I love the Golden Girls.
Hello friends! Happy Sunday!
Today’s post, as you can tell from the title, is about the power of gratitude. But first, coffee… and a little time travel.
It was 2006 or 2007. I was living in a cute little townhouse at the time. I had the evening off work and I was laying down, watching the evening news. Dateline or whatever world news show was on then. (Yes, I was living it up. Haha!) There was a special segment about The Secret. The movie had just come out and they were featuring three or four couples who took the advice in the movie to heart. I remember the one couple who had a tiny kitchen. On their fridge was an assortment of magnets and papers, but more specifically, they had a list of their biggest desires written out and displayed, front and center. The idea was that they would “manifest” their desires by willing them to be so from the Universe. I remember being fascinated with the story, but also rolling my eyes a little bit. “Yeah right,” I laughed to myself. After the news was over, I promptly forgot all about it.
Fast forward a few years.
It was an interesting time in my life. I was about a year into a new position at work, one that I had really wanted. It was a lot of fun, but I was trying so desperately to find a good balance between being a mom, a girlfriend, work, and school. I was at Wal-Mart one day and decided to browse through the books. I came across The Secret and The Power. I picked them both up to leaf through. They were both about $17, so I thought I would buy just one, but I was having a hard time choosing. The Secret looked enticing, but The Power had just been released. The book jacket explained, “to create anything, to change anything, all it takes is just one thing… The Power.” That’s a pretty good line. I was sold. I bought the book. I started reading it, but I had also purchased the Twilight series and was hooked on sparkly vampires. Once again, it fell out of my thoughts.
Fast forward a few more years.
Now I was at a crossroads. It was a rough period, full of uncertainty, and change. I was searching for a purpose and trying to figure out the future, like most 20-somethings. I had pulled out my copy of The Power. I borrowed The Secret from the library. I devoured them both. Some of it resonated. Some of it didn’t. I had gotten more practical as I got older. I read a bunch of other things. Then, I saw Rhonda had a new book out: The Magic. From the first few pages, I was hooked. It was all about gratitude. Everything I read added up and made sense. It connected with some of the concepts I had learned in a few of my psychology classes in college. The Magic was different from the other two books. It was more practical, a guide: 28 days of gratitude practice. (This is what I based my 30-days of Gratitude challenge on.) It sounds cheesy and weird, but it changed my life. No, it didn’t manifest the $100,000 or a new job in a different state. But it did help me change my attitude, my mindset, my perspective on life. And that change helped me make better changes overall in my life…. and it all started with a book. (Fitting, considering I spent the vast majority growing up reading.)
I share the above tidbits to make this point: gratitude is powerful. It’s not just generic thank-you’s when someone does something nice for you. It’s about truly being thankful for all that you have. It’s enjoying the little things: the cup of coffee, a beautiful sunrise, a surprise visit from a hummingbird. It’s about being thankful for the people in your life: your spouse, your kids, your family, your friends. It’s about understanding that nothing in life is guaranteed, not taking anyone or anything for granted. Waking up each morning and starting the day with thanks for simply being alive; having another day to accomplish your goals, to spend time with your loved ones.
Gratitude is often the first step in changing your mindset. Only when you can appreciate all that you have now, will you be ready to receive more.
It’s not a quick fix. It’s not something you do for 3-10 days and revert back to old habits.
It takes conscious effort. Everyday. Somedays are easier than others. Somedays you might struggle to find the good. But it’s there. There is always something for which to be thankful.
After a bit, you’ll notice your attitude shift. You’ll start seeing the good within the negatives. Before long, you’ll notice positives more so than negatives.
The changes are subtle, but make such a difference in your life.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a school… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”
Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.
— Alan Cohen
The mind is everything. What you think, you become.
For tips on how to bring gratitude into your daily life:
For my tips and tricks on living your best life:
And to read a little bit about what I learned on my 30-Day Yoga journey this past January:
Have a great week friends!