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Day 24 of The #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: How Can I Give Thanks When I Don't Feel Grateful? Overcoming Five Obstacles to Appreciating Life by Stephen Russell-Lacy

Research on gratitude summarised by Dr Robert Emmons has been conducted on thousands of people around the world. Those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don't practice gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.


The trouble is, you might doubt whether it is possible to cultivate a grateful attitude when you feel anything but thankful? Five obstacles stand in the way to better appreciating the good things in life.


1. Lack of time for reflection


However busy you are e.g. seeing to the kids, earning a living, doing all the practical chores, chasing your tail, it is surely possible to create a little time just once a week to recall some good things you have experienced, and put pen to paper to focus your mind.


2. Unrealistic expectation

Instead of feeling disappointed about big things not happening for you, why not start noticing the small things that you can be more appreciative of, like the perfect parking spot you had on a cold day, the unexpected pound coins you found in your pocket and the pleasant act of courtesy from someone you don't really know. Try not to take for granted the good things you have got.


"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus


3. Lack of action


Rather than trying and then failing to feel thankful, you could try speaking words of thanks out loud -- whether to a friend, the person who you wish you could thank or in prayer to your idea of God. Saying or doing something can focus on and thus develop that fleeting feeling. One possibility is to write notes to your family and friends to express your gratitude even for small favours. Religious people share a thankful prayer of grace before a meal.


4. Believing you have nothing to be grateful for


Another way is to stop and use your imagination. If you were to pretend to yourself that you have lost some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your car, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort, you could in your mind's eye then picture getting each of these things back, one by one: consider how grateful you would be for each and every one.


Similarly, you might ask yourself to what extent you notice the precious things around? Things like the beauty in nature, the goodness in altruistic action, the innocent sphere of a baby.


The spiritual writer Roger Walsh has pointed out that this blindness to the sacred in the world, in others and in oneself, is particularly dramatic in modern Western culture, largely due to the influence of science. I feel we are so bombarded by the scientific description of the universe as a great meaningless machine and the account of evolution as a random series of events, that these views can easily be seen to be the natural and only way of looking at things. Are we not in danger of living in a disenchanted world seemingly stripped of significance, spirit and purpose? To appreciate and give thanks for the sacred requires an additional way of knowing to the one scientists use. A perception of the soul.


The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart. (Helen Keller)


5. Negative feelings


Some opposing feelings are incompatible. For example you either resent someone or feel appreciation for them. You can't be both angry and thankful at the same time or both envious and grateful. The negative feeling is incompatible with the positive one. One tip I find helpful, is to first tackle the negative. Rather than sweeping a serious problem under the carpet, address it openly by expressing and resolving feelings of anger with the other person. Then you can make a conscious choice about which way you are going to turn. You either can nurse your hurts or look for their good points.


In their book Rise Above It, Ray and Star Silverman say that, in giving thanks for our parents, we are also giving thanks to the divine source of all that is good in life. However, there is a danger that we might cling to childhood wounds, however real or imagined, like sacred scars. If so, they will discolour and distort our attitudes to other people and the experience of life itself. If we have seen anger in our parents we might ask ourselves whether this can be re-seen as determination, or a great concern for our welfare. Perhaps stubbornness or inflexibility should be re-seen as strength or conviction. In other words you can be a sort of tv remote control and change mind channels at will: the negative or the positive news channel.


Swedenborgian view

Emanuel Swedenborg the spiritual philosopher used the "as if " phrase. He wrote that anything what is good within us is usually felt as if it is our own. However, he maintains that this is a necessary illusion for the sake of our sense of inner freedom of personal choice. Actually when the religious minded person comes to think about it, he or she acknowledges that all good things come from the source of goodness itself rather than from ones own merit. And so it is to this Source that one gives thanks. According to this view, even a thankful heart -- which counts one's blessings -- is a spiritual gift that one can receive.


I praise the Lord here today. I know that all my talent and all my ability comes from him, and without him I'm nothing and I thank him for his great blessing. (Ernie Harwell)


Copyright 2013 Stephen Russell-Lacy

As a clinical psychologist, Stephen Russell-Lacy has specialised in cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, working for many years with adults suffering distress and disturbance.


