Thanksgiving is upon us and the buzz turns to turkey, travel, and giving thanks. Being thankful for what you have is a wonderful thing and making a gratitude list is also a great way to keep blessings at the forefront of your mind. Yet adopting a state of actually being grateful is so much more. Last night I was reminded of the distinction between being thankful and embodying gratitude while at my yoga class.
It’s not uncommon for me to have epiphanies in yoga. The nature of the practice is conducive to that but my yoga instructor is just the crème de la crème so we always get the gift of going just a little deeper (and I don’t mean in a pose although we do that too!). We explored – what is gratitude about? It is more than the exercise they often put kids through where they list “I am thankful for my dog”, “I am thankful for my house”, “I am thankful for my teacher”, etc. It is about feeling an inner shift toward a way of actually being in a state of gratitude. You actually just feel it happen as it washes over you. Now THAT is attractive because what we focus on expands and we get more of it. The more we are grateful the more we get to be grateful about.
In “The Right Questions” Debbie Ford gives us a powerful question that can start to tip the scales toward naturally adopting this state of gratitude. It starts with conscious awareness: “Am I Looking for What’s Right? Or, Am I Looking for What’s Wrong?”
When we naturally look for what is right we step into a state of gratitude, focusing on the gifts. For most of us, however, we are conditioned to do the opposite – look for what’s wrong. Who among us doesn’t go through a day where maybe 100 things went right and 1 thing went wrong. Which do you remember and focus on? The 100 right things or the 1 that went awry? If you’re anything like me, you get fixated on what didn’t work and forget all about what did. We miss our shot at gratitude and instead put our energies and focus on what didn’t work out which often creates more things that “don’t work out”. Be honest you’ve had a day where you were late for your first appointment, focused on that and then the rest of the day became “one of those days”. I know I have.
Yet I have also experienced the power of just looking for what’s right and seeing the gifts around and within me. It is a fabulous state of being to adopt and when I do it seems like the whole Universe just conspires to help me along. Call it flow, divine intervention, the law of attraction, or whatever else might suit you, but it is powerful and it all starts with my state of being.
So this holiday…if you want to experience more happiness and ease… look for what’s right. From that vantage point you will naturally fall into a state of being grateful.