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The Power Of Gratitude In Changing Your Life

Updated on April 23, 2013
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Deonne Anderson is a retired Child and Family Therapist, Free Lance Writer, and Motivational Speaker who lives in Florence, SC.

GRATITUDE

The Power of Gratitude In Changing Your Life

If you are not experiencing the success you have envisioned for your life or if every day is a struggle for you, the practice of gratitude will bring your mind into closer harmony with God and enable you to change your life. The pratice of gratitude will cause your mind to refocus on the things that are going right instead of focusing on your problems and failures. The practice of gratitude will bring you happiness and a more optimistic outlook.

MY DAILY PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE

Each day upon awakening, I express gratitude for being alive, for being able to see, hear, feel, smell, walk, talk, etc. I express gratitude for my dogs, Yogi and Gypsie who are always lying beside me when I awaken. I express gratitude for my daughter, Andrea. I express gratitude for the beautiful Blue Grass Mountains here in Central Virginia that I see from my bedroom window.... for the trees, the colorful fallen leaves and the beautifully landscaped lawns that adorn my neighbors' yards. I express gratitude for the squirrels, the ground hogs, the beautiful birds, the deer that sometimes congregate in my back yard and in my neighbors' yards in the still of the night, and for a multitude of other things that most people take for granted. Upon arising, while taking my shower, I express gratitude for my home and my shower and for the wonderful hot water. As I descend the stairs, I express gratitude that I can walk up and down the stairs multiple times a day and night.

I continue the practice of gratitude throughout my waking hours. Before I close my eyes at night I again practice gratitude.

GRATITUDE and THANKSGIVING DAY

If we could all feel the love and and the joy that we feel during the Thanksgiving Holidays all year round, our lives would be transformed. With gratitude comes joy and appreciation. It's impossible to feel sad, depressed or fearful when you are thinking about the things that you feel good about. The practice of gratitude is like celebrating Thanksiving everyday of the year.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The holiday, though steeped in tradition, is unlike the Christmas Holidays that often require months of planning, preparation, and huge outlays of money. Thanksgiving is much more simplistic. The focus is on FOOD and being grateful for our lives, our families, our neighbors, our country, our planet, our careers, our possessions, our blessings, etc.

Though Thanksgiving Day is a special day set aside for us to remember and to be grateful for the things that are dear and valuable to us, it is important that we take time out to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Why? Because gratitude is accompanied by joy and appreciation and because the more gratitude, joy, and appreciation we express, the more things we will receive in our lives to be grateful for.

Even in the struggles of life, we need to find things to be grateful for.

MY STORY OF GRATITUDE

After being homeless for over (5) months in 2010 during one of the coldest winters in Virginia, my daughter and I were happy when a man in Monroe County offered to rent us a house to live in after noticing that we were living in a motel. After losing my home, my job, my cars, my everything.... my credit score had plummeted. No one would rent to me. My daughter was recently divorced, disabled and unable to work. We were faced with being homeless for a very long long time.

Though it was great that we finally had a roof over our heads, the home was substandard. The landlord whom we perceived as one willing to help us proved to be a "SLUM" land lord. The home was filthy and basically uninhabitable. It was dark and dank inside. The bathroom was unbearable. In fact, we were unable to take a tub bath or shower for the duration of our stay. We would go to various motels to use the shower after my daughter's health improved. She eventually secured a minimum wage job.

By the way, my daughter earned an MBA in 2004 and has held several high paying jobs. She, like millions of other individuals in America could not find a position commensurate with her career experiences and formal education.

While living in those deplorable conditions, I would meditate daily and thank God for our lives, our health, for each other and our dog Yogi, our new home, our food, our clothing, our neighbors, and yes, our land lord. Though he refused to fix the house and make it more habitable, we were grateful that he rented his house to us when no one else would.

Each morning though, despite my discomfort as previously mentioned, I practiced gratitude.

Throughout my day as I went about doing my chores, working on my website, and walking/hiking with Yogi and Bleu, a dog who was left behind after his family moved away, I gave thanks. In addition to practicing gratitude, I also worked on creating a better life and environment for myself and my daughter by thinking the right thoughts and taking the right actions. I exressed gratitude for things we needed in our lives before they were actually manifested. I thanked God for our new and beautiful home where we would be able to shower as many times a day as we liked. I thanked God that my daughter had a good and better paying job and that I was earning more money from my home business.