He edits Spiritual Questions a free eZine that explores links between spiritual philosophy and the comments and questions of spiritual seekers. You can share your views and find out more about feeling good, personal well-being & spiritual healing


His book Heart, Head and Hands draws links between the psycho-spiritual teachings of the eighteenth century spiritual philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg and current ideas in therapy and psychology.

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Day 23 of The #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: The Attitude of Gratitude and How to Cultivate a Grateful Heart by Brenda Blindenbach

I was contemplating on how to cultivate a grateful heart and having the attitude of gratitude this morning and it stirred up the memory of a wonderful song of praise called Give Thanks with a grateful heart that I used to sing years ago. My musings caused me to realise that the way to cultivate a grateful heart starts with self reflection and contemplating on what one is grateful for.


It made me think of this saying by Albert Einstein "A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving."


Dietrich Bonheoffer had this to say "In ordinary life we hardly realise that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our achievements in comparison with what we owe others."


Niakan is a form of the Japanese art of self reflection which translates as "inside observation," or "seeing ones self through the minds eye." Greg Krech author of Niakan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of self expression is one of the leading authorities in Niakan in the USA and has a lot to say about this form of self reflection.


When we focus our attention on our behaviour in our relationship with parents, siblings, friends, partners, co-workers and neighbours, it encourages us to accept the circumstances of life rather than getting stuck in our feelings about them.


The self reflection is established on three questions that you ask yourself. It has to do with your relationship to your partner, parents, siblings, children and friends.


1. What did I receive from others today__________?
2. What did I give to others today __________?
3. What troubles and difficulties did I cause others today __________?


Looking at the first of the three questions; a friend could have invited you out to lunch, or that you received a long awaited letter from a member of your family. Often we do not pay any attention to these small things and take them for granted. We tend to notice only the blocks and problems that are in front of us. Instead by giving attention to those little blessings we can be strengthened by the support that comes our way.


The second self reflection question is what have I given to others today? This could be helping your children with their homework, doing some volunteer work in your community, coaching a baseball team. Reflecting on this question gives you a conscious realisation of the contribution that you have given to others.


The third question can be a bit of a challenge. We are quick to observe when others are late and have kept us waiting, or getting impatient because the person is taking longer than usual in the line up at the bank, yet we are not even consciously aware when we may be the source of a problem. Somehow when it comes to us, we think it was not such a big deal or we justify the act with some excuse.


However we need to take a serious look at the last of these three questions. It takes courage and a willingness to look at ourselves with truth and honesty. The upside of taking time for self reflection is that is that we start to live with awareness and on purpose.


Self reflection on these three questions is one of the best ways that I know of to cultivate a grateful heart. It generating in us a feeling of gratitude which arouses the desire to give something back not out of obligation but because we are overflowing with a grateful heart for all the support and love that we have received from others.


Brenda Blindenbach the Possibilities DNA Expert enables you to shift limiting conscious and subconscious beliefs. Claim your free bi-weekly newsletter & access to the audio file "Do You Understand The Laws Of The Universe" by visiting our website & blog at PeacefulInterlude.com

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Day 22 of The #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: Living in a State of Gratitude Can Transform Your Life by Mel Lutterman

I was raised with good values and have considered myself a grateful person. However, several years ago I began contemplating what it means to live in a state of gratitude. By discovering what it means to me, I have evolved into a calmer, more positive, and happier person.


I began practicing the state of gratitude by making a list of the things for which I am grateful. I started and ended each day in gratitude. In the morning I said, "I am grateful for this day and all the gifts and opportunities it brings." In the evening I said, "I am grateful for (something that happened during the day, like a gift, a lesson, an opportunity, a lovely quiet day, etc.) and look forward to a great day tomorrow." Then I began to extend this gratitude throughout the day. For instance, this very moment I can hear the birds singing right outside the window and I am grateful for the ability to hear their beautiful music. So living in a state of gratitude is being consciously aware of all the things around you for which you are grateful. Perhaps, it is a beautiful sunrise, sunset, nature, a pet, friend, spouse, child, parent, and the list continues.


