I am so inspired to see people on facebook take the 30 days of Gratitude challenge. It motivated me to create an “event” called Gratitude Focus and I invited all my FB friends to start today, 11-11-12! I have done this gratitude work before and it changed my life miraculously. You can be grateful for what “is” as a great mood booster. You can be grateful for what you would like, “as if you already have it” and create some good energy to attract what you want, because what you focus on becomes a magnet. And, here is a real gratitude life changer…be grateful for the most difficult times and events! Years ago I wrote 100 gratitudes for my life threatening illness and hospitalization, and had a profound shift in my consciousness and my health!
It takes 31 days to make a habit, so commit to more than 30 days of gratitude! Write down your gratitude every day (am or pm) of whatever pops into your head, including details that allow you to remember that day when you look back at your journal or facebook. For instance, Today I am grateful that I woke up to see my little girl smiling at me and asking for pancakes. Today I am so grateful that my little Yorkie pup cried at me to remind me to take a break from writing and play! (Avoid any negative references, i.e., I am so grateful I was able to stay positive when Charlie was in a foul mood and tried to ruin my day.)
The basic gratitude challenge really makes a difference, but you just have to do it to see the results in your life. Try if you can to really FEEL the gratitude. It’s the feeling that makes the difference.
If you’d like more of X in your life, focus your gratitudes around that… If you want to get healthier, your gratitudes can focus on anything health oriented, Today I am grateful … I have access to health foods, I ate a healthy salad today, I tried on my running shoes, I went to the gym, I got a good night’s sleep, my feet feel great.
The second kind of gratitudes are the creative ones, you pretend you already have what you want, that partner, that job, that feeling. When I wanted a new love I wrote this, “I am grateful for a fun spirited partner who laughs at life and brings a smile to my face. I am grateful for a positive minded partner who believes in the possibility of all things and the greatness in all people.” Sure enough I attracted more and more positive and fun people.
Then came the biggest gratitude challenge. In 1998, while pregnant with my first baby, I had suffered a serious, life threatening illness and went into premature labor. Both of us ended up in ICU fighting for our life. We both survived, but the 2 months on life support and incredible pain had left my body and emotions hurting. I relapsed several times after so every time I had a pain in my back similar to the initial episode, I was sure I was going have to fight for my life or die.
My life coach at the time, Rhonda Britten, suggested I create a gratitude exercise around the illness. What? I have to be grateful for the thing that crippled me physically and emotionally! That event that took away my highly successful PR company, that stole my motherhood experience, that lost my home and ended my marriage? The first few gratitudes came slowly … but they did come. BTW – the assignment was for 100 gratitudes!
“I am grateful for my illness today because now I have a deeper understanding of and compassion for people with physical limitations and diseases. I am grateful for my illness because over the last 8 years I have been able to see my health crisis as not a weakness of my body, but that surviving it showed the strength of my body as well as my spirit. I am grateful for my illness because I have spent so much more time with my daughter, than if I had continued working full time. I am grateful for my illness because I see what a great blessing it is to be able to do a “chore”. I am grateful for my illness because today I realize the incredible gift it is to be able to live, walk and talk without medical technology or assistance. I am grateful for my illness because I was able to bond more closely with my father and experience his love for me. I am grateful for my illness because I have learned to be more grateful for little things.”
Something amazing happened a few days after doing this 100 Gratitudes for my Illness exercise (I wrote 100 all in one day!) I was in the shower and had an instantaneous belief shift, a paradigm shift. All of a sudden I realized this disease was not going to kill me. I was not going to die. (Well yes, some day, but not any moment!) The worry completely stopped. When a pain came up I just dealt with it, I didn’t imagine the worst.
I hope you’ll join the 30-day gratitude challenge (you can join my group on facebook, post on your main page or start a group yourself!). You can be grateful for what IS, what IS but hasn’t yet shown itself to you, or for something you are ready to shift (like illness, a lack of finances, etc). I am grateful to you for reading this post and starting to increase your attitude of gratitude!
You can check out my youtube video on my NDE and lesson learned here.