The Magique of Gratitude

It’s time again for a little “Moonday Magique” ladies and gentlemen! For this installment, we will be focusing our intentions on gratitude, the most magical of the spiritual elixirs. This virtue just happens to be the fairy dust of existence, putting a spell on the universe and drawing all that is divinely aligned straight to you.  In other words, EVERY day should be Thanksgiving!

So, this is where the trouble begins. Often we focus on the things we DON’T want in our lives and bemoan the lack of the things that we DO want. This focus of our energy automatically gives more “life” to the very things we are wishing to let go of and attracts more of the same. So, by beginning to focus on just what it is we already appreciate, have, and love, we start attracting more of that to ourselves. Score one for an attitude of gratitude.

In addition to that, the act of looking around at your life and realizing just how much you already have aligns you with your frequency of abundance. It’s sort of like when you clean out your closet and are astounded at just how much you have that you didn’t even realize. You may even have an item on your shopping list that you already own and had forgotten about! Just this simple practice of assessment reorients you to a state of abundance as opposed to lack.  So if that is something you long for (and who doesn’t desire abundance?), then start looking around on a regular basis and give thanks for what you’ve already got. Score two for giving thanks.

Similarly, we often dream of attaining something or having something, but soon after the “newness” wears off, we are already looking for the next things to achieve or buy. We barely take a breath to feel satisfied! Again, if you don’t stop to feel fulfilled and actually appreciate all that you have or have achieved in your life, you are continuing a vibration of dissatisfaction, longing, and emptiness. So relaxing the getting and just being with or using what you already have will probably lead to actual contentment, and even happiness.  In the same way looking back to see how far you’ve come helps you appreciate and love yourself a little more.  Score three and we’re still on a roll.

Finally, there are some things that come into our lives that are beautiful and healing, but they are disguised as challenging, irritating, or even as disasters. This is the time when you should be the most thankful of all! If we return to the cleaning out your closet metaphor, this is when the old shit that no longer serves you or excites you is being brought up for evaluation and tossed into the trash or the donation pile. It’s life’s (sometimes annoying and painful) way of clearing out the clutter that is sitting in your soul so your path ahead is unobstructed.

So again, even though it might be messy, give thanks that the old is being let go to make way for the new. One of the biggest blocks to receiving all the wonders the world wants to offer you is resentment.  Resentment is the cord that ties us to the past, and it always points to a belief that we have lost something we can never get back.  But often the things that were lost pale in comparison to the version that is to come, so in truth there is nothing to be angry about – the loss is an illusion because the best is yet to come, as long as you are open to it.  Once you realize that, you can see the true gifts you received from everything in your life and thank them for what they gave you, whether it was a catalyst to grow or discover yourself, an experience that strengthened you in a much needed way, or a love that opened your heart like no other.

So, here’s a little practice you can start to help get into a gratitude mindset, or should I say heartset. You’ve probably heard of listing 3-5 things each day that you are grateful for. Well I’m taking this even further! Spend 15-30 minutes every day finding something to be thankful for with everything you come into contact with during that time, good or bad. It might look something like this: as I get ready to leave work, I notice my gloves and how beautiful they are and remember they were a thoughtful gift from my sister. Then I notice my scarf and how soft it is and feel lucky, remembering it was a beautiful gift from my boyfriend. As I walk home, I notice that it’s not too cold out yet and it’s still light enough to see the trees and think I’m lucky to get to walk back and forth to work and enjoy nature.  As a crazy angry stranger passes me by, I give thanks silently that he left me alone.  As I walk into my apartment, I appreciate the warmth and feel lucky that I can afford the heat.

You get the idea.  I’ll tell you the truth – this practice can be pretty intoxicating.  Your heart might actually burst open!  I usually think one of three things, as I notice each item:  I notice what I love or appreciate about something (this could be a physical trait or a sentiment), I think of how lucky I am (this usually applies to a certain circumstance), or I actually say thank you out loud or in my mind (often to a person or to a situation I find challenging).

Do this for 15-30 minutes straight, and I GUARANTEE that your mood will shift.  You suddenly realize that all the little things in your life add up to a pretty happy existence.  This practice is especially effective to do when you are in a bad mood, or when everything seems to be going to shit in your life. Stop and see what is still good, but more importantly, see what gifts the shit has to offer you. After all, manure makes the very best fertilizer when growing something new, so see what present is offered in your present and experience for yourself the Magique of Gratitude!