When I am feeling a bit out of sorts, I turn my focus to one or more of the many things for which I am grateful and it typically brings me right back in alignment. In this case, alignment means the person I want to be.


Grateful for Challenges

It is so easy to get caught up in all the challenges we face in our life. Perhaps you know someone who tends to focus on all the things that appear to go wrong in their life. I wonder what would be possible for them if they stopped focusing on the negative and became grateful for their challenges.


Many years ago, during the darkest times in my life I would look up to the heavens and say, "Why me Lord." Then one day I heard, "Why not you?" From that day on I have been practicing my focus on the gifts, discoveries, or opportunities the challenge will bring. There have been times when my challenge has given someone else an opportunity. I would guess that most research and product development has come from someone's challenge. Consider some of your past challenges and how they may have affected your, or someone's life in a positive way. Perhaps you met someone wonderful that you may not have met otherwise. Perhaps you learned something new about yourself or someone else.


As an example: My father became very ill and needed to be in the hospital. My husband Jon and I begged him to let us call an ambulance. His answer was, "No." I had always been a bit timid around him since he ruled the roost and was also a very proud man. Therefore, when he said no that was typically the end of the discussion. However, we knew his condition was serious so we endured many painful hours of trying to change his mind before he allowed us to make the call. After his admission into the hospital and his doctor's examination, I was informed that my father would never go home. He died a few weeks later. I will not go into the horrendous and challenging details of this experience in this article. I will save it for another day. Suffice to say that it was a very difficult time for me and yet I discovered an inner strength that was previously unknown to me. This experience was full of lessons, opportunities, and many gifts. The most treasured gift is that my husband Jon and brother Gary were a big support and we formed a tremendous bond.


Grateful For My Independence

My brother Gary and I visit my beautiful sister-in-law, Merilee every week. She lives in a full care nursing facility. She experiences Diabetes, Alzheimers, and Arthritis throughout her body. She has been experiencing an uncontrollable sugar level and many 911 seizures since she was a teenager, which has really taxed her body. She is confined to either bed or wheel chair because she is unable to walk, feed herself, and take care of her basic needs. Additionally, she is unable to wheel herself and relies on others for assistance. Yet, with the assistance of a nurse's aide, she gets dressed every day, participates in some activities, and eats in the cafeteria.


In the activities room, Gary and I have enjoyed participating with the residents in bingo, trivial pursuit, exercise, musical events, and sharing stories. It is rewarding to us and appreciated by them. We never really know what will come into our life. Dependent living circumstances can happen at any age. These weekly visits keep me living in a state of gratitude for my independence, and health.


Grateful For My Five Senses and the Experiences They Bring

  • To see all the colors of the rainbow, people, animals, nature, etc.
  • To hear nature's music through birds singing, a squirrel's raspy bark, the wind, a baby's laughter (which for me is the most beautiful sound in the world), and most importantly hear someone say, "I love you."
  • To taste the goodness of nature's bounty.
  • To smell the uniqueness of everything.
  • To feel the texture, warmth, or coolness, of everything I touch

Grateful For My Family

  • Teaching me humor, for I believe this is one of the greatest assets to have.
  • Teaching me about love, kindness, humility
  • Supporting my dreams.

Grateful For Our Home

I am so very grateful for our home, clean water, food, jobs, modern conveniences, cars, warm bed, and more. Growing up I took all these things for granted. Yet even in this age of great advancement there are still people who live without clean water and indoor plumbing.


Grateful For My Friends

I have been blessed with amazing people in my life. I value their friendship and consider them a part of my family.

Of coarse the lists above are just a few of the many things for which I am grateful.

In the global meditation BLISScipline, gratitude is one of the focuses. One day there was a woman that spoke up at the end of the meditation and said, "I am so devastated from the death of my friend, I am having a difficult time finding anything to be grateful for." I was stunned by the massive pain that blocked this loving woman from experiencing gratitude. If you are challenged by creating your own gratitude list, consider starting small. Perhaps it is your senses, a part of your body, talents, gifts, a good friend or family member. Perhaps it is the computer or paper that allows you to read this article, your shoes, the chair that you are sitting on, etc.