After about a year, Andrea landed a management job with much higher pay and I was earning money with my home business. I continued with my daily and constant practice of gratitude and thinking positively, affirming many times a day that we were living in a home of our own with all of our needs met, plus overflow. I affirmed that I saw only abundance. I thought only abundant thoughts. I became ONE with abundance.... and I was always grateful.

In approximately (18) months after moving to Monroe County and living in a sub-standard home, we had saved enough money to obtain a new home back in the city and Andrea secured an even better career opportunity with her company.

Today we are happy living in our new home wth our two dogs, Yogi and Gypsie, a dog who was given to my daughter by a neighbor who moved to a home where she could not have dogs. Bleu ran away and was killed by a car on an interstate road. We have an abundance of food, clothing, health, joy and gratitude.

We were able to totally turn our lives around by the practice of gratitude and by thinking the right thoughts when things were going well and when we were struggling.

Please watch the movie "Learning To Dance In The Rain. (SEE LINK at the top of page)


THE BENEFITS OF PRACTICING GRATITUDE

The practice of gratitude has the benefit of drawing us closer to God, our higher power, creative energy, etc. and results in our receiving even more blessings.

When we are focusing on and practicing gratitude we tend to focus on those things that we do want in our lives rather than those things which we don't want or are out of sync with what we really want.

The practice of Gratitude is accompanied by feelings of immense joy and appreciation. Our lives are reenergized and our outlooks more positive and more optimistic.

GRATITUDE AND THE LAW OF ATTRACTION

The Law of Attraction teaches us that like attracts like....that we receive in our lives that which we are thinking about and focusing on. It follows that we need to make an effort to entertain only those thoughts that are aligned with the positive and good things that we want and deserve. The Law Of Attraction teaches us that our thoughts are energy and that they, like all energy, have a frequency. When we send out positive thoughts charged with heart felt emotion, we receive back things and circumstances in our lives that are equal to those vibrations we sent out.

It then follows that if we would observe Thanksgiving Day each and every day, we would be in a constant state of joy and gratitude, receiving more and more good and wonderful things to be grateful for.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO START YOUR PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE

1) Start a journal.

Recording the things you are grateful for on a daily basis will prompt you to focus on the positives and good things in your life. These thoughts will go out into the universe and attract like thoughts that will be sent back as your life experiences.

2) Each night before going to bed and each morning upon awakening, practice gratitude.

Make it a habit to practice gratitude, expressing thanks for all the good in your life. If you have problems with finding things to be thankful for, just go into the silence mode and intentionally monitor your breathing. Thank God that you are still breathing....You are alive! If you can see, hear, smell, talk, feel....Thank God for those things! You get the idea, learn to thank God for those things that you take for granted.

Today, as a result of my having been homeless and living in a house unfit for humans, I thank God each and every time I get in the shower and when I eat a good meal in my beautiful and clean kitchen. I still experience immense joy every time I take a shower or look around at my home and my wonderful, big back yard.

3) As you go about your day, thank God for all things you encounter or receive. When I sarted writing this article I had problems with my vision. I misplaced my readers two days ago and had looked all over but could not find them. When I began to get frustrated, I took a "time out" and expressed gratitude that I had found them. I visualized finding my glasses. When I opened my eyes, I found that I had dropped my gum and bent down to pick it up. As I reached for the gum, I spied my readers and amost wept with gratitude.

4) Express gratitude that you have received those things you desire before you physically receive them.

My thanking God for my readers before I actually found them served as a catalyst for the God to honor my expecttions. When you express gratitude for those things you desire and feel the joy of having received them, you are sending out a powerful vibration that you are expecting a miracle and he/she is obligated to respond and honor your faith in him/her.

5) Have faith that God is conferring for and making a way for you to receive your desires.

It is our faith that moves God to manifest those things we ask of him/her. Faith says "No matter what is going on around me or my circumstance I know that my miracle is already done and I thank you for.....(you name it)."

