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Attitude of Gratitude

Ready to learn how to create a life focused on gratitude?  Follow my 5 step process towards making that shift.  It might be challenging at first, but once you get the ball rolling and you start seeing the positive changes in your life, I promise you will be hooked!

1: Pay attention to your thoughts and see where you are sabotaging yourself! 

Action: Throughout your day start analyzing the thoughts you have that are negative.  Look closely—they are good at hiding themselves under labels like “practical,” “observant,” “realistic,” even “truthful.”  I found that I was having negative thoughts about myself like “I’m never gonna get this done.” (Realistic.)  I had thoughts about others “Poor guy, he is never gonna get a date dressed like that.” (Observant.)  I had thoughts about society: “No one cares about this planet!” (Okay that one was just straight hopeless….)

Now, take some of those thoughts and see how you can shift your perspective.  If you look at the situation through a different lens, could you come up with a more positive thought around it?  “If I ask for some help I bet I can get this done in time!”  “He might not know how to match his outfit, but I bet he is a really sweet guy.”  “We have really trashed the planet, but at least there are amazing people who care enough to work on cleaning it up.”

Do you see how we can just change a few words around and it shifts how you feel when you say them?

2: This is a harder one.  With so many terrible stories on the news, how are we supposed to be happy?  How are we supposed to look at these incidents in a positive light?  Again, there is ALWAYS a way to shift perspective.  For example, do you remember the mass shooting that happened in Vegas at the concert?  A horrific story for sure.  How do we get through something like that without losing faith in the world?  How do we not let the fear get ingrained into our psyche?   I made the conscious choice not to listen to every news story about it.  I heard what happened; I didn’t need to hang on for every gruesome detail. 

The stories that I did listen to?  The ones that told of the heroism of regular people helping each other in the midst of chaos.  Those are the stories from the shooting that I took to heart.  I focused on the fact that there are so many loving hearts still in the world. 

Action: Since we are talking about the news, try this: turn it off!  This doesn’t mean completely.  You can still get brief news updates or scan the headlines.  But don’t live on it!  When something comes to your attention that upsets you or worries you, challenge yourself to find a way to shift your perspective on it.

3: Like attracts like. 

If we take a look at what we put our focus on, the things that we show interest in, we will end up with more and more of it showing up in our lives.  Have you ever done a search on YouTube for something you were interested in?  Once you looked for it, more and more and more videos kept coming up about that topic, right?  And the more you click, the more you get. 

Energy works on this same “algorithm.”  So do our thought patterns.  Every time you energetically click “like” on something, you have told the universe you would like more, please. 

Action: Where are you focusing your attention?  You say you want to learn to see the good in the world, but all you do is watch CNN.  You say you want to think positive thoughts, but all you do is repeat the same negative mind chatter over and over.  Identify habits and thought patterns you have that are keeping you in a negative mindset.  Working on one at a time, what new habit or thought can you replace it with to start the shift towards the positive alternative?  What do you need to change so you stop clicking “like?”

4: Talk to God.  (Or Source, or Universe, or The One.  Use the title that you are comfortable with.)  If you aren’t used to doing this it can feel pretty awkward at first.  I certainly felt that way!  What was I supposed to say?  How was I supposed to address this Creator of All Things?  It can be intimidating enough to try to have a conversation with your boss, or your mother-in-law for that matter!  How do you start a conversation as important as this one?

God’s will for you is perfect happiness.  If you are afraid to talk to God because you are afraid of judgment or punishment, you are viewing God from your ego mind.  These thoughts are really judgments you are having towards yourself.  Understand that there is no judgment from God; there is only Love.  Talk to God from your heart, as this is where you will find Spirit.  It is like talking to your best friend who is always there for you through thick and thin and only has the best advice for you. 

Action: When you wake up in the morning but before you have gotten out of bed, say “hi” to God and give thanks for the blessings in your life.  This may be as simple as giving thanks for the bed you are sleeping in.  Make it a fun exercise to find something different to give thanks for everyday.  As you get used to that, just start having short conversations, like you would have with your best friend.  Ask for help on things that are bothering you.  Be open and patient and you will slowly start receiving answers or seeing doors open to you that you thought were closed before. 

5: Journal.  For some of you this may be more intimidating than talking to God!  But don’t over think it.  It doesn’t need to be a long thought out masterpiece.  For now, just see it as a tool to help you focus your mindset on gratitude for just 5-10 minutes a day. 

Action: Grab a cheap notebook from the dollar store (fancy journals are pretty but can be intimidating to write in) and your favorite pen.  Pick a time of day that you can fit in a quick 5-10 minutes to dedicate solely to your journal.  Try to stick to the same time every day so it will be easy to remember.  For example, I picked first thing in the morning while I was waiting for the tea pot to boil.  Maybe get to work five minutes early and journal in your car before you walk inside.  Perhaps the end of the day is easier and you keep your journal by your bedside to jot a few things down before you go to bed.  Whatever time/place you choose, stick to it. 

Now, answer these three prompts:

  1. What is one thing I am grateful for?
  2. Yesterday I took care of myself by _________.
  3. Today I will take care of myself by _________.

Commit to doing this for two weeks.  At the end of the two weeks, reflect on anything that came up for you.  Any areas of your life that may need focusing on?  Was it hard or easy to find things to be grateful for?  Are you giving yourself enough time for self-care?  Journal about any insights or questions that you have.  The more you do this, the easier the conversation will flow and the more insights you will gain. 

It will become another way for you to communicate with God.

I truly hope that this helps you on your journey inwards.  It is how I began and it has taken me to a new level in my life.

“The only way out is in.” –Teal Swan

Peace & Love,

Holly B.