When we cultivate an attitude of gratitude, things don't
just look better — they actually get better. Ocean Robbins
Gratitude is a way of being that can transform your world instantly. And yet, sometimes it might feel pretty difficult to muster up some appreciation for what's happening in your world. The lack of money and energy, the conditional relationships and successes, the breakdown of hopes and dreams. At times it is really challenging to see the abundance when you're mired in the ‘what's missing.'
You might look at all the bad stuff that's happening and wonder, “Where do I start? How can I shift my point of view when what I'm experiencing is REAL scarcity? How can I be grateful when I've got some major problems on my hands?”
Listen, change is challenging by its very nature. To change your perspective when your physical world shows you otherwise may seem a little crazy, even unrealistic. But, it can be done. It must be done.
Here are four tools to help you shift your inner world, especially when the outside world doesn't quite measure up:
1. Choice. All change begins with your desire to have something be different, better, more. This isn't about desire as a never ending source of wanting to be fulfilled. This is desire as the urge to engage, expand and evolve your perspective. This isn't about the stuff, it's about the quality of your experience. Scarcity and lack are no fun, agreed? First, choose to open to the possibility that everything might not be what it seems to be, on the surface.
Maybe there is abundance in your world and you just aren't noticing it. Maybe there is something to this gratitude practice, but you don't quite get it yet. Choice creates an opening, especially when you add curiosity to the mix. Be curious about the fact that things might look pretty crappy at first glance. Maybe, just maybe, there might be another way through this. Choose to see it. Choose to engage and explore it. Choice is the first step.
2. Surrender. New possibilities arise when you let go of your habitual way of seeing things. Letting go presupposes some loss and effort. Instead, why not surrender? Surrender your assumptions and judgments. Don't think of surrender as in the ‘white flag' of war. Think of surrender as in the way you surrender to love.
Love is an energy that floods your being, takes over your senses and even makes time stand still. When you love someone, no matter what they do or say, you STILL see the light of their being, you focus on what can be, not necessarily what's showing up on your doorstep. Possibility lives in love! In the same way, you can surrender each assumption that you have that limits your capacity to show up abundantly. Relinquish the old way of being and surrender to a new way of being you.
3. Focus. Your focus determines the world that you experience. You can focus on what's wrong, or you can focus on what's right. Focusing on the empowering perspective will not only feel better, it will change your world. And here's the good news, focus is ALL about cultivating a new habit. A new habit that you choose, by surrendering a point of view that no longer serves you. You can play with this in your gratitude practice.
At first it might be difficult to find the abundance in your world. First you choose, you decide to experience gratitude. Then, as you encounter the habitual thoughts of scarcity you surrender that point of view. Now, you focus on where gratitude lives in your world. You draw your attention to it on a regular basis. As you choose, surrender and focus it gets easier and easier to find the abundance. Once you find the abundance, gratitude flows effortlessly.
4. Feeling. Yes, feeling is a mind shifting tool! You cannot change your perspective unless your mind AND heart come into partnership. In order to really seal the deal with gratitude you must FEEL it. Engaging it from an intellectual level will not make it real. That is very often the reason that many do not experience the gifts of abundance, they are only engaging from the head and not from the heart.
There will be times when it will be VERY difficult to see the abundance. Your abundance journal might not overpower your feeling of fear. Words won't suffice when you're in the middle of a crisis. You need more than a mindset shift in these moments. What's required is your full engagement – head, heart and your connection to the infinite source of Life. Feeling is your bridge to these states of being. Feeling will bring you home.
Gratitude is a habit well worth cultivating. Use these four mindset shifting tools, for at least 21-days, and you will find that abundance and gratitude become your default point of view. Voila!
Gratitude starts off as a practice, becomes a habit then a way of being. You can enrich your world with the wonder that abounds, or you can keep focusing on what can't be fixed. Why not be the gift of gratitude? It's your choice!
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