For me, focusing on gratitude chases away feelings of unhappiness, disappointment, anger, etc. The next time you feel angry or sad, I invite you to focus on some things for which you are grateful and notice what happens. If you haven't already, consider all the things for which you are grateful and begin listing them on paper or computer. There is something powerful about writing out a list. Some people find it useful to keep a daily gratitude journal. Then, when an unwanted mood strikes, there is beautiful reminder written in your own words that may lift your consciousness to the state of gratitude.


I look at my gratitude list and consider each thing a blessing. I believe that the state of being in gratitude is one of the most (if not the most) important keys to a happy life.


What does gratitude mean to you? What are you grateful for in this very moment and why are you grateful for it?


In Loving Support of Your Ideal Life,
Mel


Mel is a Certified Professional Life Coach, creator of ValuableYou Life Coaching, BLISScipline Meditation Leader, and specializes in Guided Imagery. A recording of the BLISScipline Meditation, lead by Mel, is available for free at her website: http://www.valuableyou.com, click, "About Mel", then click on the mp3 icon in the middle of the page.

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Day 21 of The #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: The Secret of Gratitude for Business Today by Lori Saitz

Economic times being what they are, business people are leaving no rock unturned in search of revenue generating ideas. While the days of lavish parties and expensive junkets may be over, there is one very simple, inexpensive way to increase revenue. It's a tactic that's been around since the beginning of time, but only the smartest of businesses have used it to its full advantage.


Would you believe me if I said it's the power of a simple "thank you"? Not kidding! Gratitude is THE key to success. Whether you're showing appreciation to the clients you already have in the roster or pursuing new projects, the simple act of saying "hey, we're happy to work with you and are grateful for your business," has always been extremely powerful.


Just last week, I got a phone call from an ecstatic client who used gratitude to persuade. His $32.00 investment in a potential client turned into a $25,000 job. Where else are you getting those kind of returns these days?


When was the last time you got a "thank you" from a place where you're the customer? How long are you having to think about that question to come up with an answer? Okay, let's turn the table. When was the last time you said thank you to one of your customers? If it was more than 30 days ago, it's been too long.


California Contractor Earns Repeat Business and Referrals From Customer


My husband and I had been through several contractors for house repair. We endured nightmarish projects and even some unpleasant arguments with contractors about said work to be done. Could my husband and I really be that awful to work with? We sure felt that way. We were stunned and delighted when we found a contractor who not only showed up on time, did what they said they would do, but who also said "thank you" to us for being such great clients! The thank you was a personal one, meant just for us, not the mass-produced mailer version. They highlighted the reasons why they appreciated having us as a client. And, because of their obvious sincerity, it meant more. It also meant a lot for the contracting business. We use them exclusively now and refer them every chance we get. - Sara Becker, homeowner


Aside from being good manners, the reason acts of gratitude can, as the title of Dale Carnegie's 1936 best seller proposed, Win Friends and Influence People, is that it is a giant differentiating factor. Although so simple, relatively few businesses actually use appreciation as a way to stand out from their competition. Even in today's business climate, customers are not necessarily looking for the cheapest option. They are looking for the best value. And value includes how they are treated.


The unstated benefit of a thank-you is the feeling you give to others. Plenty of business people think that their clients make decisions based solely on practical, logical factors. NO ONE makes decisions without incorporating emotional factors as well. As humans, it's virtually impossible to do so. Which means that how you treat your clients, how your clients feel about working with you, whether they are buying for individual consumption or on behalf of their business, is of the utmost importance.


So if you could use appreciation as the powerful and influential tool that it is, and it actually increased your business, why in the world would you NOT take advantage?


Saying thanks and giving thanks cannot be underestimated. And should not be underdone. The power of a sincere "thanks" cannot be measured. But without saying "thank you," you should be willing to forgo two more powerful words: repeat business.


Take time to show appreciation for those who support your success and not only will they feel special and valuable, so will you!


