Without a doubt, there are few emotional states more powerful and creative than that of appreciation. Why? Because when you are truly in a state of appreciation you are resistant-free. There is no pollution in your vibe. Appreciation puts you in the receiving mode. When you stay in the receiving mode long enough, miracles happen.
However, our society has a tendency to blindly believe the philosophy about exercising gratitude without really understanding it. Celebrating “Thankful Thursday” is a common practice. The advice, “have an attitude of gratitude” gets doled out by preachers, teachers and speakers as often as popcorn at a movie theater. Here’s the catch – when you practice gratitude because you “should,” it loses it’s power.
Have you ever participated in a gratitude exercise and felt that you were trying really hard, or exerting yourself to feel the emotion of gratitude? Want to know why?
Every subject is two subjects: 1) the presence of that subject and 2) the absence of that subject. Said another way: 1) wanted and 2) unwanted. Let’s take the subject of money as it relates to your business. If you are not making the amount of money you want to make in your business, it’s very likely that when you think about the subject of money as it relates to your business, you are much more aware of its absence than what is possibly coming that you can’t see. When the subject of money comes up in conversation or in your own head, you are likely more aware of the fact that you are facing the unwanted as a business owner.
So then, you attempt a gratitude exercise, trying so hard to feel grateful for your business. Since you have been programmed to tell the truth and face reality, what happens when you attempt to feel gratitude for your business is that what’s most active is what comes up. What’s most active is the fact that there isn’t enough money flowing in your business. What’s most active is the ABSENCE of money when you think about your business. So the gratitude exercise backfires because you end up effort-ing your way to feeling gratitude. And it just doesn’t feel that good.
What’s the solution? It’s actually quite simple. Stay off the subject of your business and money if what’s most active within you on that subject is the absence or unwanted. So go do your gratitude exercise but only focus on subjects where it’s super easy to feel appreciation. It might be your newborn grandchild, your dog, the vibrant colors of the fall leaves as you take a hike through the woods, etc. It doesn’t matter. Just find subjects where it’s super easy to feel appreciation.
And don’t feel guilty if you DON’T focus on subjects where you SHOULD feel appreciation but can’t. For example, maybe you are having chronic problems with your spouse. But you have been married for 25 years, he has stuck by you through thick and thin, he does a lot for you, but man does he push your buttons. If the subject of your spouse is charged with both wanted and unwanted…don’t use your spouse as a subject during your gratitude exercise. Skip him. It’s OK!!!
Here’s another tip: wait until you find yourself in a really good, high vibe-ing state to move into gratitude and appreciation. So my advice to you this Thanksgiving season is to practice an “attitude of gratitude” but only on things that are easy … and to move into appreciation when you notice yourself in a good, high flying place.