Accessing the Power of Gratitude

Posted by on June 5, 2013 with 0 Comments

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

Author’s content used under license, © 2011 Claire Communications

Filed Under: Teleseminars

Living your Life on Purpose

Posted by on March 5, 2012 with 2 Comments

I was on a coaching call recently where we discussed learned helplessness and how it plays a role in our lives.

If we don’t all have learned helplessness so deeply embedded in our psyche then why is it so easy for most of us to say “I can’t” when faced with a challenge that takes us outside of our comfort zone. It’s almost a reflex reaction for many of us and I believe it stems from past experiences where we experienced a loss of power. These experiences may not even be currently in our consciousness.

To compensate for this we have developed a “fake it until you make it” persona. We present a polished image to the outside world because we know this is what is expected and necessary to survive- but inside we experience fear -not really knowing what exactly it is that we fear. Often we have learned the core competencies necessary to be successful and think we are still “faking it” but in reality we have reached a level of mastery that ensures success if we only believed it ourselves.

We often attribute our previous accomplishments to luck or good timing and fear that others are going to find out that we don’t really know as much as we let on or are as capable as we appear. This is the Impostor Phenomenon as some would call it. Even accomplished performers confess to having these insecurities.

It holds a lot of us back from being all that we can. For myself, I know that I need to continually focus on moving out of the “fake it ’til you make it” persona and see myself as the accomplished woman that I am.

In personal development, awareness is the key and I know that when I allow myself to consider a different possibility- for example the possibility of being “bold” and “abundant” in everything I do it opens up a whole new realm of experiences to me.

Having this awareness however isn’t enough. It’s important that I have a structure in place to keep me in possibility.
I need to first create an intention- in what direction am I headed? I then visualize what that will look like when I arrive at my destination.

It’s important for me at that point to make a decision- draw a line in that sand that I will not stop until I reach my destination. No excuses- no kidding!

That way, whenever circumstances come up, I know that I am 100% in charge of either changing the situation or changing my attitude towards it. Being a victim of my circumstances isn’t even a consideration. There is no longer any room for blaming others. This helps to keep me focused on solutions not problems.

How will I keep my intention alive? – by using affirmations every day that keep the vision alive.  “I attract people to me who support me in what I’m up to”. Regardless of how much time I have to spend on the project at hand (i.e. growing my business, community service) it is important that I stay fully present during the time that I do have to get the most results. I need to book that time in my calendar and keep distractions to a minimum.

When I stop thinking that things have to look a certain way I open myself up to all kinds of possibilities- results that I hadn’t even imagined I limit my sharing to people who see my dream and never question that I’m going to accomplish it- regardless of how many times I have picked myself up and dusted myself off from failed attempts. Not taking myself so seriously really helps at these times.

Recognizing that every conversation I have either moves me forward or holds me back keeps me focused. When I have a negative thought or experience self doubt I snap the rubber band that I wear around my wrist as a reminder that this conversation doesn’t serve me.

I read everything that I can on abundance to overcome my self-imposed limitations on how much money I am deserving of having. I take all the actions that I have committed to taking and then take a step back and let the universe take over and do its part. I start every single day by being grateful for what I have. This simple act of expressing my gratitude is so powerful that I instantly feel a surge of happy emotions.

Then finally I consider what it would be like to be totally happy without needing anything on the outside to cause it- and I carry on with the knowledge that everything is unfolding as it should.

Filed Under: Personal Coaching

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