“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” – Albert Einstein
Nowadays, there are endless studies that prove how our beliefs shape the world around us. I believe that when we decide that we live in a friendly universe, we see this mirrored back to us. When we believe the world is out to get us, we unknowingly create more things to complain about.
Today I was thinking about all the reasons I love where I live, and I realized one of the top reasons was that the people here are so friendly! When I look around in our town, if I ever see someone drop something or fall on the street, almost instantaneously someone jumps in to help them. This is a reflection of my belief that we live in a friendly universe, and I’m proud to live in a place where kindness and community seem to come first.
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
When we look at the things in our life with gratitude, appreciation, awe, and love, we find more and more things to be grateful for. When I do this, I often get to the point of feeling such deep gratitude that I could literally jump for joy!
Thanksgiving brings the tradition of gratitude; but I am a firm believer that gratitude is a practice that should be adopted more than once a year. When actively used, gratitude can bring immense freedom and joy. It can help you to see why certain things worked out the way they did, and it can give you a deep appreciation for all of the blessings laying in front of you.
HOW do you practice gratitude?
Begin right now by thinking of something that you’re thankful for – a spouse, a pet, a job you enjoy, a hobby you love, beautiful nature. And then think about WHY you are grateful. What is it that you love about this person or thing? The more you think about why you’re grateful, the more grateful you become. When you put increased focus on why you’re thankful for something, and really tune in to that feeling, you bring more things to be grateful for into your life.
When gratitude becomes your new habit, it seems inconceivable to take for granted all that we do. Next time you catch yourself complaining; switch your thinking to all that you can be thankful for. Let’s use the grocery store as an example. So often it’s a chore to go and buy groceries, but when looked at through the eyes of gratitude it’s a blessing to have money to buy groceries, a blessing to have an abundance of fresh food available for us to eat, and a blessing to have someone who bags our groceries. And that’s just on the surface! When we go deeper – it’s a blessing to have the farmers, the growers, the workers who transport our food and soil and water to provide an environment for our food to grow. When we can be thankful instead of complaining, we free our minds from the negativity, doubt and lack mentality. If you want to kickstart your gratitude practice, check out my favourite book on the subject; “The Magic.”
As a little experiment try the following:
- adopt the belief that the universe is friendly, and be aware of what changes you see mirrored back to you
- practice looking for and thinking about all the things that you can be grateful for and notice how more abundance and positive feelings flow into your life
- think about what habits you’re ready to let go of, and what habits you’d like to adopt
And as the trees release their leaves, it’s time for us too to shed what no longer serves us. If there are habits, thoughts, behaviours, emotions that are stressing you out more than filling you up, take a deeper look into them. Why do you do those things? What would you rather do instead? What benefit are you receiving? Is it keeping you stuck or pushing you toward your goals? And then thank those things for the time they have served you and release them. Consciously choose to make new choices, think different thoughts, and feel better feelings. If you need help doing this, feel free to listen to my anxiety release recording here.
May this autumn bring you more peace, more clarity, more freedom, and more joy day in and day out. And may gratitude change the way you see the world and fill you up with such love and goodness!
Anya (& Keila)