Anything that exists in nature vibrates in a particular pattern. We humans are vibrational beings. With awareness, we can learn to recognize our current feeling tone as the “vibe” or frequency of the moment. Many consciously creative people make a habit of “dialing up” the frequency of gratitude in the early morning. Like attracts like. Gratitude is an acknowledgement of abundance; it’s also a powerful magnet for it.
As I type these notes from a well-worn journal, words from renowned priest, Henri Nouwen, appear in my inbox: “Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice,” writes Nouwen. And now (okay I can’t help chuckling a little) I’m grateful for the synchronicity. I am also grateful in it.
My mentor and teacher, Mary Morrissey, often discusses the value of not only being grateful for, but in our experiences. Being “grateful in” allows the feeling to be unconditional. Once again, I am reminded of our choices.
We have choice over SO MUCH during our time here. And what we choose determines the reach of our Creative Power. Pioneering self-help writer, Wallace Wattles, sums up the value of choosing wisely: “You cannot exercise much power without gratitude; for it is gratitude that keeps you connected with Power.” Humans may be the most creatively empowered beings on this planet. Either we create by default, impelled by circumstances and unaware of our true potential, or we create by design.
Creating by design requires the discipline to form new habits.
In my journal each morning I write my Gratitude List – a highlight in my series of opening, daily practices. I don’t have a “rule” about where my list belongs in the sequence, only that I must include it. On days when I feel slow off the mark, I begin by writing it – scrawling down (while dialing up) at least 10 Blessings of Love and Abundance.
This is not Pollyanna; it’s pragmatism. It feels great.
And of course (in my case, anyway), the coffee helps.
With all of that said, I haven’t always appreciated the value of gratitude – or a predictable structure of creative habits, for that matter. Once upon a time, I didn’t recognize gratitude as a generator of expansive experiences. My former (and very common) misconception about gratitude was that it was somehow vaguely contractive. I worried it would “take away my edge.” To an earlier version of me, gratitude implied “good enough.” I associated it with things like rummage sales, consolation prizes, and serviceable shoes. Inextricable from the directive to “be grateful for what you have,” was the underlying threat of guilt (even doom) should I ever decide to venture beyond the bounds of the life I knew.
Without a doubt, I know at least something more now: that experiencing gratitude – a sense of harmony and abundance – contributes to a sense of ease and happiness and growth.
I also understand that being happy and grateful is NOT the same as being totally satisfied…
One of my favourite teachings from celebrated success coach, Bob Proctor, is to“be happy with what you have, but never satisfied.” The willingness to be both happy and grateful, and at the same time unsatisfied, establishes the ideal conditions for conscious creative growth and accomplishment.
Nothing great was ever achieved by a person being merely satisfied. Yet many wonderful contributions have come through grateful people.
Innovations and works of Art – of Life – are born from struggles arising from the desire for Something Greater Still. We are growth-seeking beings. Gratitude gives us Lift. Dissatisfaction, when positively channelled, gives us Direction. On our gratitude list can be the willingness to enjoy a good struggle in the service of that Something.
When gratitude becomes a creative habit, new vistas open daily. Wattles reminds us, “Gratitude alone can keep you looking toward the All…”
What struggles and blessings are YOU grateful in today? And from that state of gratitude, can you see and feel the Dream you would love living?