The Power of Gratitude: 3 Questions, 30 DaysBy nancys
January 13, 2008
In this article Nancy Caroline Swisher, Certified Inner Bonding Facilitator, tells us why and shows us how to practice gratitude.
“How can I be grateful when I hate my job? How can I be grateful when I’ve wanted a relationship for so long and still don’t have one? How can I be grateful when I’m in debt? How can I be grateful when ____________?”
It is a common thing to focus on what we do not yet have but want. It is also a common thing not to be grateful for what we do have when we know that we desire something other than what we have. But to learn to feel gratitude, no matter what the circumstance or issue is a wonderful undertaking. Why? Gratitude feels lovely; gratitude signals the flow of divine energy through your Being.
But how do I feel gratitude when I want so many things to be different than they are?
Well, the answer is by wanting to focus on gratitude, by choosing to be grateful. Everything is always a choice when it comes to our focus.
Being grateful, however, is not about pretending to be grateful. It’s not about just saying the words. You have to feel it. And you can feel it even when circumstances may seem grim. To quote Eric Butterworth’s Spiritual Economics, “This is precisely the time to stir up the gift of gratitude! Remember, it is not a reactionary emotion but a causative one.” In other words, by being grateful, you cause or draw to you more experiences to feel grateful about!
Gratitude and appreciation are powerful, high frequency emotions. You don’t have to look outside to your environment for things to be grateful for in order to feel and experience gratitude. You can choose to be grateful, to feel grateful, to experience gratitude. When you do this, amazing things happen.
Inner Bonding and Gratitude:
Making gratitude a practice enhances your relationship to your Inner Child. It is a loving action, a heart-opening process. Practicing gratitude creates a sense of trust between the Child and Loving Adult. Your Essence or Core Child finds gratitude to be a natural emotion. It is the wounded self that feels separate from the feeling, separate from Spirit.
In Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God, Dr. Margaret Paul explains how gratitude is a natural outcome of practicing Inner Bonding, “When we have faith that we are here on this planet, having these particular experiences, in order to evolve in our lovingness, then we can gratefully embrace them.”
Practicing gratitude feeds your Inner Bonding process; in turn, Inner Bonding creates a higher and fuller knowing of gratitude.
How to Practice Gratitude: 3 Questions, 30 Days:
I suggest that you begin by spending a few minutes each night before going to bed writing out the answers to these questions:
1. What made me happy today?
2. What inspired me today?
3. What gave me deep peace or solace today?
Some days you may not have anything that makes you happy. This is useful information for you. You may ask, “How did I spend my day today that I can recall nothing that made me happy?” Some days may be overflowing with things under each question. Writing out your answers to these questions is most powerful when you really take time to feel each of the things you list. By feeling your gratitude, you are affecting your energy before you sleep. The feeling you go to sleep with affects not only your dreams, but also the feeling you awaken into the next day.
Do this for 30 days. It takes thirty days to create a habit or pattern. Buy a special tablet, one that you and your Inner Child like. Keep it beside your bed. Choose to focus on gratitude for a few minutes before turning off your light by answering the 3 questions. Take notice of any new things that show up for you to feel grateful for!
By making this a practice, you begin to program your Self to expect things to be grateful about! Better yet, you begin to be grateful for all moments of your life.
Being Gratitude: The following is a piece I wrote in order to feel the power of gratitude. I love the feeling of gratitude, so I allowed my words to find resonance with the feeling. Had I not been practicing the above questions for six months now, I doubt I could have written so much gratitude. I feel that I could write forever what I am grateful for.
I am grateful for my stomach. I am grateful for the color red. I am grateful for the feeling of warmth. I am grateful for the sun. I am grateful for my dog. I am grateful for his eyes. I am grateful for his joy. I am grateful for his attachment to me and my attachment to him. I am grateful for the train whistle in the night. For the memory of always hearing a train whistle wherever I have lived. I am grateful for my fear. I am grateful for learning how I cause my fear. I am grateful for organic food. I am grateful for belly laughs that contract my entire body. I am grateful for my hands. I am grateful for the sky. I am grateful for my joy. I am grateful for my trust. I am grateful for Butterfleece. I am grateful for the Iowa City dog park. I am grateful for the Iowa Caucuses. I am grateful for my business. I am grateful for my angels. I am grateful for the stars. I am grateful for the bald eagles that speak to me. I am grateful for the owls that also come when I call them. I am grateful for my breath. I am grateful for paper. I am grateful for thunder. I am grateful for snow. I am grateful for every flower I’ve ever seen and all the ones not yet seen. I am grateful for all the kisses I have given and all the kisses not yet given. I am grateful for my father’s love and the failure of my father’s love. I am grateful for my mother’s early death and the wisdom imparted to me by her death. I am grateful for smell. I am grateful for wind chimes. I am grateful for whales. I am grateful for Uniball pens. I am grateful for my bed. I am grateful for my towels. I am grateful for my heart. I am grateful for Pin Oak trees. I am grateful to be a world server. I am grateful for tea. I am grateful for movies. I am grateful for the moon. I am grateful for spirals. I am grateful for London. I am grateful for Beethoven 7th.
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Do you remember laughing with your whole body as a child? How often do you allow yourself to let go and laugh with your whole body as an adult? Joyous laughter is a balm for the soul. Joy and laughter open us to the experience of Spirit. Today, if something strikes you as funny, let yourself laugh with your whole body and soul.
By Dr. Margaret Paul