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