In summary, the practice of gratitude is the catalyst that brings you into closer harmony with God and enables you to change your life and receive more things to be grateful for. You can start your gratitude practice right now by recording in your journal those things you are grateful for and by making journal entries on daily basis. Practice gratitude each night before going to sleep and the first thing in morning upon waking up. Thank God throughout the day for those things you take for granted and thank God for your miracle before it is manifest.

So, let us all vow to practice gratitude (365) days a year so that we can witness and experience more blessings and lead more abundant lives.

Please enjoy this video "Learning To Dance in The Rain" based on a book by Vivian Greene and offered as a free download by simpletruths.com for you to share with your family, friends, co-workers, etc. I choose to share with you.

http://play.simpletruths.com/movie/dance-in-the-rain/#.UUbbtNPmkNs.aolmail





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      Faryall 4 years ago

      Your article is very motivating. In 2011 I went to Australia to pursue my masters in marketing. In 3 weeks I was back just because of my mother who was hospitalized. Since then I felt that my dream of foreign education shattered. After reading your article my dream is revived and I will again apply for foreign university. Please pray for me.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      cantuhearmescream.

      Please forgive me for just responding to your comments of (3) weeks ago. I got sick around that time and ended up being hospitalized. I got behind in my commenting and hub publishing. Am now just trying to get caught up. I really look forward to leaning from and sharing with you. We do have a lot in common. I'm so sorry to hear about your woes. It seems that things sometimes snowballs on us and we are overwhelmed. As you say, we can either cry in our soup or we can take action and focus on what we have left. I plan to get around to some more of your post when time permits. I am happy that all has tuned out well fo you. I'll stay in touch.

      epigramman,

      Though I have not responded to your comments of (10) days ago, I have read several of your posts. I read my email while in the hospital and after I returned to my home. Please know that I make an effort to respond to all commenters ASAP because I appreciate it when my hubs are read and my fellow hubbers take the time to make a comment. I hope you will find other hubs of mine that interest you. Thanks for sharing my hub also. I am tying to increase my readeship, but my SEO skills need improvement.

      Faryall.

      Thanks for commenting on and reading my hub on Gratitude. I look foeward to reading your work and sharing with you. Welcome to HubPages. You'll like it here. Plenty of help is available for you. I hope to see your first hub real soon!

    • profile image

      Faryall g 4 years ago

      Fantastic

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      Skye2day,

      Glad to meet you. I tell my story in the hope that someone will be inspired to not give up, to trust God 100%, and to praise and thank him in the sunshine and in the storm. We all say that we have faith in God, but many of us lose that faith when we are in the fire. True faith is when we know in the midst of the storm that God is with us and will take care of us and our problem. We therefore don't give up. We stand tall and thank God for our deliverence. We thank him BEFORE we actually see the miracle. Thanks for reading my hub and for your words of wisdom and faith.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      lady deonne This is beautiful and heartfelt story. You have great courage sister. Gods favor so shines on you. I totally agree.When we are thankful our eyes are off the problems and on the solution. Jesus is the answer and so wants us to love Him. He will light the way.

      He has thousands of promises for His children and He delivers.He is faithful and true. Thank You for a Blessed reminder to stay focused on the reason for ourexistencee. Keep going precious woman. I am touched and honored to meet you. My Love, Skye

      voted up!!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I am so happy I found this Hub today! I give thanks to God each morning and before I go to sleep because I am so grateful for all my blessings, and I have many!

      I enjoyed reading your story. It is very inspiring and uplifting in many ways. My bedroom is upstairs, and my children worry that I may fall, but every time I go up and down, I'm grateful that I can still do that.

      As you know, my home is in foreclosure but I am still in the home until the bank takes it. I'll miss the exercise of the stairs!

      Thanks for sharing your story. I voted it UP and will share.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      Jo ,

      Thanks for reading my hub. Everything that I have today, I owe to my practice of gratitude. I practiced gratitude when I was in the midst of the storm and one day things just opened up for me and my daughter. My life is witness to the power of gratitude and unwavering faith, no matter the circumstance.

