, that’s okay. There are always gifts in any present moment.

•  Because gratitude is about attracting.

It’s difficult to attract abundance and joy if you are constantly saying “no” to what IS.  You say “no” each time you focus on the future or past, or when you criticize something that is in your present moment.

Attraction is about saying Yes.  When you say Yes, you shift.

Gratitude says, “Yes, I love this!” And then more of this is attracted, because the this is what you’re focusing on.

•  Because gratitude is about choice.

How you translate any situation is the situation. What you choose to see is the truth (for you).

This isn’t proposing that you live in denial or phoniness. It’s reminding you that your translation of any life situation is your choice.  We’ve all heard stories of people who have ignored others’ translations of their talent, their projects, their art, their looks, their lives. These people chose their own translations and succeeded. You always have a choice when it comes to how you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude.

•  Because gratitude is about wisdom.

I think people believe they’re being smart if they criticize, complain, and focus on the problems of the world around them.

Smart?  Maybe.

Clever? Sure.

But not wise.

It is wise to look for and find the knowing place in your heart. It is wise to choose joy. It is wise to honor your riches. It is wise to focus on and grow the blessings of your life.

•  Because gratitude is about recognition.

Use your power of focus to hone in on beauty and on what makes your heart sing. Recognize the spirit in your life. It’s all around you waiting to be noticed. In the words of Franz Kafka, “It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

•  Because gratitude is about receptivity.

Gratitude makes you receptive. It makes you a vessel, waiting to be filled.

I carry a tiny notebook with me everywhere I go. In it, I write down song ideas. I write down quotes I hear. I write down ideas for stage stories. As I do that, I become more receptive, and more ideas and songs come to me. It’s a tool that says to my subconscious, “Send more my way!” And the subconscious always responds.

Gratitude is the same way. It says, “I am receptive! Send more!” And more arrives.

•  Because gratitude is about creativity.

Creativity is really all about attention.  (So is genius.)

When I write a song, I build a relationship with that song. I spend time with it. I get to know it. I pay attention to it. Artists do the same thing with drawings. They spend time in rapt attention, and the drawing is born.

Gratitude is how we Uplevel. It is a creative act to notice and pay attention to the moments of your life. Some days it’s an enormous act of creativity to find things for which to be thankful.

Start today.

And have a Thanksgiving of presence, creativity, and gratitude!

23 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Lisa Larter

    Thanks Christine for the reminder to be grateful for the now.

    There is much in my life I am grateful for, and at times it is easy to look to the future versus accept, enjoy and appreciate the moment.

    Tonight I am enjoying being in my beautiful home with my husband and dogs, having a glass of wine, spending some time thinking, reading and connecting – and I am grateful that I am able to do and have all of this in my life.

    Also much gratitude to you for your years of wisdom, friendship and inspiration.

  • Diane Koenigsberg

    I’ve always had trouble with gratitude. I think in some twisted way I believe gratitude and satisfaction will make me feel stuck. That the energy that comes with dissatisfaction is what keeps me moving forward… Even though theoretically I know believing this is wrong…

  • Melissa Flach

    Thanks for the article Christine,
    I’m a big believer in gratitude but bad at the “habit” of gratitude, meaning I am not very good at writing in my gratitude journal every day. You have inspired me to start…today, November 28th at 5:59 a.m.
    Also going to use this in my e-zine. You are an inspiration and attending one of your retreats is on my list of goals.
    Thanks,
    Melissa

  • Leticia Parra

    This statement about abundance “You say “no” each time you focus on the future or past, or when you criticize something that is in your present moment.”—struck a cord with me. I have never heard it said this way. I kept wondering why sometimes abundance was elusive to me. I think it was because I was not grateful for the present moment—instead my mind was in the future, planning a meal or what to create—instead of being grateful for the present moment and noticing what inspiration was being born in me. Thanks Christine for giving me this ah-haa moment.

  • Leona Hosack

    I like the idea that being grateful validates your own life! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Janet

    I’ve been a follower of yours for years, and I think that this is one of the most succinct posts you’ve ever written. I already make a practice of gratitude, but this takes it to a much deeper level that makes clear how gratitude can permeate every aspect of our lives– very powerful! Thank you so much for the work you do and the difference you make in the world. I am grateful for you!

  • Dr Curtis H Smith

    Never heard your music until today, after searching through some old computer files of my late sister, Mary-Margaret Bowles (Byerman) of Terre Haute, IN. Anyway, you performed at one of her house concerts about 10 years ago, wish I had been there, but at least saw some of the pictures of the event! Best Wishes!

  • Julia Barnickle

    Lovely article, Christine. I’ve signed up for your newsletters on the strength of this!
    I have recently been part of a mindfulness programme, and some people were asking: how can you be grateful if you’re going through a really bad time right now? But, no matter how bad things are, there is always something you can be grateful for – even if it’s only that things could be worse than they are! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Velina Brown

    Hi Christine,

    I appreciate this article. Thank you.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Velina

  • Kimberly Sherry

    Much gratitude for you Christine!!
    So cool that I just did my video for my monthly newsletter on the present moment and how to collect up our energy out of the future and past….
    See you in a couple of weeks!!
    Kimberly

    • Christine Kane

      I’m SO happy to hear you’re doing video Kimberly. You are such a radiant person that I know this will serve your peeps in a huge way. Can’t wait to see you at Uplevel LIVE! 🙂

  • Annette Kane

    This is so good, Christine! I will forward it to others. You are a wise spiritual director (and a mentor to others, too). Thanks. Love always, Mom

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Mom! 🙂

      (This is the first time my mom has commented on my blog. Don’t know if she’ll find her way back here – but I think it’s pretty cool! Now we gotta get her a gravatar!)

  • Glenn

    Funny I should open up this email this morning and it is about gratitude. After reading one of your entries a few years ago, I too have elected to focus on a word/concept each year instead of resolutions……and i told my wife yesterday that my word for next year was going to probably going to be gratitude. This past year it was present, as in being in the present and enjoying it.

    Last year I started to have the words made into wooden art by someone on etsy for about $10 a word and I get both my and my wife’s words made and then they sit at the base of our computer monitors where we see it everyday.

    This past year, the word present helped me to lose 40 lbs. by focusing on the present which reminded me to shut my piehole and ride my bike 40-80 miles a week.

    So thanks for the thoughts and now I need to decide if gratitude or intention will be my word for next year!

    • Christine Kane

      Glenn – Congratulations on losing 40 pounds! Isn’t it amazing what one word and some good focus can really do?

  • Nikki

    Thank you for this article! I have been focusing on gratitude more and more, and not just during Thanksgiving week (although that’s a great reminder to all of us). I find that you’re right, it brings us right to the present moment, awake and aware.

    Have a fabulous holiday!
    Blessings,
    Nikki

    • Christine Kane

      Nikki – It’s the habit of gratitude and present moment awareness (or mindfulness) that makes it so real. Just like you, I am always coming back to this one simple truth no matter what’s going on in my world. Thanks for your note! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Joy

    Amen!

    Totally rocked this one, Christine!!!

    In gratitude for YOU in my life.

    May your Thanksgiving be filled with lots and lots of gratitude!

    Love,
    Joy

    • Christine Kane

      Joy – THANK YOU beautiful! Right back at you! You are doing beautiful work in our world!