Lori Saitz is a customer service expert as well as the founder and chief executive rabbit of Zen Rabbit Baking Company. She shares happiness by helping business people show appreciation for and give recognition to customers and employees with The Gratitude Cookie™. With an understanding of the value of creating strong connections and experiences, she supports clients in increasing customer loyalty, referrals and profits. Connect with Lori at http://www.linkedin.com/in/lorisaitz or http://www.ZenRabbitCookies.com and sign up to receive weekly Gratuities-Tips on Bringing More Joy to Your Life.

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Day 20 of The #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: 5 Gifts from the Power of Gratitude by Janie Behr

The following thoughts lower your vibration and feed the fear that grows inside you.  Napoleon Hill describes what happens to the human soul in the presence of fear. Fear paralyzes the faculty of reason, destroys the faculty of imagination, kills off self-reliance, undermines enthusiasm, discourages initiative, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages procrastination, wipes out enthusiasm and makes self-control an impossibility. It takes the charm from one's personality, destroys the possibility of accurate thinking, diverts concentration of effort, it masters persistence, turns the will-power into nothingness, destroys ambition, beclouds the memory and invites failure in every conceivable form; it kills love and assassinates the finer emotions of the heart, discourages friendship and invites disaster in a hundred forms, leads to sleeplessness, misery and un-happiness-and all this despite the obvious truth that we live in a world of over-abundance of everything the heart could desire, with nothing standing between us and our desires.


  • Gratitude is the very best antidote to fear.              
  • Attitude breeds creativity, encourages imagination & self reliance, strengthens enthusiasm, brings to life initiative, leads to definiteness of purpose, eliminates procrastination, and anchors the soul in self-control.
  • A grateful person is charming, a clear thinker, more focused, persistent, ambitious, pursuing success with the finest of the hearts emotions.
  • Gratitude gives birth to love, encourages friendship and looks for opportunity.
  • Gratitude is peaceful and restful; attracts and makes room for the abundance that our heart desires. Gratitude gives birth to miracles.


The choice is yours. The time is now. If you are truly serious about discovering the true power of gratitude you must trust the simplicity of it.


"The Single Most Powerful Attraction Tool "; to download Janie's report visit http://janiebehr.wordpress.com/


Janie Behr is a qualified life coach specializing in helping people find their purpose, achieve their goals, and explore all the possibilities that life has to offer. She is available for private individual coaching, group coaching and public speaking engagements. She runs frequent teleseminars dedicated to helping people find and live their most positive lives! For more information please visit http://www.jblifecoach.com

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Day 19 of #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: Rejuvenate Your Relationship Through the Power of Gratitude by Richard Nicastro, Ph.D

You have the power to change your mood at this very moment--to increase your optimism, elevate your energy and enthusiasm, and increase your motivation toward reaching your personal goals. How is this possible?


By sowing the seeds of gratitude.


Research shows that when you increase feelings of gratitude, a domino effect occurs and you begin to experience other positive changes as well, such as increased overall happiness. If you've ever been told to "count your blessings," you should have listened.


What is gratitude and why is it important to your relationship?


At some point in your relationship you will take your partner for granted. There's really no way around this. Don't panic--this doesn't mean you love your partner any less or that your relationship is troubled. (After all, most of us take life for granted at one time or another, but that doesn't mean we don't love being alive!) Patterns develop in relationships that lead us to expect certain things from our partners. The joy and tenderness that was once stirred by a morning hug or warm greeting can get lost because of sheer repetition or busy lives that compete for attention.


Gratitude is the antidote to taking your partner for granted.


First and foremost, gratitude is a mindset.


Gratitude is not a one-time event but rather a mindset that requires cultivation. A gratitude mindset can refocus your attention, pointing out all the small, easily over-looked things your partner does. It reminds you that your wife didn't have to phone "just to say hello" or that your husband didn't have to cook dinner after a long, exhausting day. The gratitude mindset silences anti-appreciative thoughts like, "She's supposed to do that..." or "He's just doing what any father should do..." When you embrace gratitude and make it part of your inner dialogue, you'll hear yourself saying, "She's such a thoughtful person" or "Our children are lucky to have him as a father."

Adopting the mindset of gratitude takes commitment. But, if you decide to become more consistently grateful for your partner or spouse, look what you'll get in return: you'll feel better about yourself and your relationship; you'll feel more positive and optimistic about the future of your relationship or marriage; your partner will sense this optimism and positive outlook and therefore will feel appreciated, and will become infected by the spread of gratitude.


