Our teachings remind us that we shape our experiences through our thoughts, beliefs, and words. What we put out into the universe comes back to us as our reality. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of our thoughts and aware of what occupies our minds. Complaining and dwelling on lack or negative things will only attract more of the same unwanted situations. However, if we shift our focus to gratitude, we can begin attracting what we truly desire. In other words, expressing gratitude creates more to be grateful for, while complaining creates more situations to complain about.
Louise Hay aptly said, “The Universe loves gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more goodies you get.” To illustrate this point, she draws a parallel to giving a gift to a friend. If the friend responds with ingratitude or criticism, you’re less likely to want to give them another present. But when they show genuine appreciation and joy, you’ll be eager to bring them more gifts. The universe operates similarly.
In my younger years, I was often fixated on what I lacked. Worries about money, relationships, career, and possessions clouded my perspective. I failed to see the abundance of good in my life – a good education, wonderful friends, music, good health, and time for my interests. However, when I shifted my focus and acknowledged the good things, my life changed. I attracted more positive experiences, people, and opportunities.
Over time, I’ve found several practices that have helped me cultivate gratitude:
- Upon waking up, my first words are “Thank you” – expressing gratitude for another day and a restful night’s sleep.
- I maintain a gratitude journal listing five things I’m grateful for each morning and the reasons behind my gratitude. I’ve realized there is always something to appreciate, whether small or big.
- Throughout the day, I make a conscious effort to thank everyone I encounter, from friends and family to store clerks and servers, for their helpfulness.
- Before falling asleep, I reflect on all the positive things that happened during the day.
Even in challenging moments, I’ve realized there’s something to be grateful for. Difficult experiences often shed light on areas that require healing or reveal limiting beliefs, allowing me to grow and improve.
Practicing gratitude has not only attracted more positive things into my life, but it has also deepened my awareness of the richness and fullness of life. I now have the home, career, and relationship I once believed I lacked. While life still presents challenges and undesirable moments, focusing on gratitude has made these issues less overwhelming and has opened me up to even more good.