So here’s what I’ve been learning from The Law of Attraction: it’s not about monitoring your every thought to discover if those thoughts are in gratitude, in non-gratitude, or in ungratefulness. It’s not about watchfully (and obsessively) checking where you are on the continuum.
If living gratitude is about expanding that gratitude, then it’s also about the upper half of the vortex. Our job then (in order to live more in gratitude) is to expand the positive vortex. There’s (at least) a couple of ways to do that.
It’s not about using your brain to solve your brain. That shit doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried for decades to get my brain to fix my brain. What I’ve been experimenting with, and so far it’s working, is tuning into my feelings and letting them give me the information on what’s working and what’s not working. Let me break that down:
When you’re doing something or thinking something or speaking something, and your emotional reaction is positive, it’s because what you’re doing/thinking/speaking is aligned with your soul’s purpose and direction.
If you notice that you’re feeling crappy (ungrateful, irritated, sorry for yourself, blaming, etc etc) that’s your soul letting you know that what you’re doing/thinking/speaking is not in alignment with your soul’s truth for you. The negative emotion is actually the indicator that you’re off track.
Great to have that information, but no doubt you are asking the next question … So what do you do about it?
You don’t need to analyze it, ruminate on it, or go deeper into it, you just need to … STOP. Stop doing/thinking/speaking whatever that thing is that you’re doing/thinking/speaking, and change your focus to something that brings you joy, gratitude, or a sense of excitement.
The thing I’ve noticed is that those of us in the personal consciousness-raising movement (you know what I’m talking about it, and let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this if that wasn’t you) have an understandable habit of gazing at our navel to figure out what went wrong, what we did wrong, or what could be corrected. But the bottom line is, that’s not getting us closer to gratitude, that’s taking us to non-gratitude, which we all now know, based on last week’s blog post, is the first step on the road to ungratefulness.
So how do you live with more gratitude?
- Stop dead in your tracks when you’re not in a grateful or joyful thought, when you’re going negative. And shift your focus to something you are grateful about or that does bring you joy!
- Express gratitude about the people in your life (to those people, in case that wasn’t obvious). Shout it from the rooftops! Don’t hold back. So many of us don’t let people know what we adore and love about them. It’s like we’re saving it for a rainy day, or when our partner thinks of leaving us, or when we have a fight with a friend … then we’re gonna dump all the gratitude on them to try to turn it around. The power comes from telling them NOW. I’ve taken up a habit inspired by my friend Kyla, which is whenever I feel even the slightest urge, when I’m in any kind of appreciation of anyone in my life, I shoot them a quick text: I adore you, you inspire me, I love you, you’re magical, you make my world better. Like that. Not only does it make them feel great, it makes me feel great too, and more to the point … Grateful!
- Express gratitude through your body and through how you are in the world. For example, smile at people when you walk past them on the street, which will require you to pay attention to who is actually walking down the street when you are. Being present in the moment is one way of expressing gratitude. Gratitude for being alive and having a body.
- Express what it is in your life that you’re grateful for. Not just keeping it in your head, or putting it on a piece of paper …Tell people: I’m so excited that ____”.
- Catch yourself in the middle of when you’re going to whine or complain about something, and don’t do it. Choose something different. This sometimes happens for me when I am writing an email. I have a default brain pattern where, without thinking about it, I jot down what is irritating me in this whiny kind of way. Now I catch it, and choose to remove the negative emotional content. It’s not serving me, there is no real reason for it, so why do it? The next step is to actually back it up and stop thinking it. That’s way trickier, but it’s the same process. The minute you’re noticing that negative feeling, STOP, and redirect. Ideally, redirect to expressing gratitude!
Ok over to you:
What steps will you implement to live with more gratitude in your life today?