How to begin:


~ Begin to notice all the small things your partner does, especially all the things you typically expect him/her to do. The next time your partner gets the children fed and off to school before heading to work, notice the love, dedication and multi-tasking skills involved in this activity.


~ Be open to your partner's uniqueness. Remind yourself of all the reasons you are drawn to your partner. What is it about this person that made you want to spend the rest of your life with him/her?


~ See things from a fresh perspective. He's made you coffee every morning for the last three years; She's stopped to pick up takeout each Friday after work for the last year; Rather than going the typical route of a bakery, he bakes your birthday cake each year (forget, for a moment, the fact that it tasted like soot)... It's easy to get used to these repetitive, kind gestures and it's even easier to rationalize them as something most people would do--take my word for it, not everyone would do all the special things your partner does.


~ Each evening, mentally revisit the time you spent with your partner that day. Notice the conversations you had, the things s/he did. Think of which unique traits that your partner possesses were on display that day (e.g., her sense of humor, the way she smiles, his tenderness).


~ Stop and smell the coffee (that perhaps your partner brewed). Allow yourself the time to feel grateful for what you're noticing. Become absorbed in your appreciation and savor the experience. Since capturing things on paper can help you slow down and mindfully focus on things you're grateful for, write down what you're noticing and appreciating in your partner. The few minutes this will take is well worth the effort.


~ Communicate your gratitude to your partner in a way that feels meaningful to you. This can be direct (telling your partner how you feel) or indirect (doing something thoughtful for your partner).


Remember: although it might feel like human nature to focus on what isn't working, it's most gratifying and rewarding to begin with an awareness and appreciation of the strengths that you and your partner already bring to the relationship.


Adopting a gratitude mindset is one way to help you begin transforming your relationship.


To discover others, sign up for the free Relationship Toolbox Newsletter at http://StrengthenYourRelationship.com/ and immediately receive two FREE reports that will help you achieve your relationship potential.


Rich Nicastro, Ph.D. is a relationship coach who is passionate about helping couples protect the sanctuary of their relationship.

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Day 18 of #Feeling Grateful Blog Series: The Power of Gratitude - Things to Be Grateful For by Michael G A Brown

In this life you could find that there are many things that are currently lacking in your life, indeed it could seem as though there are many things that you currently need but do not have. It could be that your life is filled with a sea of unfulfilled wishes and desires. And it could feel that you never seem to achieve these things that you desire in life. So how can you change this situation and begin to have the things that you desire. And what is the process that can lead you to the transformation that you desire in your life.


Your Outlook is Your Outlook


The outlook that you have on life could be said to be the combination of thoughts that you have in your mind. These thoughts could be said to be generated by the many influences that surround you on a daily basis. Indeed you could say that everyday you are influenced by images and sounds that impress on your mind, and these images and sounds affect you on a conscious and subconscious level. Many of the things you begin to desire could be said to have originated from the ideas and thoughts of other people. For example an enticing advert may begin a desire that you previously did not have. So the writer of the advert has now influenced you and you now have a new desire which you previously did not have. It could be the case that something that you where previously happy with, and gained great joy from has now been replaced with dissatisfaction. So your previous gratitude may have been removed because a new desire for the new item due to the clever advertisement.


The power to take back your gratitude


Can you take back your gratitude? In-order to take back your gratitude you would first need to acknowledge that it was lost in the first place. It would be very useful for you to take your time and think about the things that you have been very grateful for. Think about the things that have really given you great joy in the past. You could also think about the simple things that you may have found the greatest satisfaction in. Indeed in those thoughts you may find many of the things that have given you the greatest joy during your life. Maybe you could think back to your earliest happy memory, it could be useful for you to feel a feeling of gratitude for that experience. It may be useful to really focus on the feeling of joy that you felt during that experience.


