This week was the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Thanksgiving is a unique holiday because it celebrates an attitude of gratitude—one of the most important practices to cultivate your Inner-Creator
You may have grown up in a family that did not practice gratitude. Even worse, you may have experienced criticism and blame toward yourself and others.
Shifting your relationship with life from feeling like life happens “to me” (the Victim mentality
) toward an abundant life full of wonder (a Creator orientation) may be a challenge for you.
We’ve noticed there are 3 steps that cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Applying these 3 steps will help you experience the renewing power of gratitude.
The first step is to “expect the good.” Here’s a story to illustrate:
A small farming town was facing a terrible drought, and everyone knew what would happen to their community if the farmers lost their crops. Someone suggested holding a town hall prayer meeting. Every person showed up and squeezed into their small church to pray for rain. Only one little girl arrived with an umbrella.
Lesson: What you expect is what you look for and allow yourself to receive.
The second step is, “willing to receive.” On the surface allowing yourself to receive might seem selfish. You might think that if you receive the good, you will take from others. This is akin to Victim mentality again, and fosters “there is not enough” thinking.
If you believe there is a limited supply of good in the world, you will become stingy and shut down your willingness to receive. If you receive less, you are less willing to be grateful for what you have. “I better hoard what I have because there won’t be more,” is a typical voice of Victim thinking. Learning to receive with appreciation and gratitude helps thaw your limiting beliefs of not enough.
Let’s review: Gratitude starts with expecting good which sparks your willingness to receive your good. Now you are ready to give thanks—to be grateful.
If you cultivate an attitude of gratitude no matter what your circumstances, you are less likely to experience the feelings of victimhood
. You will be able to see a gift or lesson to be learned no matter the situation or relationship. The daily practice of gratitude keeps the heart open to learning even when life is difficult.
No situation or event is too small to keep the gratitude energy flowing. Recently Donna
was stuck in a dark spot and remembered that gratitude can help renew her spirits. She was feeling so bad she had a hard time thinking of anything to be grateful for.
As she pressed herself to think of something she should be grateful for, she felt the urge to use the bathroom. It hit her: “I am thankful for my healthy kidneys!” Donna recalls the following conversation she had with herself.
“I remembered that many suffer from kidney disease, including my close friend and colleague. Being grateful for my healthy kidneys helped me to appreciate everyday moments that I often took for granted. As I appreciated my healthy kidneys, I began to see an unlimited number of things I was grateful for and noticed, almost immediately, my mood shifted to a more open and positive state.”
When we are in an open and positive state
, we are more likely to recognize goodness in ourselves and others—seeing each person as a Co-Creator.
We encourage you to practice these 3 steps to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
- Expect the good,
- Allow yourself to receive, and,
- No matter how small the situation or event, embrace gratitude as a choice.
You will be a lot happier and those living with you will be too!