Gratitude is not just an attitude! by Teresa Romain

Teresa RomainYou must develop much more than an ATTITUDE of gratitude… that attitude must be demonstrated through your actions. Gratitude is much more than an attitude. It goes beyond FEELING grateful. For gratitude to have an impact on your life, it takes more than just THINKING grateful thoughts or FEELING ‘warm-fuzzy’ feelings of gratitude.

Gratitude is more than a mental ATTITUDE… it must be a practice or way of living that is demonstrated through ACTION.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words”… and this is especially true when it comes to gratitude. You may think and feel and even SAY that you are grateful for the abundance you have in your life… but how is (or isn’t) that gratitude being expressed in your actions? All of us already have abundance in our lives – both monetary and non-monetary abundance. Of course, the first step to develop both an attitude of gratitude and to put it in action is to SEE this abundance. NULL Unless you recognize its presence, you’ll never experience gratitude for it nor will you show – through your actions – the respect and appreciation that abundance demands. And if you don’t see your abundance, you won’t experience and enjoy it… which also makes it unlikely you will attract more abundance into your life.

So the first step in practicing gratitude is AWARENESS.

Let’s first look at monetary abundance. Naturally, monetary abundance includes money – the cash you have, the income you make, the current balance in your checking and savings account and the value of any cash investments you have. But it goes beyond just the money itself. Monetary abundance also includes any form of abundance you currently have in your life (or have had in the past) that is the result of you having money. Without money, you would not have these things. Stop and think right now of all of things you have in your life that would fall into this category. It includes your home and the furnishings in it. It includes the electricity, heat, air conditioning and even water that runs through it. It includes your telephone service and your internet service. It includes all of your clothing (unless you weave your own cloth and sew your own clothes). It includes the food you eat. It includes the pots and pans you prepare your food in, the stove/oven you cook it with and the dishes you eat it on. Your monetary abundance includes your car and the gas you put into it. It includes the oil you put in it and the maintenance you hire a mechanic to do for it. It includes the coat of wax that makes it look “brand new” again. But your monetary abundance doesn’t stop there. Do you have photographs and photo albums in your home? If so, would you have all of those photos to look at and enjoy if you didn’t have money to buy the camera and process the pictures? As you might be starting to realize, your monetary abundance goes far beyond the balance in your checkbook. When you add to this the many forms of “non-monetary abundance” you have in your life… air, sunshine, rain, nature, the sunset, the sunrise, your body’s ability to heal and its innate health, your ability to taste, smell, hear, see, touch and so much more… you may be starting to realize, at a much deeper level, just how abundant you already are and just how much you have to be grateful for. At the same time, you may also be realizing that there are some forms of your abundance that you have forgotten to be grateful for and have even, perhaps, taken for granted.

Having seen this, I can only hope that you will start to feel thankful for the abundance you already have in your life.

But you can’t stop there. Again, you must develop much more than an ATTITUDE of gratitude… that attitude must be demonstrated through your actions. So – the food in your cupboards and in your fridge is (most likely) a form of monetary abundance you have. How often do you open up your fridge and discover a “science experiment” inside? If you’re like most people, that “science experiment” will be thrown in the garbage or down the garbage disposal – without giving it much thought. Now – how likely are you to throw a $5, $10, $20 bill down the garbage disposal without much thought? You’re probably not… but, in effect, isn’t that what you do when food you’ve purchased isn’t eaten and goes to waste? And if you purchase something with your money only to throw it away – is that REALLY showing gratitude for your monetary abundance? For that matter, when you spend your money (and time and energy) on something you don’t really want or enjoy just because you are afraid to tell someone “no”, is that showing appreciation and respect for the abundance you’ve been given? If you have abundance and hoard it for yourself – unwilling to share even a portion of it with others who have less than you – is that a demonstration of gratitude and abundance or one of scarcity?

Gratitude is an attitude that comes with a responsibility – to appreciate, respect and take care of that which we have been given.

Only then will gratitude become the opening for additional abundance to enter your life. Think of it this way. Let’s imagine you gave an 8-year old a child you know (your own, a grandchild, niece, nephew, godchild, etc.) a toy for his or her birthday – one that you know they have been wanting for a very long time. However, to your surprise, when the child opened the present – he or she showed little or no delight. He did not break into joyful delight or surprise. She did not say “thank you”. Instead, he took the toy out of the box, played with it for a minute or two and then – to your surprise – threw the toy on the ground and kicked it away, saying “That toy isn’t as cool as I thought. It’s not big enough. But I know a toy that really is. It’s twice as big and costs twice as much – but it’s really neat and I really, really want it. If you’d get THAT TOY for me, I’d be really, really happy. Will you get me that toy instead?” I’m going to bet [and hope!] that the chances of you getting that child the big, more expensive, “cooler” toy are pretty slim – for the very reason that he/she was not grateful for the toy you had already given (i.e., did not say “thank you” or show delight) and he/she did not respect it (i.e., throwing it to the ground and kicking it). What if the Ultimate Source of Abundance (God, Universe, Spirit, Buddha, or whatever name you use to describe this power) operates the same way?

Just because you want MORE money and abundance, why would you be given more if you have not remembered to be grateful for, appreciate AND RESPECT what you’ve already been given – no matter how large or small the amount?

SEE the abundance you already have. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Then, demonstrate that gratitude through your actions each and every day. Enjoy your abundance!

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