I Think we are Going to Need a Bigger Jar
Who doesn't want Abundance?
I have studied life balance for some time now and one of the most significant things that I have learned is how to create more abundance in my life.
One technique designed to bring abundance is the act of gratitude. I call it an "act" as I mean to suggest actively making gratitude part of your daily life.
Let me go back a bit to my personal evolution toward daily gratitude. I began studying life balance and nutrition in September 2013. One of the tools we students were given was a journal for keeping track daily of our lives and healthy choices. One spot was dedicated to listing one thing you are grateful for each day. This stimulated me to consider upon waking each day something I was grateful for in order to note it. Now, this was a difficult time in my life in many ways. My elderly mother was nearing the end of her life and I cared for her regularly; my eldest child was living away and pregnant with her first child and I was struggling financially.
I also was coping with my own PTSD and had not yet completed my work with my therapist. So, I often woke up and felt sad and would lie in bed sometimes to consider what I was grateful for that day. I admit that on some days the most I could muster was gratitude for waking up, or for the sun shining.
I continued to work my journal daily and over time I was listing maybe 3 or more things I was grateful for and rarely did I have to think long before coming up with items.
It didn't strike me at the time as remarkable that I had reached this place of freely finding gratitude; I just kept writing and pondering my good fortune.
Not only did I keep finding more to be grateful for as time went by, but I also found my happiness in just living to increase as well.
I am speaking of this sense of being in the flow and being content in the moment. Happiness can mean different things to different people. To me, it's a fundamental feeling of life is good, I am good and everything is going to be alright.
There is a more exuberant happiness to be had perhaps, but it can be difficult if one is struggling in life to find peace on a daily basis to reach for this.
Sometimes just the act of being grateful for something can have the effect of deepening one's sense of peace of mind and the sense that they are right where they should be.
Once you start this process it will take on a life of it's own. You will suddenly find yourself more than happy about the weather but actually grateful. Or perhaps you have struggled to find hope but by thinking "I sure am grateful to have this challenge to work through" you might actually discover you have the hope you have been striving for.
To me it is like positive reinforcement. For instance, say you are having money concerns. You can think to yourself "why me?", or "what will I do?". Now try saying "I have enough right now and I know that the Universe (God) will provide for me". The reframe from negative worry to positive acceptance is a huge shift in energy. You can't feel good if your thoughts are all negative. And, negative energy begets more negative energy!
Try instead to frame things in the positive. For me, the more I worried about money, the more I worried about money. When I let go of the worry and instead started being grateful for what I DO have, it changed for me. It is not that I have forgotten that I need money to live, but that my energy is focused on having enough, instead of worrying about having more.
What we focus on, we manifest
There is a school of thought that says "Like attracts like". In other words, if one is hopeful, positive and grateful, one will experience more hope and more gratitude.
If one, however is negative, doubtful and fearful, those are the emotions one will feel.
This was a difficult lesson for me to learn and one I will always be mindful of.
I have been single most of my life. I recall about 15 years ago sitting with my Dad and talking about my situation. I told him "I don't know what I want, but I sure know what I don't want!" and proceeded to list all the things in men that I did not like or want in life. It never occurred to me that I would keep drawing all those negative traits in the men that I would meet because I focused on the things I did NOT want!
The brain hears only the word want, not the don't. So, when I focused from the angle of the negative qualities it is the negative I would draw.
Once I started thinking along the lines of "I want a man who is kind, thoughtful, open hearted who will love me" I started to draw a different type of man, more like the type that I did want.
Think about your present job or career. Do you like it? If you don't, how do you go about creating a different reality for your job or career? Do you think about how you don't want to commute, and you don't like working nights, and you won't work for less than "x" amount.
Did you draw the job of your dreams? Maybe you could try looking at it like this:
I want a job that allows me to express my truth. That has hours that are agreeable to my chosen lifestyle. A job that will be stimulating to me and help others. How do you suppose that intention works in getting closer to the job of your dreams? I suspect that one will draw to themselves a job much more like the one they want by focusing on those specific elements.
I would like to throw out the challenge of Setting Positive Intentions. For me, I saw an idea on Facebook about making a Gratitude Jar. It was nearing January first and people were busily posting ideas for starting the year out on a good foot.
I saw the post and decided to get one of my 16 oz Mason Jars that I use for juicing and make it into a Gratitude Jar. The picture of my jar is at the top of this blog. I deliberately made mine a bit childlike and it sits at eye level in front of my computer. As things happen in a given day that were happy, or welcome I write them on a piece of paper. I will put the date of the event and write something like "I got to sit with Emily all day today", or "today I saw my old friend after 3 long years and it was like yesterday". I usually have one note per day; some days I have had 3.
It occurred to me last week that my jar is already getting so full and it's only halfway through the second month of the year! That thought made me extremely happy as my plan of actively expressing gratitude is clearly working to bring even more to be grateful for. And as I noted this I also thought I may have to get a gallon size mason jar next time I shop as I am not going to slack off on the gratitude and I want to make room for all I can get!
Much like making room in the jar, I am making room in my life for more joy and love and happiness. And that, my friends was the whole point in the first place!
So, whether you choose to build a gratitude jar, or write daily in a journal just make the decision to try to be grateful for something each day. You won't be disappointed!