Gratitude is the in-breath, and feeling the peace and beauty within us.
Abundance is the out-breath, and noticing the peace and beauty around us.
There once was a time when I lived and breathed within the aura of abundance and gratitude. This was before Sarah Ban Brethnach made it popular to keep a gratitude journal, and before the secret was out about the law of attraction.
I reveled in the simplicity of planting spring flowers in a a flower box, sitting on my deck on a warm summer evening, decorating the house with fall decorations, listening to classical music, drinking a hot cup of tea. All of these and many more tiny inhalations of gratitude moved me to outward manifestations almost instantly.
I was quite naturally and naively living the laws without knowing, and life was good and easy.
Then the tide turned and I was knocked out of simple and easy and dropped into difficult and hard. Of course it didn’t just happen. It occurred over time as I went into the darkness of my soul and did the work of what I call “inner excavation.” In this work, I uncovered and discovered many unconscious beliefs and patterns about myself, which made me see my life and myself differently.
I was “growing up” and as I grew, so did my responsibilities. I was no longer just living my life for my young daughter and myself, but now for my husband and new child. And the new house, and the new dog- and all things that made up the lifestyle I thought I should have, none of which made me any happier or more fulfilled.
In fact all of my newfound responsibilities just made me more resentful, and how could I be grateful when I was so resentful?
The idea of gratitude is thrown around rather lightly and loosely. People say, “Hey, stop being so crabby and just be grateful” and “Hey just get over it and be grateful” and so on. I remember telling a ‘friend’ that I wanted more from my life, and she told me I should just be grateful for what I had. Why and how, when I wanted so much more?
Gratitude is an energy, which moves within us just like our breath and there are obstructions to this flow. One being resentment and the other is our wanting more. This is why it isn’t so easy to “Just get over it and be grateful.” Our resentments and desires for more run deep and cannot be solved because we will ourselves to be grateful. Not to mention we do not have to will it because it is already within us.
Think about the times when you are resentful. Can you feel grateful? Or the times when you want more? Where is the gratitude then? I also might add another obstacle- busyness. For instance just today a friend of mine emailed a group of us and asked if we might be interested in participating in an email gratitude journal where we write 5 things of what we are grateful for and send it to the group.
I appreciated her idea, however I was feeling a little resentful and very busy, therefore I pooh-poohed the idea for myself. Then I began to notice some in the group responding with their five things and I forced myself to do my own. When I took a moment away from the busyness and connect with what’s right in my world, I was reminded I don’t spend enough time in this space, and how simple it is to reconnect.
Gratitude is in the space beyond our busyness. In the space beyond our resentments and frustrations. In the space beyond our wantings. Investigate these obstacles and know there is nothing wrong with wanting more. However, if we are pushing and forcing, we are not trusting, therefore our hands are clenched and we won’t feel the abundance within them. Feeling resentful of our ‘burdens’ is okay too. Life is often hard. We pile a lot onto our plates and it is easy to forget to eat gratefully and thoroughly digest what is already present. And we are busy, but guess what, we don’t have to do anything more to feel grateful or experience abundance. It is already here awaiting our return.
We only have to trust and allow ourselves to flow within the peace and the beauty which is within us and around us.
Gratitude and abundance are what happens when the debris is cleared, or at least temporarily suspended. When we take the time to reconnect and remember, like I did today with what is right. Or when we take a walk in the woods or near a lake, or sip our tea and feel it on our lips, or hold a loved one and feel them on our chest.
The opportunity is ours to breathe in these moments and experience them fully. Being so will expand the gratitude and abundance which is already present. And as for me- this is where I find myself now. I know gratitude and abundance exist, however I also know, especially in these challenging times, it is up to me to inhale and feel the gratitude and exhale and notice the peace and beauty within and around me.
Move into your space of gratitude, and feel the abundance that is you- and allow it to expand.