      Bill,

      I feel that we are kindred spirits. Isn't it marvelous that we are still alive? It is with our thoughts that we have created the lives of our dreams and our practice of gratitude that has brought even more good things and people into our lives.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet. I should be dead so yes, I can do this gratitude thing quite easily. :) I believe in the power of gratitude and positive thinking....I am sold on it. :)

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

      I am grateful to have found this and witness your inspiring gratitude and the lessons we all should take to heart! My life is a gift from God. Everything I have and the ability to live in the abundance to come keeps me centered & full of gratitude. This is amazingly well written with blessings the whole way through. :) Thank you & Shalom

      voted Up +++ Tweeted. Couldn't find your *share button*. :(

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      Bruce,

      I am inspired by your comments. As you know if we keep living, we will continue to experience challenges. On just yesterday, I experienced a miracle in my life that I attribute to my resolve to practice praise and gratitude every day, many times a day. The night before I was beginning to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. However I refused to give in and before going to sleep recited my affirmations and thanked God for the situation and all the wonderful things in my life. The next morning, my prayers were answered in a manner totally unexpected and today my heart is full of joy, love and gratitude. I am sorry for your losses, but happy that you made it back. I know that you are stronger and have more faith now You have learned much and are passing it on. I will enjoy reading more of your posts and sharing with you.

      Stay strong,

      Deonne

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Ladydeonne!

      I too experienced losing everything, my career, my home, my cars, my wife of 17 years and her family whom I had claimed as my own. I also lost sight of my self and that almost did me in. But like you, I persevered! I looked deep within and though it has taken me significantly longer to recover than it did for you and your daughter, I am happy, I am whole and I know who I am and what I want for the rest of my life.

      Your story is compelling and I am grateful for it. There are so many amazingly wonderful confirmations in it that anyone who has been down this path will feel a sense of compassion for you, your daughter and themselves.

      One thing is for sure, every moment of life is worthy of our deepest gratitude and as you say, when we practice it "we can witness and experience more blessings and lead more abundant lives."

      I have written much about the subject and would be interested in your comments. I will watch the video as you ask.

      May peace always be with you!

      Bruce

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      I have been doing a things to do list for ever now I turned that into a gratitude list that I can shoot for the stars.Even though I haven't done these things.I know they are mine to do and enjoy when the time is right.I believe in gratitude for things that I am not only grateful for but for being able to dream on.Thanx so much and here's to many more hubs that make people happy and change lives for the better.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      There are so many things in life to be grateful for this hub on my list.Thanx so much.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      Stacie,

      Before my experience with homelessness I took many things for granted. I can recall a conversation I had with my stepsister back in 1987. She asked me if i was thankful for waking up each day. My response was, " Why should I be thankful I'm young and healthy?....I EXPECT to wake up each morning!"

      Now that I'm older andwiser, I express gratitude each and every day, many times a day for my life. I no longer take anything for granted. It's great that my story has inspired you.

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 4 years ago

      This is a touching and very worthwhile story. I must remember to be grateful each and every day as we may take our good fortune for granted.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • ladydeonne profile image
      Author

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      I truly appreciate the comments and support. I am thankful that my experience with being homeless and poverty stricken will motivate others to not give up if and when they are in the same or similar circumstances. I am inspired to pass on what I've learned in what I call my valley and mountaintop experiences. I express gratitude for my trials every day for through them I have grown spiritually and am the happiest and calmest I have ever been in my entire life on the planet earth .

    • profile image

      Lesleysherwood 4 years ago

      I felt sad reading what you have been through and inspired by your sense of gratitude and positivity. I think its so important to look at what we have got, rather than focus on the negative. Health is very important to me. I don't want to spend my life craving more than I have - then reach an age when my health deteriorates to find myself looking back at a time of good health and independence. Voted Up and Shared.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Your title and intro photo attracted me ladydeonne and I was prompted to read each and every line of your Hub. Our good and bad experiences teach us a lot throughout our lives and developing a sense of gratitude and practicing it can make a great difference for us. Your story is quite inspiring and will continue to do so for all those who happen to go through this Hub. Thanks for posting such a thought-provoking Hub.

    • Kristinmcr profile image

      Kristinmcr 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Hi ladydeonne. I found myself nodding along as I was reading this. There are always things to be grateful and thankful for, sometimes you just need to change your perspective a bit. I have believed for a long time that you get what you give. If you are positive and thankful in your life, good things will come to you. Thanks for sharing.