It’s been said that the most important prayer in the world is just two words: Thank you. The Universe’s true nature is one of bounty and abundance. Just like any human being, the universe needs to be thanked and appreciated when it bestows us with abundance and prosperity. Recall how you feel when you’ve done a good job and are given a pat on the back. When praised and acknowledged, we are motivated to continue to give at the same level, if not more. The universe operates on the same principle.
The universe responds to us by giving us what we believe we deserve. If we keep on focusing on what we do not have, that is what we will manifest. If we give thanks for what we do have, we usually get more. A simple Cosmic Law encapsulates this in a nutshell: “What you adore becomes more.” There are a few more ways of saying this: “Where we focus our energy is what we will manifest in our lives”, or “What we focus on, expands,”
Gratitude is a high octave spiritual emotion that opens up our hearts to feel joy for all that we have in our lives. It is learned and needs to be cultivated. It has to do with us feeling whole, fulfilled, and complete. We respond to life from a sense of value and gratefulness. We are happy to be alive. When we do not practice gratitude, we feel hard done by, that we got a bum deal from life, or we are deficient. In other words, we feel helpless with a victim consciousness.
Gratitude is not about thanking the universe once we get what we want. It begins now, regardless of how much you “have” or “don’t have” in your life. Alan Cohen says that the more we are thankful for, the more we will find to be thankful for.” Gratitude begets gratitude.
Interestingly, you cannot be grateful and miserable at the same time. It is impossible to experience worry, negativity, fear and anxiety when we engage in gratitude from its truest sense. Gratitude and trust go hand in hand. In order to be grateful for every person and everything in your life, you need to trust the universe in its own mysterious way and that it has its reasons. Behind everything is a higher purpose, although unbeknownst to us in the moment.
Gratitude is energy and a miraculous force that attracts more into our lives. The energy that you put into life is what you get back. When you are in the state of gratitude, you open your spiritual channel so that more good can come in. When we give thanks we raise our spiritual frequency higher. The positive energy that we create attracts more to our life of a higher vibration.
We need to do more than just expressing thanks. We also need to give back. Giving and receiving are really the same thing. Recall the joy you experience when you buy your favourite friend a gift that you searched high and low for. Be courteous to other drivers, give them a break and it will come back to you. If we obsessively nickel and dime our money, we may be nickel and dimed by the universe. Money, another form of energy, needs to flow in a current.
When We Are Challenged
When life is difficult and challenging for us, it is hard for anyone to be grateful. Imagine you are just fired and you are supposed to thank the universe? We are not meant to see the higher purpose of opposing events in the moment. Usually the higher purpose can take months or even years to unfold for us. Often when we do lose our job, a year later we land something that is more in line with our higher purpose if we approach the loss from a spiritual perspective. A germ of wisdom from Daniel Periata, a teacher of the Louise Hay philosophy, states: “When you are having hard times, say I know that this has come to bless me, and I am willing to see the gift in the experience. May the lessons be revealed to me and may I become stronger and clearer.”
When dealing with difficult people, ask: How can this individual put me more in touch with my spiritual nature? Later, hindsight may reveal how this person allowed us to grow in a spiritual way. For example, the so-called “dysfunctional family” that you come from will help you grow in spiritual strength if you approach it from a positive angle. The lover who left you can act as a catalyst to heal your abandonment wound which is archetypal of the human condition.
Here are some simple ways to cultivate gratitude in your life:
- Before sleep at night, give thanks for the day you had. Find 5 things to be grateful for.
- When you awaken, set the tone for your day by aligning yourself to your spiritual nature and embracing whatever comes your way that day. Start your day with gratitude and end your day with gratitude.
- Louise Hay says to rejoice when you see another dark side of yourself. Thank the universe for showing you this, so you can heal it and move on.
- Give back. Practice random acts of kindness. It has been proven that people who do volunteer work show an increase in life expectancy over those who do not.
- Tell someone you love him or her and why you love him or her. Express gratitude to them for being in your life.
- Acknowledge the people in your life – those you are fond of – those you dislike. They are the same, your teachers. Be the first to forgive and take the initiative.
- Here’s a real stretch. Susan Jeffers says to write a gratitude letter stating 50 things you are grateful for today. For example: my car started, I have a job, there is food on my table, etc. Embrace the concept that the glass is half full.
- For animal lovers, tell your pet how grateful you are for the universe bringing this bundle of joy and unconditional love into your-life. See your pet as a being of God.
Let’s remember to be thankful for all things big and small in our lives. Gratitude is always a two-way street that involves both giving and receiving.