How often do you say thank you? — to a colleague who did you a favor, or maybe your child who helped clean up the kitchen, or your spouse who gave you a compliment. Are you grateful? Do you say thank you?
You may think they know that you appreciate them for whatever they did for you, and they probably do, but It’s amazing how our relationships improve when we speak the words of our heart, when we express our delight and regard for them.
My spiritual path, A Course in Miracles, says we have two voices in our minds. One is the ego, which is always in defense mode, always worried about what happened before or what’s going to happen in the future and is always in a state of emergency– which is where we are a good deal of the time, right? If we’re honest.
But then there’s that other voice, the voice of spirit in us, which everyone has. We may not listen for it, but everyone possesses it. We can nurture it and bring it out, certainly through my process of meditative contemplation. But there are many ways to get to that place of calm, creativity and joy.
The Course says that you have a choice in everything you do, every situation, every encounter, with every person — you have a choice. We’re on ‘ego automatic’ initially. From babyhood on, we are taught to pay attention to all the external stimuli around us, so it takes a conscious decision to do otherwise, to listen to that still small voice within that will offer you suggestions that will truly benefit you.
Your ego will propose protective things, and in some cases that’s helpful, like counseling us to buy health insurance. But very often it prevents us from succeeding. It prevents us from stepping outside our comfort zone and doing a new, exciting thing, something that will take us onward and upward.
Let me tell you a little story as an example. Yesterday morning, I got up with the full intention of starting my blog so that I could get it done because I knew I had a busy afternoon and the next day was going to be busy. My deadline was that afternoon. And, did I? No, I let a million other things get in my way. So I didn’t start it in the morning, which was a problem, because I didn’t know when I was going to find time. So I moaned a bit. I have to admit it, I beat myself up a bit: “What’s the matter with you? How come you didn’t do it? You know you had to… and blah blah blah.”
I did that for about 30 seconds and then I said,
“Wait a minute, this is not in my own best interest to beat myself up. It’s not helpful, so I’m gonna forgive myself because I make mistakes and things happen. I trust that it’ll work out somehow. I don’t know how at the moment, but I’m going to listen for my internal guidance. I know there will be an answer and I’m thankful for it.”
Shifting from the negative, scarcity idea to a place of positivity and certainty, and a feeling of moving forward in gratitude is necessary to allow us to hear the guidance.
A few minutes later I got a call that my evening meeting was cancelled, so that freed me up to write my blog. I got it done! And I said, “Thank you.” Thank you to the universe. Thank you to my own willingness to have an answer.
That’s really important —we must affirm that we deserve to have a peaceful answer. Because we want peace. We don’t want pieces of anger, regret, frustration and self-condemnation swirling around in our mind. We want peace. Peace that leaves an open mind, ready to hear the inner wisdom that leads to an Abundant Mentality!
Peace is not boring (as your ego will suggest.) Peace is not having any encumbrances weighing you down so that you are free to flow, to get things done and be creative and joyful.
So why is being grateful so important? Why is it so vital to a successful life?
++ An Abundance Mentality comes from an attitude of gratitude. When you’re grateful, there is no room for lack and limitation in your mind. Gratitude and privation cannot coexist. It’s one or the other. So when you’re grateful, you are able to feel the power that you have to accomplish your goals.
++ Gratitude will lead to an Abundance Mentality because it sees only the good. So as you practice gratitude more frequently throughout the day, you’re going to find yourself being so much more upbeat and alive and focused on getting things done. Then you can take care of the next thing that comes along.
++ Gratitude is vital to a successful life because it provides a platform to lift us up and over the roadblocks we encounter on our path through life. We make mistakes. We get rejected, right? Who hasn’t been rejected? If you’re in business, for sure you’ve been rejected by somebody, whether it’s a colleague or a vendor or a client. We’ve all had those experiences.
Therefore, you can make a new choice. You can listen to one of those two voices — Am I going to wallow in my misery that someone rejected me or that I made this mistake? Or am I going to move forward, just say, “OK, That happened and maybe I can learn something from it and get on with it.”
