Power of Gratitude V


Sometimes I hear, “Have an Attitude of Gratitude,” with the purpose of helping me manifest what I want; have more peace, feel more open and overall, less frustrated with my current lot in life.

And at those times, when I’m most frustrated, I find it difficult to really step out of my comfort zone with it’s revolving thoughts! It’s a merry-go-round in my head! Trying to figure out why, I’m stuck in a place once again, in which, I’ve visited many times, over several years.

Now most people can relate to frustration being a difficult emotion to step out of and stop, cold turkey.

There is a certain comfort to old thoughts and lashing out at the Universe, as to why things are once again headed in an unwelcome direction. I know, because I’ve found it the most challenging time to have any gratitude for anything.

Most negative emotions can wrap us up in their clutches, making it feel impossible to be released.

We don’t get relief, so easily as to just say words of gratitude, oh no! It’s the same thing with positive affirmations, even if the words come out of our mouth, does it match our truth? Does it match our energy, our intention, our feelings?

Just saying words with no real meaning attached to it, gives us no power. It keeps us powerless, especially if the force of our anger or unhappiness is behind it.

In some of my more recent challenges, the ones, which I didn’t understand their significance or reoccurrence, I discovered something new. I came to understand my value.

People can say how wonderful we are, they can slather us in praise, and we can even look in the mirror and say, “Hmmm…not bad,” but these sentiments are not necessarily indicative of how we value ourselves.

In the past, I believed I had to work super hard to get value. I also believed that everything in my life had happened as either a reflection of me or that it was a lesson I wasn’t getting! This trifecta of thoughts would come up every time a past result, seemed to be my present outcome. I’d think of how I handled it differently, how I acted differently and how I thought differently, so how could this possibly be happening?

It dawned on me one day.

Deep inside, I felt, I did not deserve my circumstances, that in this particular event, I embraced my value. I saw where I was responsible, where I had done everything I could think of and it still had poor results. This was not a reflection of me at all. I stopped beating myself up with those recurring thoughts and felt peace.

And what does this have to do with the power of gratitude?

In the realization of my own value, came an opening. All the responsibility I carried for the external circumstances, the outcome, of all that occurred, had dropped from my shoulders. The barriers of blame, I held against the Universe and myself started to crumble. I was able to feel my way into gratitude.

Gratitude is about the present moment, not the future. When it comes to being personally-empowered, all we can be connected to in the mind, body, spirit department is now.

We can be grateful for what is and where we are today. When we value ourselves, our gratitude is clearer and less tinged with what we don’t have in the moment.

If we take a few minutes to really look at a situation, in which we’re held hostage and feel gratitude is the last place we can actually touch, it’s important to stop for a second and ask ourselves, “Have I done everything, I believe can be done in this situation, with the knowledge I have right now?” If the answer is yes, (and it usually is when we’re frustrated), then seeing where we’re applying unnecessary pressure on ourselves for the present situation to be different is key.

Where does that come from?

Once we see why we need the validation of a situation to turn out right, we can gain clarity on our actions and our value. Once we really start honoring our value, we can feel grateful for exactly what is in our lives. We can look at the frustrating situation and know that it’s teaching us gratitude. It’s taught us that there is freedom from the murkiness of believing life has done us wrong, or we’re wrong.

I can be grateful right now for all that is in my life. It allows me to be accepting, and not in such a hurry. I can look at the past and feel thankful for the experiences, which have brought to the place of value I feel in myself.

The power of true gratitude is a feeling of softening, because it connects us to a greater source than ourselves. We’re not so worried and caught up in what might never happen.

Gratitude allows us to connect to our creativity. When we are in this space of freedom, connecting to the creative within us, it opens a door to new thought. We gain a new approach and an opportunity to lessen the intensity of our circumstances, enough so, that our actions coming from gratitude can lead us to a completely different place than we are today.

Thanking every experience and person, past or present for their contribution to helping us discover our true value, places us squarely in an empowered space.

