I was listening to Steve Harvey being interviewed on a podcast about gratitude the other day, and he said a few things that stayed with me. For those of you who may not recognize the name, Steve Harvey is an American comedian/actor and television host of the long running Family Feud game show, who has also published motivational books to encourage people to embrace the skills they are born with.
Expressing gratitude has long been my prescription for helping to turn my life around, or getting it moving in a positive direction when I become stuck in the « traffic circle » of life. It is my belief that cultivating an attitude of gratitude changes your mood, which has an impact on the choices you make, and the opportunities that you attract.
Steve Harvey spoke mostly from the perspective that expressing gratitude for all that we already have in life gets us ready for more blessings. He explained that no one becomes successful overnight but that we can speed things up by being grateful for what we already have. He challenged that if we were not thankful for what we have now, why would we receive more?
As an example, there is a man who gifts his two sons with a used car to each. The cars were both previously-owned vehicles, but in good condition, still offering many years of use. One child expressed gratitude everyday for the car, not having to take public transit any longer, and took care of it, even smiling when he talked about the car and using it to give other people assistance. The other son complained about the car’s many shortcomings, and was embarrassed when driving it because it was not new or sporty and he wouldn’t take care of it.
His message was that by having an attitude of gratitude, the first son was already lining himself up for an upgrade, without knowing it. After all, you enjoy giving to those you know will appreciate the gift, and the said could be same about life. The Universe responds favourably to gratitude.
The second refresher I received from that interview was that you can’t be miserable and grateful at the same time. Therefore, if you are grumpy, and complaining, you probably aren’t being grateful. You combat discouragement with gratitude. You have to change your focus from what is not happening or coming to you, to all that has blessed you so far.
You can turn that negativity around fast enough, just as easily as flicking a switch by counting your blessings. I have heard it said many times that when you put up any kind of resistance in your day, whether it’s in a conversation, or in a task you’re not enjoying etc, you are slowing down the good vibrations, and anything good coming your way.
The Gratitude Jar
You’ve heard me speak of the Gratitude Journal and the Gratitude Affirmations and of course the Gratitude meditation but hold on! There’s something new on my shelf now and it’s called « the Big ‘Ole Jar of Gratitude » and it provides a simple way to cultivate the habit of being mindful of the good things in my life. Each day I write down one thing for which I am grateful and put it into the jar where they collect as a reminder of the good things in my world.
It’s the same principle as the other practices, but I like that it’s a visual representation, of the many blessings in my life. Just seeing it there, full of slips of paper of many colours makes me smile and puts a bounce in my step. When I walk by it, I find myself repeating to myself « it’s true, I am so blessed » .
Today’s Journal Prompt : People around me appreciate this quality about me :
Intention for today’s meditation: Today I be joyful for all that I have in my life. Everywhere I look, I see blessings.