World Gratitude Day
It started in the year of my birth but either my mother, my countrymen or both were not told about it or they could not see the merit of it. Pity, as had they shared its significance, many of the paths that was trod by me might have been avoided. Yet, never the one to have regrets, that it was not shared or taught to me allowed for deeper learning through the valleys of life.
Now that I know better, I will do better and teach my granddaughter not only on September 21 but every day of her life that I have the privilege to share. The lesson? That you can change your life story as needed.
The celebration started in 1965 in Hawaii when an international gathering decided that it would be a good idea to have one day per year to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found in the world. Following the meeting in Hawaii, many attendees marked Gratitude Day on 21st September 1966 when back in their own countries. Ever since then, the number of people celebrating Gratitude Day across the world has grown and grown. (Source: Days of The Year Calendar)
Yes, today is World Gratitude Day and it is also a Motivation Monday. Great coincidence – or is it? My intention for today’s post was to touch on the topic of changing one’s story, the scripts that we read from about our lives and how it is going so far. As I came to my laptop to write, it struck me that there is synergy between the topics of World Gratitude Day and storytelling.
The Secret Is No Secret
Many on the Internet, including bloggers, since the publication of the book, The Secret, have become experts on the Law of Attraction. Having read the book, watched the movie and followed the spiritual leaders and influencers who are proponents and adherents to the principles underlying the Law of Attraction theory, many have themselves become experts, peddling their wares on the worldwide web.
Many mainstream scientists and researchers considered this whole thing a hoax, another New Age fad that will fade. The religious and traditional believers agree, granted over the years some have adapted and incorporated some of the main thoughts behind Law of Attraction and weekly you can hear it seeping into their sermons. They would disagree that it has anything to do with this hocus pocus, Hollywood-style cult but is biblical.
They are all right. My wide reading of all sides suggest that there really was nothing new about the basic principles of the Law of Attraction. People were just ready to hear it. Leaders of the early church and spiritual movements have told their followers for centuries that “as within, so without,” that their thoughts and words have creative power and that Love is the only true power that energizes the world and the Universe.
Most of us were just blind or blinded, emotionally and consciously, to what has been at the essence of our experiences and in fact life for all these years and centuries. A day such as World Gratitude Day is a politically correct way of reminding us of this long known “secret” that has stared us in the faces.
The awareness of the benefits of having time in one’s life for gratitude, appreciation and positive reflection have become increasingly apparent. The hope of the founders of Gratitude Day is that by taking time, one day a year, to reflect on the many amazing things we have in our lives, it would positively impact our well-being and make us happier, more contended people.
Check The Stories That You Tell
My own experiences have taught me that a huge step into living a life of gratitude requires me to tell a different story about my life. I have always been a storyteller, not a spinner of fairy-tales but my imagination have always taken me beyond whatever was my current situation. Whether it was:
- Not having enough money available to us to buy new clothing so my wardrobe was mainly hand-me-downs from neighbours or from the people where my mother worked as a maid
- Doing homework by candlelight because the power was cut as my mother had not paid the bill in months
- Eating sardines for Sunday dinner
- Being beaten by an angry parent or spouse to a pulp
there was this voice in me that was always encouraging me to tell a story that was brighter than the situation. Not knowing what it really meant, you could hear me trying to paint a different picture of my life. I was not always successful. Actually, I was not good at it for quite a while, falling into the trap of bad talking my life, after the examples around me.
Until I came into the teachings and understanding about the Law of Attraction, which I did not believe at first, my stories were mostly like everyone else’ – doom, gloom, despair – although the sun was shining, we had more than sardines to eat, my daughter never had to do her homework by candle light and no one was beating me or getting abused in my home. Negativity became a habit that was hard to break. Journalling was the tool that helped me through that dark room. As I wrote the dark stories, the light in each would shine in my eyes from off the pages. Dim at first but as my eyesight adjusted, my quota of gratitude increased.
It is an art that every one of us can become Masters at – without university programmes required. You become more proficient with practice as any athlete will tell you. Training is a requisite with or without a coach. The first step is acknowledging that the story you have told is not one of gratitude. The follow-up steps will vary from person to person but includes:
- Accepting what is and where you are, not making excuses but owning the space where you stand
- Creating a new outline, one that will move you to the space you truly want to occupy. A teacher gave one of the best lessons on doing this by instructing the class that I was attending to be an observer at your own funeral and write your eulogy. What is it you want said about you?
- Live backwards from the end of your journey, imagine daily pieces of your story into reality.
Read the stories or biographies of people who you consider successful – not only or primarily in monetary terms – who are living the lives they always dreamed of and learn the “secrets” to their achievements. They are not all, actually most are not, celebrities. They are the every day grateful, happy and loving people you meet next door, at the grocery store, in the lobby at the movies. They are all around you and they know the “secret.”
Have a happy day!
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As we continue to grow and find ways to connect with you, Michael H. Ballard and I will be chatting with you on Blab soon. We will cover a number of topics but as he is our Mr. Resilient, and to keep the conversation real, our primary focus will be on “Bouncing Back From Divorce.” Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page to get updates of this upcoming Blab. Did you catch my first one? It was a test but do watch it here and offer some feedback. [tweetthis]Check out @ResilientMichae and @DOSFoundation upcoming #blab on divorce[/tweetthis]