butterfly-2Every November it seems everyone’s talking about the importance of having a regular gratitude practice.  I totally get it.  We should be thankful for what we have, etc…  But why reserve it for one time a year?

Regularly focusing on what you have; what you’re grateful for; the nice things people have done for you in your life has many benefits.

Right away, you feel emotional relief.  You are blessed.  You have enough.  The Universe has taken care of you in its own unique and sometimes twisted way.

A great way to feel depressed is to have expectations of other people’s behavior.  

Expect your boss to give you a raise; expect your son to send the college applications in all by himself; expect your wife to have the house clean 24/7.  …Expect to be disappointed.

No one is going to make you happy.  You have to take responsibility for your own happiness.

That being said, it’s always good to know what you do want just in case someone happens to ask!

A mentor of mine once said, “Be happy, but never satisfied.”  I think what he meant was, be thankful, but also be OK with your dreams and goals.  Not only be OK with your dreams and goals, but regularly think about exactly what they are and even take the time to write them down.  

The saying, “Be careful what you wish for, it may come true.”  It’s true!  The Universe may take its time getting those dreams to you, but you will eventually get what you really, truly want if your focus is pure.  If you’re kind of wishy-washy about it, like “I kind of want to have a million $, but – hey – money isn’t that important and I really hate rich people anyway, so I don’t really care if I have a million $…”  Those kind of aspirations will probably not come true.  Because there’s no one single focus point.  It has to be a all-or-nothing deal.  

And – desires respond best to a mindset of gratitude.  

It’s like when a little kid says, “Gimme that!”  And you’re like, “No!”  Not because you can’t or don’t want to give the kid the thing, but because of the attitude.  “What’s the magic word?”  And beyond the magic word, what’s the magic attitude?  Gratitude.  Hey, that rhymes!  

For example, being thankful for your job.  At the same time you can feel gratitude for a regular paycheck and everything that affords, you can still aspire for … a raise; more vacation time; a different position in the same company; opening your own business; etc.  

Coming at the same situation expecting the Universe to grant your wishes, like “I expect more from my job:  more time off; more money; more respect,” with an ungrateful attitude, closes off the energy of giving.  

If you have been unable to receive what the Universe has given you so far, you will not receive more!

You can apply this law of the Universe in all areas of your life:

Weight loss – be grateful for what your body does for you!  This is so hard for people to do and it breaks my heart.  We look in the mirror and only see our perceived flaws.  Try this:  every morning wake up and say in the mirror, “Hello, gorgeous!”  I don’t care if you have wrinkles, if you have a muffin-top, if you have scars, you are still beautiful.  Feel it and own it.  Walk around knowing that you are beautiful.  Do this 28 days in a row without missing and tell me what manifests in your life.  

Relationships – be grateful for your loved ones.  They are in your life to teach you something about yourself.  Instead of thinking how they could make you happier by changing themselves, think instead of how they complete a part of your own personality that needs work.  See how your relationships evolve then.  

Job – be grateful for your work.  Your work is how you contribute your life’s purpose to society.  Be thankful for what it is now, and see how over time, your abundance will grow.  

Do you currently have a gratitude practice in your life?  How has it changed your life in any way?  Let me know in the comments.