Meister Eckhart is credited with the famous quote that says, "If thank you is the only prayer you ever said, it would be enough."
Beautiful right? However, I would add, "If thank you was the only prayer you ever said, AND you really meant it, AND weren't just saying it because your mom was giving you that look or because it was so habitual that it carried as much meaning as a marriage on one of those reality TV shows where one hunky guy gets to hang out with 10 girls who will do anything to get famous and has to pick his favorite after like two dates that cameras follow them around on and then deliver a canned Shakespearian-esque sonnet as a proposal knowing she'll say yes ... not because she loves him, but because that will guarantee their place on the next cover of People magazine and a shot at the Guinness Book of World Records for quickest divorce which his lawyer is already preparing the papers for just off stage... it would be enough." Wow that was long, but worth it!!! Honestly, do you even remember that I was still in the middle of my rewrite of the above quote?
What's my point? The point is that while we often say "thank you," actually meaning it has become a bit of a lost art. But thankfully (yes, pun intended) all is not lost. I believe we can restore the meaning of those two beautiful words with just a little practice. And here are a couple powerful tips, and by a couple, I mean ONE powerful tip, to get you into a place of true gratitude every single day.
- Make it a game to find 10 things each day that you are grateful for. Small things are great. If you catch a couple green lights in a row, count it. Someone lets you jump ahead of them in line, or in traffic 2 down. You get a funny text from a friend...grateful for funny friend, that's 3, and on and on you go
What this does is it changes your focus? Wayne Dyer says, "when you change the way you look at things the things you look at change." And he eloquently explains that on a quantum physics level, this actually happens. That the things themselves literally change. However, I'm not smart enough to explain that so let's use a different example. Remember those optical illusions where if you look at it one way it's an hourglass but if you look again it's two faces looking at each other. Or the one of a grouchy old lady, but if you look at it again, you see a beautiful young lady who is dressed for an evening out. If you have no idea what I'm talking about that's too bad because it's a very good metaphor.
However, either way, what is so powerful to me is that more than one thing can be true at the same time simply depending on how we look at it. It's not even necessary that anything actually change, just that we change what we are looking for.
Perhaps a better example is cable television. I grew up in the pre-cable era and we had all of four channels that we could watch, two of which we had to manually change the giant antenna on our roof to be able to see more than a series of wavy psychedelic lines ... but that's a different story. The point is that with four channels there weren't many options to choose what we wanted to watch. Then cable came along and all of a sudden there were hundreds and hundreds of channels to choose from. And admittedly, there is still not that much that is worth watching but with so many choices, if we keep looking, we are bound to find a great program, maybe on channel 286 that we truly enjoy and makes us feel really good. Now, the hundreds of other shows are being broadcast simultaneously, many of which are disturbingly negative and would make us feel very bad. But when we consciously choose a positive channel to watch, we have a positive experience regardless of what else is on.
Same with the real world. By doing this exercise you are choosing to set your personal remote control to look for positive and uplifting shows. You may have to look around a bit at first but by making it a game to count the good things that are happening, you will start to see more and more of them. Pretty soon your antenna will be consistently dialed to good content, delivering only the best of what is happening in any given moment.
It may not make all the bad that is happening go away, but you will immediately start to feel different. Like you are living on an alternate planet where people are genuinely nice, good things continue to happen to you, and that you are genuinely grateful for each day of your life and can't help but say "thank you" from a very, very different place.
For more simple tips on how to live a healthier, more fulfilling life through simple daily changes, visit us at www.completebalance.com, a wonderful online community where the healthier you get, the more money we donate to charity.
The Baietto Brothers