Gratitude: the key to happiness and abundance

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If you don’t stop being grateful, I’ll give you something to be grateful for!”

I am grateful for the air I breath. So something tells me to drive to this spot as the Autumn sun is rising to give me this breathtaking view to, um, breathe that air…(you’ll forgive the metaphorical paradox!)

Remember when you were a child and your parents told you that if you didn’t stop crying they’d give you something to cry about? Personally I prefer the above version, borrowed from Rev. Michael Beckwith, one of the world’s foremost spiritual and transformation teachers and founder of the famous Agape International Spiritual Centre. While it sometimes feels difficult to be grateful, I know from my own experience the shift that can happen simply by switching your attention (and so energy) from scarcity or worry to gratitude.

As the Hawaiian principle of Makia says, energy flows where attention goes. So if you focus on what is not working for you, what you don’t want, you will tend to get more of the same. It is very easy to become, and stay, trapped in a negative cycle, when all the evidence around you seems to scream how wrong everything is or how frustrating it is to work towards your goals and dreams – or even just to live.

I have just discovered a very simple “trick” to “reset” your mind. Most people, especially those who read posts about personal growth, despite all their problems, fundamentally want to live – a happy and fulfilled life, at that. So going back to basics and simply – as another great teacher and prolific creator of the “impossible”, Dr Joe Vitale, says – being grateful that you woke up this morning, grateful for air you breathe, anything and everything you can think of, immediately shifts that attention and so energy. Focussing on that, you can then build on that energy and learn to see opportunities to change things instead of just complaining about them. Practising gratefulness brings happiness automatically; focussing on what you want, from a place of happiness and gratefulness, will make it a lot easier to go after it. Once you’re abundant in happiness and gratitude you will find other things showing up to increase your abundance in other areas of your life.

A few years ago I wrote about kairos, a Greek word meaning “the right or opportune moment” and as this morning was certainly a kairos moment – which I am convinced came about precisely because of my attitude of gratitude which, as the above quote reminds us, leads to us having more to be grateful for. Here are a couple more photos I jumped out of the car again to capture after noticing the points of light hanging in the air, the grasses gleaming in the morning light.

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Monday Morning Inspiration

Poppies - Monday morning inspiration

Every Monday morning, when I have my daughter, I drop her off at school. It’s a nice way to spend a bit more time with her and one of the “large pebbles” in my jar of life.

If you don’t know the analogy, imagine your life as a jar: if you fill it with sand – lots of small, insignificant things, you will not have room for the essentials and you will feel insecure and unhappy, however much happiness these things promise to deliver.

My daughter is the biggest pebble in the jar, and my taking her to school is one of the important things that give meaning to my existence, before I add the smaller pebbles of nice things that fit around the larger ones. It also leads to another one, which has become an essential part of my life and journey of personal growth.

As some of you know from my Instagram updates, for the last few years I have been taking some time after dropping my daughter to pause for thought and meditation – and share the view to those whose Monday morning canvass is perhaps more mundane than mine, in the hope it lifts the spirit and helps beat the feeling so many of us get when a new week commences.

At this time of year I can wind down the windows and feel the breeze, now refreshing not chilling, waft through the car; and listen to the birds singing in the trees, whose leaves today were playing their part in nature’s glorious symphony, as the wind rustled through the poplars, evoking the sound of the sea.

So today, with no technology, just nature’s soundtrack, I spent a serene time preparing myself for another busy week, an essential time which I have proven makes the rest of my time so much more productive and fulfilling. All in this glorious scenery I am lucky enough to live among.