Gratitude: Day Four
Your ability to see beauty and possibility is proportionate to the level at which you embrace gratitude.
Dr. Steve Maraboli
The Power of Affirming the Sacred
Welcome to day 4 of the gratitude challenge.
What was it like saying, “Thank you,” to so many people? Did it positively change the way you went through your day? We certainly hope so!
Today we’re going to be discussing the important affirmations, and specifically in terms of how our affirmations open our hearts and eyes to experience wonder and awe, enabling our gratitude practice to move beyond a mental, emotional, or physical experience into a spiritual one as well.
Gratitude affirmations go even beyond just saying, “Thank you,” to a person or journaling. They are active, positive, enthusiastic statements of gratitude that acknowledge and celebrate all the good that already exists and all the good that has the potential to exist by pointing our attention towards the presence and goodness of God that flows through all of Creation, and to the ways that we are created to bare God's image in the world.
As we acknowledge these things, we begin to see ourselves and others as part of the whole, as well as Co-Creators with God as part of the solution to meeting the world's greatest needs.
Here is the thing about offering gratitude and affirming the Sacred nature of all that exists... It is not based on "feeling" grateful. That’s an important distinction.
Rather, we CHOOSE to acknowledge the Sacred around us, within us, and within in others. As we do, our affirmations create pathways for those Truths to take up greater residency in our lives and in our world. And, as we affirm those Truths, the "feeling" of thankfulness and appreciation often follows.
As we noted in yesterday, Paul of Tarsus encouraged his readers to be grateful even in the midst of difficult circumstances. This instruction was not given to make our lives harder or to invite them to burry our heads in the sand, so to speak, and just pretend nothing was wrong. Instead, this ancient wisdom points us towards the truth that science now confirms: we offer thanks first, and our emotions (our feelings) follow.
The reality is, when we are in the middle of the 'muck of life,' we need the benefits of gratitude (such as boosting our immunity, increasing clarity, aiding in healing, reducing stress, and so on) and the positive emotions appreciation fosters all the more. Gratitude affirmations tap into these ancient truths.
There are two types of gratitude affirmations. The first is when you’re grateful for the things you already have.
You affirm that you have received an endless bounty of good things in your life and you give specific thanks for all the blessings that you have received.
The second type of affirmations are future-oriented and are when you give thanks for all the good things you are going to receive.
Both types of affirmations are critically important.
The first helps you constantly be grateful in the moment for every good thing that flows into your life. The second helps you live in a state of grateful anticipation for all the good things that are coming your way. And, both lead to increased contentment, joy, and sense of abundance in our lives.
Today, you’re going to create both a present gratefulness affirmation and a future gratefulness affirmation.
When it comes to the present gratefulness affirmation, you want to include as many things as you can think of to be grateful for.
You can start your affirmation with: “I’m grateful for…” and then begin reciting the numerous things that fill your heart with overflowing gratitude. An example of a present gratitude affirmation is:
I’m so grateful for all the blessings I’ve received today. I’m grateful for the sunset that reminded me that this world is filled with Divine presence and beauty...
If possible, try to say one gratefulness affirmation every single day. This practice will help you increase your awareness and further develop an attitude of constant gratitude.
When it comes to your future affirmation, think about all the good things that you want to come into your life. What are your hopes and dreams and desires? What do you think about all the time?
It's been said, "The energy goes where the focus flows." So, use your future gratitude affirmation to give thanks that the things you desire to come into your life.
The simple reality is that you attract what you focus on. This is because you make choices - unconsciously or consciously - based on whatever dominates your thoughts. In other words - you will hit the target you are aiming at... so aim intentionally and aim well towards all that is good and life giving for you and for others.
The more you focus on the good things that you want to fill your life, the more likely it is that you will live in ways that allow those things to flow in and through your life.
An example of a future gratitude affirmation is:
I am grateful for the many blessings that are coming my way today, tomorrow, and every other day in the future. I receive them with open hands. I’m grateful for the physical and spiritual blessings. I’m grateful for the friendships I’ll enjoy and the food I’ll eat. I’m grateful for the money I’ll receive and the way that I’ll be able to use it to achieve much good. I’m grateful for all the good things that are in store for me.
You can make the affirmation as specific as you want. If you desire a new job, give thanks to the universe in very specific detail about the job you’re going to receive.
Tomorrow we’re going to wrapping up the challenge with the idea that practice makes permanent.
Until then, work on filling your day with gratitude affirmations that are authentic to who you are and help you live into your created purpose.
See you tomorrow!