++ Gratitude allows you to enjoy your life. What’s life for if not to enjoy it? Do you want to sit there and feel sorry for yourself? That’s not fun. At least it certainly isn’t for me. I don’t enjoy that. Feel bad for a minute–of course you’re going to. But then let that be water under the bridge, flowing away.
++ Gratitude helps you catch your negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts, with proactive ideas instead of reacting to situations like a deer in the headlights. You know that there is going to be an answer, even if you don’t have the answer at the moment, like the story I told you before — even though I didn’t know how I was going to write that blog in time.
++ Gratitude and trust go hand-in-hand. That doesn’t mean you sit back and just say, “OK, tell me what to do, I’m waiting” and expect to hear a booming voice instructing you. If you’re really listening for your guidance, you will get a prompt in whatever form will be meaningful to you. It’s a very active kind of experience. It will be clear and specific. Like learning any skill, you get better at ‘hearing’ the guidance as your gratitude and trust grow.
So how do we nurture this attitude of gratitude? We can do that in many ways, and you must find the way that works for you. Here are some suggestions that have worked for me and many other people:
1. Journaling — if you can catch your negative thoughts and write them down, for example, “wow, I just had this thought that I might get COVID if I go to the mall.” — Whatever the scary thought is, write it down. And then you can look at it dispassionately – “oh, I wrote this down. Well, is this really true for me? Is this really something I need to worry about?” And if it is, then you need to do something about it. You need to wear your mask, or maybe you won’t go to the mall right now. You find the answer that allows you to live your life, to move on without maintaining that sense of fear.
If writing down problems or fears doesn’t work for you, you can do the reverse and write down the things that you’re grateful for. So for instance, even the tiniest things are valid. I went to look for my reading glasses and discovered they were right under my nose. I could reach out and grab them. I thought i was going to have to search for them, but they were right there. It’s a small thing but those little things add up so when you can simply stop for a second and say, “Thank you” for anything that makes the day a bit easier, your peace level rises! Isn’t that wonderful? That minute celebration, for that split second, will invite the next moment to be that much lighter and brighter.
2. Dictaphone app — These days we have so many apps available to us. Just talk into your phone to record what you’re experiencing and keep a record of it. Email it to yourself. And you can look back at the end of the day and become aware of how many times you had a scary thought or acknowledged a mistake. If you can’t acknowledge your mistakes, are you ever going to fix them? No, so it’s exceptionally important to own your mistakes. If you said something inappropriate to someone, go apologize. They’ll be so happy that you that you were able to do that, and they’ll love you for it.
Keep a record so that at the end of the day you can look at it and say, “Wow, I really made progress today. I really took care of myself and that’s what it’s all about!” This is one of my favorite topics. We must take care of ourselves first so that we can take care of everybody else, right?
There’s so much more to say about the benefits of gratitude. Be grateful for yourself. Be grateful for what you have. I spend a few minutes every morning being grateful before I even get out of bed. I’m grateful for what the day will bring me. I prepare myself to have a great day. If you put that thought out there and you say, “I expect today to be a great day,” it will be. It will be because you’ve decided it be so. I repeat, whatever you believe in your mind is what you will perceive in your life. If you believe the world is scary and people are out to get you, what do you think you’re going to see? Catch those negative thoughts. Then please make a new choice to be grateful!
Peace and Love Always,
I always tell you that I’m here for you because I want you to know that you have all the answers that you need within you, even if the answer you get is, “Go get help from so and so.” That answer will send you in the right direction so you can be the calm, creative, joyful and successful businesswoman you are meant to be!
By now I hope you know that I teach busy businesswomen how to start the day with intention and an Abundant Mentality. If you would like to have a 30-minute chat with me to uncover some of the blocks that are keeping you from the success that an abundant mentality will offer you, you will find my calendar here to set up a time.
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