It’s wonderful that there’s a national holiday reminding us to be grateful, but my goal is to show gratitude every single day. Gratitude is an energizing act that is actually easy to perform. When we appreciate others, and let them know they’re appreciated, we increase positive feelings for ourselves and for them. We create a positive energy exchange. As I’ve mentioned many times, our thoughts create our reality. When our thoughts are negative, resentful, selfish or jealous , we bring negativity into our reality...we create more negativity for ourselves - NOT for the person or situation we feel negatively about. We taint our field of possibilities when we think negatively. Negativity takes up a lot of “space” and energy, so there won’t be room for the wonderful positive things in your life when negativity is present.
My life was transformed many years ago through yoga and meditation. Later, through a tradition that included meditations, I was introduced to Feng Shui. While Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, incorporates the physical ‘reminders’ in our surroundings, the meditations that go along with the Feng Shui cures are the real game changers. When I offer a Feng Shui consultation, we look at the physical space and how furnishings are placed, to enhance the flow of Chi, or life energy throughout the space. Chi is a positive force or energy, so we want it to flow freely throughout our homes and offices. Sometimes, furnishings need to be moved, colors changed or added, and in some cases, building design impedes the flow of Chi so we need to add special cures. I recommend changes and “cures” to remove the blocks or issues that affect the life energy of the space. With those changes and cures come meditations and the setting of intentions. Those focused words are incredibly powerful. With much time and practice, the ‘cure’ could simply be accomplished with the use of the mind, meditation, and focus with gratitude for the for all the positive things in our lives.
Some of you may be thinking that it’s easy to show gratitude when things are going well or even when things are “just OK” but what about when things are tough and you’re dealing with a negative person? What about those times when it feels that nothing is going right and you’re really struggling? Those are the times when it’s even more important to look for the positive aspects of your situation or life in general.
Focus on the positive and I guarantee more that things will begin to change. When you feel yourself slipping into “why me” mode or you look around and think how easy it is for others, stop yourself and clear those thoughts from your mind and those feelings from your heart. What do you have to feel positive about? Do you have people in your life that love you and that you love in return? Do you have a pet that depends on you and is always there when you need a friend? Do you have a roof over your head, food to eat, and clothes on your back? Do you have friends you can talk to? Do you live close to mass transit? Did you see a beautiful sunset last night? Focus on the positive to generate more positive energy in your life.
Another positive to think about, and what many do not understand, is that when we have an “enemy” or a “bad” situation, there is positive energy there, as well. That “enemy” and “bad” situation bring us gifts. Those experiences bring the gifts of growth, understanding, and patience. Those experiences bring us information that can help us change our lives for the better. Possibly the biggest gift that our “enemies” and “bad” situations bring us is the experience of overcoming negative thoughts and the ability to wish them well. The experience of overcoming negativity to be grateful for someone or something that challenges us is so very powerful. And, when we do it once, we can do it again, and again, and again. The positive energy grows and grows so that the negative experiences become a smaller and smaller part of our lives.
As we go through our days, let’s look for the positive and be grateful. When we wake up in the morning, let’s say “Thank You” to the Universe. When we go to sleep at night, let’s say, “Thank You for this day.” Those seemingly small things can make a huge difference. As we prepare to celebrate our day of Thanksgiving, let’s try to practice gratitude every single day.
I’ll close by sharing a metta prayer that I love. It’s calming, peaceful, and positive. Repeat by replacing “I” with “my family”, then “my friends”, then “the world”....and yes, then even “my enemies.”
May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful.