“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” - GK Chesterton
The simplest way to express gratitude whether it is to another human or whether its to the universe or your creator is with 2 words. Thank You.
It's that simple. These two words are a prayer all by themselves. Uttered with a deep, sincere, genuine appreciation, these words can change your life. You have a choice as a human about how to show up in this world. You can choose to be pissed off and focused on all the things that you don't want, or you can choose happiness, abundance, and gratitude.
Spiritual guides and thinkers from Buddha to Tolle have reminded us that we are not our thoughts. We are what we choose to do with our thoughts. This means that even when you experience negative thoughts, you are in control of your actions. When you realize you can design positive thoughts, you begin to embody them and you gain the ability to share this positive energy with others. And then you begin to attract things that resonate on the same frequency. All of the sudden you begin to attract other positive people, stronger friendships, and more to support you on your journey.
It's amazing that any of us are even alive. The odds of being human on this planet at this time are astronomical. Add in the challenges in your life that you have lived through and you may begin to grasp how incredible it is that you got to experience this day, today. The resources and coordination it requires to deliver to most of us in the United States a quality of life that was reserved for emperors not that long ago is astounding. The fact that our heart keeps beating and our lungs keep breathing and that we get to experience all of these amazing sensations in this human form is unbelievable.
When you really appreciate the miraculous existence of life everywhere around you, a funny thing happens. You start to realize that there is a lot of wondrous beauty that is unfolding and that it is entirely outside of your control. There's a truth worth investigating in this. We get stuck sometimes thinking that we have to control our environment. Really, at best we can only influence it. If you really think about it through this lens, things are going to unfold the way that they are meant to, and in the end it's all going to be ok.
Its not always an easy journey, but by letting go of things needing to be exactly a certain way and trying to control every variable in life to make that happen, you can find freedom. So what if it doesn't go exactly as planned? You're going to be ok. There's very likely another outcome that will be just as good or better. When you let go of needing to control everything, you have more mental capacity to recognize and focus on the things that really do matter, like your close relationships, your health, and your passions.
When you look at your life, it is possible to be truly grateful for everything that has transpired. Even if it didn't turn out the way you planned in the past, and you had hard times, it has made you who you are today and that's pretty great. I like to think that the more challenges you have endured, the more powerfully you are meant to serve others with your story.
It's easy to see how you can be grateful for the things in your life right now by refocusing your thoughts on all the good in your life. Not only that, it's also possible to be grateful for the things that haven't yet happened in your life. Through visualizing the things you want to come into your life in the future, you can connect to all the wonderful things that you will experience. Even if those experiences turn out differently than you visualized, they are certain to bring gifts and lessons that will enrich your human experience. The hard times turn into strengths. So be thankful now!
Here's the payoff. When you become a more grateful person, you create an environment or an ecosystem in which positivity and support thrive. So when you hit a bump in the road and are feeling low, it's much more likely that someone or something in your environment is going to be right there to pick you up. My friend Pete, who helped me create this article, shared a story with me highlighting how this worked for him. He is a very grateful guy. Like the rest of us he is also human. One day he was having a tough day and was getting stuck in a loop of negativity. One of his teammates, who had been built up and encouraged and shown the way of gratitude many times by Pete in the past, just said to him, "Hey man, don't worry about it, we're gonna get through this, let me take control."
So many moments had led up to this experience. And that's the thing, Pete says, "gratitude is like a boomerang, when you put it out there, it comes back to you - but you gotta know how to throw the f&*@king boomerang!"
It takes practice and patience, and you might not notice the effects right away, but stick with it and it'll come back to you.
Life is full of moments of pain and struggle. And there's lots of moments of triumph, of connection and goodness and wholeness. Lots of moments of love.
You will get stuck sometimes. You, like the rest of us, have stories and limiting beliefs that are going to crop up and make you question whether you can accomplish what you want to do. When you stay focused on the things that matter, what you want to create in your life and how you want to serve others, you can get back on track. Practicing gratitude is a really great tool to get back on track even faster.
If you're just starting out on your journey of exploring your dream and what you want to create, and you're new to the idea of expressing gratitude to create freedom in your life, it's important to give yourself permission to be a beginner. Start at the beginning. Start to surround yourself with grateful people and share it with each other. In this way you can begin to make the world an even better experience for everyone in it. Stay tuned to learn more about how gratitude is a crucial piece to manifesting what you want and create even more freedom in your life.
Thank you for reading :)
Yours in Adventure,