Attitude of Gratitude
Kevin B. Burk, author of The Relationship Handbook: How to
Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life.
Iím currently reading Dr. Wayne Dyerís book, The
Power of Intention. In it, Dr. Dyer talks about another book,
by Dr. David Hawkins, Power vs. Force (which is the next
book on my list to read). Dr. Hawkinsí book is the result
of 29 years of research, and concludes that ďWe all float on the
collective level of consciousness of mankind, so that any increment
we add comes back to usÖIt is a scientific fact that what is good
for you is good for me.Ē
Dr. Hawkins asserts that 87 percent of humanity operates at the lower energetic frequencies of fear, pain, anger, and other ďnegativeĒ emotions. However, this is offset by the fact that the rest of humanity operates at much higher frequencies of love and gratitude. Since the higher frequencies are far more powerful than the lower frequencies, one person operating at higher frequency counterbalances a great number of individuals operating at lower frequencies. The amazing thing is that the higher frequency individuals donít have to do anything but operate at those higher frequencies. Simply living their lives in love and gratitude raises the collective vibration of humanity.
In fact, according to Dr. Hawkins, one person who chooses to live with optimism and non-judgment of others offsets the energy of 90,000 individuals vibrating at lower energetic frequencies. The numbers get even more impressive the more we integrate love, peace and gratitude into our vibration and our lives.
Now, you may find it challenging to accept that our thoughts and perceptions can have this great of an impact on the world. But consider this example from my life.
I was speaking with my mother on the phone last week, and she indicated she had something she wanted to say to me. She proceeded to tell me how much she loves me; that she loves me for my willingness to learn, for my open heart, and for several other things that I canít remember because I was so overwhelmed with love and gratitude. This was a powerful experience for me; one that opened my heart, and made a huge deposit in my Validation Account. Itís been over a week, now, and I still get a silly grin on my face when I think about it.
Now, I know my mother loves me. But the fact that she took a moment to express it, openly, honestly, and specifically, had a profound impact on me. I spent the next few days anchored in the Attitude of Gratitude. I found that when I was with friends and thinking about how much I appreciate and love them, that I actually wanted to share this with them, and did. I took the time to let the people in my life know how much I love and appreciate them for who they are.
My motherís gesture of love not only raised her vibration and mine, but because I was moved to share my love directly with the people in my life, it also made a positive impact on everyone that I encountered for the next week. Itís reasonable to expect that my gestures of love and gratitude will likewise extend beyond the people in my life to the people in their lives.
When you consider how quickly these numbers grow, itís easy to see how one personís choice to live in gratitude and love can have a positive impact on 90,000 other people across the world. I shared my Attitude of Gratitude with at least 10 people over the past week. If each of these individuals does the same, thatís 100 more people; if they do the same, thatís 1,000; if they do the same, itís 10,000; and if they do the same, thatís 100,000 people whose lives are made just a little bit better because my mother shared how much she loves and appreciates me.
The Kaballah, the teachings of Jewish mysticism, encourages us to develop the Attitude of Gratitude by finding 100 things each day to be grateful for. From time to time, Iíve attempted to incorporate this into my own spiritual practice, but Iíve found it rather challenging. I donít journal per se; when I write, itís usually meant to be shared with others. I also find writing longhand (something I associate with journaling) to be difficultóIím so used to typing that my hands start to cramp up after only twenty or thirty lines. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing out 100 things each day Iím grateful for seemed to be too daunting of a task.
Then, a few days ago, a woman in one of my study groups mentioned that she finds 108 things each day to be grateful for because her prayer beads have 108 beads. I was immediately grateful to her for sharing this, because I knew this was a way that I could begin to incorporate the Attitude of Gratitude on a daily basis in my own life. I went out and purchased a strand of mala beads from the local Buddhist bookstore. It takes me about 10 to 15 minutes each morning to find 108 things that I am grateful for, and already I see dramatic changes in my life. The more things we are grateful for, the more things we attract in our lives to be grateful for.
