By Liza Horan
Gratitude is a gear-changer. It’s the answer whenever negative momentum has built up. That could feel like a trend of bad luck, a downward spiraling of overwhelm or stress, or even feeling stuck in “neutral,” like a car revving the engine and going nowhere.
Focus on what is, not what isn’t
For the first half of my life, I knew what was the right trajectory of my life: Great career, a soul mate who was my teammate and partner, and my own family with that man. I did everything I was “supposed” to do — work hard, be responsible, and be true to myself. I did that, but I remain untethered for romantic love. Except for a couple of times. “I haven’t found Mr. Right, but I’ve found Mr. Right Now,” was emblazoned on a keychain my brother gave me as a gift. Still makes me laugh out loud!
There’s much more to this story and how being lonely for this person, has made me question my life and my choices. But how can I regret having been true to myself? I can’t. Still, I can’t explain it, other than I’ve come to believe the Universe has a plan for me with its own divine timing.
But something significant happened when I decided deliberately to focus on what I do have, not what I don’t have. Maybe I don’t yet have what I feel is the most natural and rewarding relationship I’ve always felt is part of my destiny, but I have a lifetime best-friendship that’s unconditional, and I have other relationships that are significant in myriad ways; some have stood the test of time and other are nascent.
Two major lessons have come to me from this. I’ve learned there is no single person who can be one’s “everything,” that we have a collection of people who serve my need for human connection. And I’ve learned that each of us has a choice for our mindset and feeling: We can come from a place of abundance or lack; of love or fear.
I choose abundance. I choose love. The method to both is GRATITUDE.
Now I realise I am very lucky, instead of feeling like a loser wanted by nobody. “Lucky” and “fortunate” is the energy that suits me, and counting my blessings constantly lifts me. I am rich!
Can’t sleep? Be grateful
I used to go to sleep every night praying hard and in earnest for whatever my goal: To lose 10 pounds, to get that job, to meet ‘the’ guy, etc. I would write these in my journal; state my commitment and desire for these outcomes to myself; and call upon the Angels, Saints and God to please hear me, then recite my prayers.
It was very much about setting intentions, but worry (negative) may have been the prevailing energy rather than confidence (positive). When I started learning about being grateful (positive) for what I had and not what I didn’t, I changed this nightly routine: Instead of longing and praying for what I wanted, I said “thanks.”
It has changed EVERYTHING.
Now I often fall asleep before I finish my list of happenings, things and people that I so appreciated that day or appreciate in general. If I’m truly worried about something, I think about it a bit, write about it in my journal, and then say, “I trade fear for faith.” If it’s a dilemma, I’ll say, “I’ll have the answer or clarity when I wake up.” Try it!
I’ve learned that nothing feels or looks as bad upon waking as it did before going to sleep. Being grateful has changed the nighttime experience for me. No longer am I fraught with conflict and worry, struggling to fall asleep. Now I reflect on the positives — the richness of my experience that day — and I rest peacefully.
Create new momentum
Switching to a spirit of gratitude really changes the energy of an experience or relationship. It invites opportunity for change and positivity. I believe the Universe understands the energy of thankfulness and uses it as a basis to provide. I’ve seen this happen in my own life, and this drawn-out experience of the pandemic keeps reminding me to recalibrate to the ‘gratitude gear.’
#gratitude #thanks #wellnessmoonshot
This feature is part of Mindstream’s participation in the Wellness Moonshot, an awareness campaign for a world free of preventable disease that’s led by The Global Wellness Institute.