I used to feel a bit phony when I would express my thanks to the Universe for a positive outcome I had prayed about, almost as if I was groveling to get something and, by appreciating what I received, I was even weaker and more needy. Or worse, saying 'Thank you' became an automated chore, an immediate response that was required in certain situations - not a heartfelt congratulations on a job well done.
My perspective shifted not long after I met my husband, Kevin. I would watch him reach out with extra effort to make sure a person was appreciated. And, he also took time each day to focus on the feelings of gratitude for everything happening in HIS life.
Amazingly, he would even feel grateful for things that weren't quite working out as expected. And, that's where my shift in perspective came in.
It was inspirational to see how he recognized that by expressing gratitude for something that was not working, it was actually a course correction that moved him away from things that might have been disastrous if they had come to fruition.
The other piece of magic I noticed was that as he got specific in his gratitude - declaring a heart-felt deep thanks for the office lease that didn't come through, for the car breaking down in the parking lot of a busy supermarket, for dropping his phone onto the hard ground so that it shattered - there was a seemingly fast response from the Universe to aid him in what ultimately worked out for the better.
And, the same was true for the good in his life.
An expression of gratitude for a $75 gift certificate to a local restaurant that was found a week before it expired led to meeting a client in that same restaurant.
A 'Thank you' to Source for a check received in the mail led to a chance to take an amazing vacation.
It's almost crazy to think about it sometimes now- to see the circumstances that came out of something that I had always considered weakness. But, it's exactly what moved me from a place of phony and insincere appreciation to making time to be fully present in my statements of gratitude.
Now, as I make time to drop down into that feeling of thankfulness for what is working AND what is not working, I am seeing my own evidence of the real power of gratitude. My sincere gratitude is a connection to the Universe that is powerfully creating a life of workability.
So, today, I set the intention to continue my evolution along my spiritual path, deepening my gratitude practice and allowing the highest version of myself to be created.
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought,
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
"The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am
and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy."
Taking a breath and settling in to the chair, there is the awareness of the still, small voice of Spirit. It is a Divine Intelligence that whispers of life and of love. It is grand and glorious, as mighty as the mountains and yet, as soft and gentle as the wisp of a cloud floating in the sky.
This Intelligence flows through my life, energizing me into divinely guided action. I am an open channel through which Spirit expresses, a full expression of magnificent grace and amazing love.
Settling into this realization just a little bit more, I feel the invisible life essence of God lift me into the realm of joy, of peace, of vitality and vibrancy. I let my old beliefs of appreciation and gratitude fall away, knowing that I have evolved and those beliefs no longer serve me. I welcome the new beliefs of sincere appreciation for the good in my life and I practice gratitude for the seeming 'not good', with faith and trust that it corrects my course into more abundance, more prosperity, more happiness, than I can even imagine. I affirm my freedom to reach a place of outrageous gratitude and bless the miracles that follow quickly behind.
I give thanks for the path that has led me to know real appreciation and gratitude. I bless the lessons and am grateful for the out-picturing of prosperity that has resulted from them. And I say, Thank you Sweet Spirit, for this journey of self-discovery that gets better and better each day.
From this place of deep gratitude, I release my prayer to the Law of Mind, knowing it is done and I only need to be still and know. In this moment, I am renewed. Amen. Alleluia. And so it is.
Photo courtesy of Joe Valtierra/Flickr