When we practice the Attitude of Gratitude, we meet our Validation Needsóand the Validation Needs of others. Of the three ways to meet Validation Needs (praise, gratitude and love), gratitude creates the most impressive results while at the same time, being reasonably easy to express. Love is, of course, the most powerful way to meet Validation Needs, but it takes practice to be able to love unconditionally and indiscriminately. Thanking people for their services, their attention, their presence in our lives is simple, yet powerful. It opens our hearts while supporting and nurturing others.
If you want a quick energy boost, try this exercise. Set a timer for three minutes, and for three minutes, say (out loud), ďI love and appreciateÖĒ and fill in the blank. You must keep talking for the entire three minutes, listing all of the things, no matter how small, you love and appreciate. ďI love and appreciate chocolate. I love and appreciate my cats. I love and appreciate Desperate Housewives,Ē and so on. If you do this exercise with a partner, sit facing each other and look each other in the eyes. Person A says, ďI love and appreciateÖĒ and Person B says, ďYes!Ē after each statement. After three minutes, switch roles.
If youíre ready for an even more powerful experience, set the time for three minutes, stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eyes and say, ďI love and appreciate myself forÖĒ This exercise can be challenging at first, but itís an exceptional way to maintain the balance in our Validation Account, and build healthy self-esteem.
Motherís Day is fast approaching: the one day a year we are reminded to honor our Mothers. As is the case with so many holidays, weíre encouraged to spend money on flowers, candy, cards, and jewelry to prove how much we love and appreciate our Mothers. While these gifts are usually appreciated, I invite you to consider how to make your Mothers Day a truly meaningful experience.
I know I am very fortunate (and very grateful) to have the parents that I have. I grew up with a very stable, loving family. Of course, weíve had our share of problems and disagreements, because we live on planet Earth, not on planet Situation Comedy. (Planet Situation Comedy is the only place in the Universe where six teenagers--three of them girls--can share a single bathroom without killing each other. But I digress.) Over the past few years, my relationship with my family has improved dramatically because Iíve been applying the skills and techniques that I wrote about in The Relationship Handbook.
My point is that itís relatively easy for me to express my love and appreciation for my parents. (That I donít express it nearly as often as I could is another issue entirely, and something that Iím choosing to remedy right now.) I know that not everyone has close, harmonious relationships with their parents. Many individuals are only in contact with their families on official holidays, such as Motherís Day and Fatherís Day, and then only out of a sense of obligation.
I invite you to consider that no matter what your relationship with your parents, you can find somethingabout them--however small--for which you are grateful. Since most of us will at least send our Mothers a card this week, I invite you to take a few moments, and write some words of love and appreciation in the card. Better yet, share these words of appreciation with your Mother in person or on the phone if youíre able to. If your Mother has passed away, you can still honor her with some thoughts of love and appreciation. I promise you that this exercise will mean as much to you as it does to your Mother. It can open your heart, heal or strengthen your relationship with your Mother, and raise your energy level so that you make a positive contribution to the world and offset the negative vibrations of 90,000 people. And by the way, you donít have to wait until Motherís Day to do this (or Fatherís Day, for that matter, to express your love and appreciation for your Father).
Iíll use my mother as an example again. Here are some of the things, big and small, that I love and appreciate about her. I love and appreciate my mother for her courage to heal; for her thirst for knowledge; for her creativity and her art; for her love and compassion; for her open mind and open heart; for taking the time to prepare dinner for the family almost every night of my life (and for being such a good cook); for driving me to school when it was raining, so I didnít have to take the bus.
And, once again, I love and appreciate my mother for sharing her love for me, which gave me a powerful experience of the Attitude of Gratitude, which prompted this article, which hopefully will help to raise the collective vibration of humanity just a bit.
So, now itís your turn. What are you grateful for? What do you love and appreciate? I invite you to experience the Attitude of Gratitude in your life. Try it. Youíll be grateful you did!
Kevin B. Burk is the author of
Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every
Relationship in Your Life.
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