Gratitude 2.0 – Going Deeper

Being grateful for the good things in your life is one thing, but have you ever considered expressing gratitude for the things you aren’t so happy about? Let’s explore this concept together.

In my post How to live a happy life – 13 actions you can take today, I invited you to take a thirty-day gratitude challenge, where you would list three different things you are grateful for, each day for thirty days. If we look at our lists I’m guessing we will find mostly pleasant experiences and things that make us feel really good. That’s fabulous, but now, let’s go a little deeper.

What happens when we become grateful for those not so wonderful feeling experiences and people in our lives? Miracles happen!! Trust me, it is pure magic.

So you might be asking, how exactly am I supposed to be thankful for stuff that makes me feel lousy? Well, to start out, you don’t have to actually feel it. Fake it, if you have to. The more you practice, the better you will start to feel about it. Eventually, you will begin to believe it and before you know it, miracles!

My belief is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience here on Earth. We are here to learn, however, that part of us that is human, has allowed us to forget our purpose here and even that we are, at our core, spirit.

Spirit wants to know contrast. Without knowing pain, how could you know comfort? Without first experiencing fear, how could you experience courage? Without the feeling of grief, you would not be able to know delight. Without sadness, there is no happiness. Without blame, there can be no forgiveness. This list goes on and on and on.

In the book, The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie writes, “One simple concept can get us through the most stressful of times. It’s called gratitude. We learn to say, thank you, for these problems and feelings. Thank you for the way things are. I don’t like this experience, but thank you anyway. Force gratitude until it becomes habitual. Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.”

In the book, Gratitude A Way of Life, Louise Hay writes, “We even want to be grateful for the lessons we have. Don’t run from lessons; they are little packages of treasure that have been given to us. As we learn from them, our lives change for the better. I now rejoice whenever I see another portion of the dark side of myself. I know that it means that I am ready to let go of something that has been hindering my life.”

Life on Earth will know conflict and opposition as long as we are still learning and growing. Cherish all of your moments, good and bad. Every one is required to make you who you are, and you are amazing!

Below is a great quote on opposition. I am not positive of who actually said it. It has been attributed to Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, William Wrigley Jr., and Ezra Pound. I suspect each has said it, in one form or another.

Love yourself, love your brother, love your life. Everyday say Thank You. Thank you God, Thank you Universe, Thank you Life, for everything, all of my experiences, because I know everything is a blessing, even those feelings, thoughts and experiences that don’t look like it at first.

When you are done being grateful, say “Something wonderful is going to happen today.” And it will.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soulwork – find peace inside of you

Have you ever just looked around at your life and wondered “How did I get here?” I think most of us probably have at one time or another. This question hit me hard about six months ago. And it wasn’t the first time for me.

I was humming along just fine, happy and grateful for all of the blessings in my life, when something inside me shifted. The outer forces that may have contributed to my shift were that my fiftieth birthday was fast approaching and I had been laid off from the job I love due to lack of work coming in.

My transformation had begun. Who am I? Who do I really want to be? Is this the life I was meant to live? Who do I show to the world? What do I hide and why? Do I have a deeper purpose? I started using Google search like a magic eight ball. Every question that popped into my head, I threw at the search bar.

I couldn’t get enough information. I suddenly wanted to learn and know everything there is to know. I buried myself in a huge pile of books. I started journaling again. Why did I stop? Writing has always gotten me through life’s biggest challenges.

I started meditating and I was completely and pleasantly surprised at how great I started to feel shortly after beginning. I started remembering my dreams, so I now keep a dream journal on the night stand, next to my bed. I began taking nature walks that provide me with a powerful connection to life on this planet.

The answers started coming. I was led to books and people and blogs that could help me on my way. I would find one awesome resource that would lead to another, and that one to another after that.

I started listening to my intuition and taking actions I had previously feared. I ended a long-term relationship that wasn’t serving either of us, willing and longing to be alone so that I could truly discover the real me that lay under the layers of guilt, insecurity and repression.

We walk around blindfolded, unable to see our true reality. Everyone is searching for something. Everyone is trying to fill some hole inside of themselves. But when we are willing to look, very deep inside of ourselves, we will find the answers. The answers that can open our hearts and free our minds.

We are more than what we think we are!

We are spiritual beings having a human experience. All of the answers to all of the questions can be found within ourselves, if we are willing to search the depths of our soul. You have the power to be more!

The ego, or who you perceive yourself to be, is a master at blocking your soulwork and discovery of your authentic self. It will make excuses, fill you with fear and stop you from moving forward. The ego needs to be understood so that it can work for you, rather than against you.

Everything started moving in the right direction for me when I realized, without a doubt, that the only way I would truly be able to love others unconditionally was to somehow learn to love myself in that very way. Being able to accomplish this one task was the key difference between this journey and past self discovery missions.

When you can embrace EVERYTHING that you are, miracles happen. I realized, with great clarity, that we are all interconnected by the fabric of life. There is no separation between you and me. We are one. We are the same. When I look at you, I am looking in a mirror. If I see anything I don’t like, it is simply a reflection of myself. Something I must work on to improve.

When you love yourself, you love life, all of life, everything and everyone in it. You stop seeking to find happiness from external sources. Life loves you back. You will begin to attract the things that are required for you to shine your light on the world.

There is no one else quite like you. The world wants you just as you are. Fly your freak flag high in the air. Celebrate your weird, embrace your inner nerd, give your cat lady self a little kiss. You are already perfect.

Smile and hugs!