An Attitude of Gratitude

gratitude

‘Just think more positively…’

Easier said than done and not the best advice if you’ve a had a crap day, week or even year. It is the last thing you want to hear in that moment and probably the least helpful. Especially if you are up to your eyes with work, you feel like your relationships are falling apart and life continues to throw curve balls right at your face (or so it seems). We’ve all been there, when it all gets a bit too much and we just want to hide under the covers. Cue Positive Polly, telling you to ‘think positive’ and you may feel like doing something unquestionable to poor Polly.

Thinking positive and being positive is great, don’t get me wrong. I try to look at most situations I find myself in positively but are positive thoughts or quotes enough to stop the momentum of a bad mood, day or week? Stopping that momentum is like trying to stop a car speeding down a steep hill, when it is nearly at the bottom of the down the hill. Instead of trying to stop the car midway down the hill, why not try stop it at the top before it gets going?

same-thinking-PRIf we change the way, we view things we can change our lives. Some of you may think that this is a bold statement, but I have seen so many examples of this that I know it to be true. Our perception of things, people and situations can trick us into believing something that is not as it seems.

Wayne Dyer says it best, ‘When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change’. Our perceptions are not a case of one being right and another being wrong, we are just seeing things differently. It makes sense that we would view things differently from our friends or colleagues when our values, experiences, upbringings have all been different.

I have shifted my mind-set in many ways in different areas of my life, using different techniques and strategies but my secret weapon is gratitude.

When we are in a bad mood, unmotivated, fed up or in a bit of a funk we are operating from a place of lack. From a place where there is the absence of something material, emotional, spiritual etc. When you are thinking, feeling and acting from a sense of lack, then that is what you will see mirrored back to you in your daily encounters and experiences.

gratitude 2When you start to shift your perspective, and see all the great things that are present in your life and be grateful for them, you start to make room for more of that to flow into your life. Often when we start to notice the things we are grateful for each day, we notice that they quickly start to outweigh the bad.

Gratitude is like a muscle we have to build, to give it power and strength. The words, written, spoken or thought can be powerful in their own rite. However, if you really want to amplify their power, you must FEEL the gratitude within. Sit with your list of things you are grateful for, for as little as 2 or 3 minutes and feel that gratitude spread throughout your whole body.

When you start to practice gratitude, you will be surprised at how quickly your mind set will shift. You may find that you are feeling brighter or happier. Your encounters with your family, friends and colleagues will adjust and change for the better. Once you start thinking, saying, writing about the things you are grateful for in your life, your list of things to be grateful for will grow and grow and your life will become so much more abundant in every which way.

Here are some ways you can practice gratitude in your daily life;

gratitude list

  • Start simply, count your blessings right now.
  • At the start and end of your day think or 3 things you are grateful for. If you are stuck, try this affirmation – I am so, so grateful for all that I am and all that I have.
  • Say thank you to others, sometimes we’re too busy to take the time to say it at all. I don’t only mean in a mannerly sense, say thanks to the people in your life for the support, help, love they show you. Don’t wait for an occasion like birthdays or Christmas, tell them now. Kind words or a smile of thanks can change a person’s whole day.
  • Be grateful as you sit down to eat or drink.
  • Think / write about what you are grateful for in the different areas of your life – your mind, your body, your soul, your home, your family, your friends, your work, your finances, all the amazing things you have and are right now. Block out the past and future as you count your blessings now, in this very moment.
  • Start a gratitude journal, write down what you are thankful for each day. Even a list in a notebook is just as powerful if journaling isn’t really your thing.

“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich”, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Love and light,

Mel

5 Ways to Take back your Power

We hear the words terms and conditions all the time.

Most of the time we tick the terms and conditions box on an application form or contract without even reading it. Nearly if not every App on our phone has terms and conditions that we must accept before downloading it onto our phone.

Do you always read through the terms and conditions with a fine-tooth comb?

Terms-and-Conditions (1)

I must admit that I don’t always read these fully, I usually just click accept mindlessly.

We accept these both consciously and unconsciously but why do we just accept these rules and conditions without a second thought? We throw them on top of a mountain of rules and conditions we “must” adhere to each day but never really stop to think why?

Many of these rules are conditions we live by are there purely because of the country we were born in, the colour of our skin, the religion we grew up with, our gender, what our parents told us. These conditions were created long before we were even born and are mainly influenced by geography or cultural norms. Our parents and the generations before them, created and maintained these conditions, albeit well intended, to help, to enable and to ensure we fit the social norms of whatever culture we arrived in. God forbid we would do, say or act in a way that went against the grain and rock the boat. Some of us may have never questioned these rules and if we did we would be certain of repercussions of some sort from our family or friends. Generation to generation pass down these conditions that we become attached to and live our lives by with great detriment to us as individuals and our lives.

terms

These conditions become the limiting beliefs that stop is from living the authentic, creative, exciting and passionate lives we were born to live.

They take away our power.

They limit our happiness, joy, imagination and sparkle.

As adults, we create our own terms and conditions that determine our beliefs, actions and how we live. We flood our vocabulary with these conditional words; should/shouldn’t, could/couldn’t, would/ wouldn’t, if, can’t, if only to name but a few. We have conversations with ourselves and others and weave a bigger web of endless conditions.

  • When I lose a x amount of weight, I will happier.
  • If I had more money, I could….
  • If I was smarter, thinner, taller, I could…
  • I can’t do ___, what if ___ happens?
  • If only I could….
  • I should do more of …

Inevitably all the terms and conditions we place on ourselves, consciously or unconsciously inhibit us from being real to ourselves and others. They limit our ability to be present and happy in this moment because we are always waiting for this perfect moment, meanwhile life is passing us by.

Our relationships are placed in a maze of conditions too.

  • If my boss acknowledged all the hard work I do I would enjoy my job more.
  • He/she should never have said that.
  • He/she should apologise for treating me that way and making me feel like this.
  • They wouldn’t treat me this way if they really loved me.
  • What would my mother/father say if…?

We could spend our whole lives living by these conditions that others have created and we reinforce with our thoughts, words and actions.

If we really look at them, do they have any foundation or truth?

Have you ever challenged these terms and conditions with a simple, why?

Are they just an opinion or an idea someone had a long time ago, who is probably long since dead?

Would you allow someone to order your food in a restaurant? Probably not. Then why would you give someone the power or authority to dictate the way you feel or live your life?

How freeing would it be if we were to omit these conditional words from our everyday vocabularies?

What conditions that you place on others or that others place on you would you bin, delete, get rid of it you could wave the proverbial magic wand?

How would your life look if you could eliminate the negative self talk that goes hand in hand with these terms and conditions you are living your life by?

If you could write a new contract for your life, what would the terms and conditions be?

What non-negotiables would you put in this new contract?

What new rules would you ensure were set in stone to allow you to love yourself unconditionally?

I can

Why not move away from conditional living and thinking and try some of the following;

TAKE BACK YOUR POWER

💙 Be open to new ideas, to explore and create new things.

💙 Try not to judge others, remember everyone is on their own path, just as you are.

💙 Be aware of the words you are using in every conversation. Try and catch yourself using these conditional words and flip them to a more positive statement. Remember our thoughts become our words, our words become out actions and our actions become our reality.

💙 Write your own contract for your life. Write down what your terms and conditions are for you and those in your life. Write down what you will and will not tolerate from yourself and others from now on.

💙 Last but definitely not least, spend time with those who love you unconditionally and treat you without conditions, not those whom only show up when the conditions favour themselves.