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Gratitude Keeps Happiness Growing

By Jeanie Marshall

How do you start each day?
If you wake up grumpy, then you start your day with an attitude that is the opposite of gratitude. Reminding yourself of your blessings is a much better way to start the day. Perhaps you tap into the overarching concept: "I am grateful to be alive!" Yet it can be as powerful to awaken to feeling a simple thought of gratitude that you slept well (if you did) or that you are grateful for something that you will do today, like feeding the cat or working with a client.

How do you react to adversity?
If your instinct is to criticize or blame, you can train yourself to shift that pattern of response. The best way is to pay attention to how you feel. If you are honest with yourself, criticizing and blaming and whining feel really AWFUL! I understand that there are times it might feel good to land a blow of revenge or cynical remark, but it is very short lived. (I know, I've been there.) But in all honesty, feelings like happiness are the ones we want to last so we need to make them the short term goal as well.

How do you answer the phone?
A smile transmits over the phone because it changes the way your words form. I am often surprised when people answer the phone when they are not able to have a conversation. They say something like, "I can't talk right now, I'm on a conference call" in a very unhappy and often grumpy tone. Why answer the phone? Phones have voice mail systems so that you can let the technology work for you while you give your attention to one thing you are working on.

What is your attitude while you eat?
The reason that saying grace is a tradition for many is twofold: to express thankfulness for the food and to align yourself with Source Energy so you more fully benefit from the food. I admit I do not always say grace, though I was brought up with this practice. When someone else has prepared the food, I include my thankfulness for those individuals as well.

What are your thoughts when you are overwhelmed?
Do you affirm how overwhelmed you are or do you recognize that the overwhelm signals from your body are a way to ask for relief? Do you try to prove to yourself or others that you have a right to feel overwhelmed, or do you seek ways to lighten the load? Gratitude can restore your balance, no matter what caused the imbalance.

What are your thoughts just before sleep?
Whatever your thoughts are, you will awaken with the same or similar thoughts. It is, however, possible to have an upsetting thought and ask for it to be released in your sleep so that you awaken refreshed and filled with gratitude.

The world is a mirror, reflecting whatever you send out in your thoughts and words and actions. If you complain, everywhere you go, you will meet resistance, anger, hostility, and plenty to complain about. When your heart is filled with gratitude, your thoughts and words and actions are kind and loving and helpful. Your thoughts open doors.

Which door do you want to open to you?


Copyright © 2006 Marshall House.
Jeanie Marshall, Personal Development Consultant, writes extensively on subjects related to personal development and empowerment. Discover her guided meditations at The Voice of Jeanie Marshall.
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