Links to the four other posts in this series:

The Power Of Presence

The Power Of Balance

The Power of Abundance

The Power of Insecurities



Journals-the fun!

Early this morning, I was thinking, which is hard to do when it is “early”. As I was going up and down on the elliptical at the gym about journals. At the same time, I was also reading a book and staring at the ceiling in my “own private Idaho”. I go to the gym at the crack of dawn, so that I am not fully awake to realize that I am actually working out…I really do look forward to this time everyday. It allows me to slowly wake up to life without feeling like I am in a hurry each day. And even better, because I am a self-professed book lover, I use the time to read away!

Back to journals though, there are so many reasons to own a journal or three, in fact I think I have “five” separate journals. They all participate in my life in a different way….and to be honest, I don’t write in them everyday. I’d like to do so daily, but sometimes I am just not in the mood. I would rather do what I am in the mood to do, instead of making journal writing a chore. And therefore, some of the journals sit for days, weeks or even months. Sometimes I end up writing on sticky notes or I’ll take a notepad to write one of several things that is on my mind or in my heart. And if no paper is available, I’ll make a note on my phone to be later transferred into one of my journals.

I advise my clients to utilize journals too. Not as a task, but for a variety of reasons. First off, a journal isn’t just a journal. Sure, you can keep a daily record of events in your life from losing a pound to the weather and how it affected your daily run. The reason I have 5 different journals is to capture different elements to my life in a focused manner. Instead of having a mish-mosh of thoughts, feelings, desires and inspiration–I let having separate journals serve the purpose of organization and intention. A journal doesn’t have to be a traditional journal either. One of mine is not a traditional “JOURNAL”; its a sketchbook, which acts as a journal too, whether I am pasting pictures of things I want in my life on its pages or drawing how I feel–my sketchbook is something I cherish.

Another one of my journals (which I ask my clients to also keep) is a manifestation journal. Yup, I write all the things I want to manifest inside of this little book. Big or small things, I feel it has a magical quality, because I believe the words I am writing as the ink flows from my pen to paper. At the beginning of the book, I have my own little statement about its contents. Some people may choose to call it a prayer journal, where they have written their prayers into for them to be answered. Either way–its definitely a high recommendation on my list, because it is a happy little book.

My abundance journal is combined with my gratitude (appreciation) journal. I like to look at what I am fortunate to have in my life and how abundantly I am provided for in terms of appreciation. It gives me a sense of gratitude that I am here and alive, so why not enjoy what I got right now?! Of course, there is always the desire for things I do not have, but I believe they will come in their own time.

My journal of favorite quotes and things I want to remember that I have heard or seen is another goodie! Whenever I see something that catches my eye, read something inspiring or hear something beautiful, I scratch it down in this journal. I don’t know about you, but me….I forget more than I remember if I am left to my own grey matter for retention. Haha!

And lastly, I have the journal that I write in when I am struggling with something. I know that if I cannot speak about it with someone, the next best thing is to write about it. Seems that it gives me a whole new perspective or at the very least, I feel lighter after writing in it–its almost automatic for me as I write, pages get filled up in mere minutes. And then I may keep them for awhile or go in and gently tear them out of the journal. It’s a way to vent at times and for me, I don’t need to revisit those words on the pages. If they are still inside me then they will come up again. I used to hold on to journals for years—then I realized it felt like such a heavy weight, I started tossing them. I had held onto them with the thought, I would want to read them over again to see how far I have come in my own personal growth or to possibly get a better understanding of myself. Instead, like I said, they were more of a heavy weight; a tool I used at a certain time in my life to put all the ugliness I felt inside onto the outside. It is cathartic to write it, but it is even better to let go of it!

There are many more reasons to start a journal. I used to keep journals for all three of my kids when they were growing up–so we could remember the events in their young lives. I have friends who like to keep dream journals, tracking their dreams, looking for symbols and meaning. I have also had a synchronicity journal, one in which I recorded all happenings in m life of synchronicity. For me, having so many journals is great, each has its own home inside of me. I’d love to hear feedback on how you utilize a journal or what a difference a journal has made in your life.