The Memories in the treasure trove of your mind


If you consider that within you're mind you may have stored many rich and wealthy stores of happy and wonderful memories. Imagine going into that store and taking out one of them and reliving those experiences. Then take a few moments to show gratitude for that experience, and create in your mind using your powerful imagination a new picture of gratitude based of that experience. Now focus and generate joy based on your gratitude of that wonderful experience. You could find that your life is richer than you may realise. You might find that you have a greater vast vault of wonderful things that you can be truly grateful for.


What do you think? - Thoughts to make you wonder.


MGA Brown (c) 15 July 2013

MGA Brown is the Author of "Thoughts To Make You Think" and "Thoughts to Make You Wonder". This article is from the new book "The Art of Gratitude".


To find out more, and see how you can get your copy, go to http://mgabrown.co.uk.

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Day 17 of #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: Gratitude the Fun Way by Daniel M. Walsh

Becoming the gratitude hub


When you give out a lot of gratitude, you become like the hub of a wheel with positivity radiating out in every direction. Have you ever noticed how there's always at least one person who seems highly connected to everyone else? Maybe you know someone like this, maybe you are someone like this, the kind of person you can always turn to at any time and they always have something positive to say.

When gratitude becomes an integral part of your life, and you build a reputation as being a grateful person, you'll find that everyone around you begins to change the way they treat you. You see, when honestly expressing gratefulness towards others becomes a natural habit, people will very soon begin to cherish and even 'protect' your relationship with them.

When this happens, the world around you changes and everywhere you go people greet you with smiling faces, are eager to see you, and are oddly enthusiastic about helping you out. That's echo of gratitude coming back at you.


Getting started with gratitude


It's easy to feel grateful, and that's good because feeling it is the first step. But it isn't always so easy to express it to towards others. Somehow we've created a society where it may feel a bit odd to gush praise to a waitress or cab driver.

But here's the secret, although it may feel odd, it doesn't take long at all for that odd feeling to be blown away. All it takes is a few heartfelt expressions of gratitude towards total strangers and you'll be hooked for life. The smile they give you when your gratitude warms their heart will be more then enough to keep you going with this practice.

The neat thing about gratitude is that every time we share it, it gets amplified. So to start your adventures with practical gratefulness, I'm going to give you a simple little exercise you can start right away.


Practicing Gratitude


Here's all you need to do to experience this for yourself: "Express specific gratitude to the next 5 people who serve you in anyway."

This practice is about being specific, don't just say "thanks," what we're looking for here is to truly acknowledge another person for the service they've just given you. People are serving you all day, so this should be easy. It can be a co-worker, someone at the coffee shop, a grocery clerk, gas station attendant, a waiter or waitress, or anyone else who does anything for you.

It's easy, fun, and the smile on their faces might just change the way you feel for the rest of your life!


For more great ideas on living with Gratitude, visit: Pillars of Success.

About the Author: M. Daniel Walsh is Director of the International New Thought Learning Center, and invites you to enjoy a free video revealing the 4 Keys to growing Success and Happiness at: http://www.ping-successandhappiness.com.

(c) Copyright - M. Daniel Walsh. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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Day 16 of #FeelingGrateful Blog Series: The Power of Politeness by Cortence Batiste

Have you ever met a person that really made quite an impression on you with mere politeness? Have you ever had someone hold the door open for you? Smile at you? Wish you a good day? These are all seeds of politeness. How did these acts of politeness make you feel? Did you know that making others feel good has positive benefits on your life as well?

Sometimes we go through life without even realizing how powerful our words and actions can be in our daily lives. Planting seeds of politeness with simple gestures of "Good Morning" and seeds of gratitude such as "Thank you" are beneficial to our overall well being. Studies have shown that using politeness plays a positive role in a person's overall happiness in life. Children have been shown to be less involved with bullying and more socially active. Politeness can give an employee a competitive edge in the workplace by contributing a positive core characteristic desired by clients that businesses need in order to be successful.


With social pressures in our society to be successful and perform at high levels of achievement, politeness and the value of it can get lost in the constant battle for perfection. You cannot put a price tag on the value of politeness. It is invaluable when you review to overall benefits of how it can not only add joy and contentment in your life but also provide you with the power to completely pass a smile unto a person whom may have had a bad day. The power to positively affect someone else's day will inherently place you on the kind side of karma.

Cortence Batiste

Motivational Speaker

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