Reworking the Abundance Blueprint Through Gratitude
In January I met with a dear friend to exchange previously agreed-upon gifts in honor of the holiday season. I picked out a journal for her, and she picked out a journal for me. We both experienced such delight in choosing for one another that we’ve decided to make it an annual ritual.
By the time we got together, I had already resolved that 2008 would be a year of “Infinite Abundance”. So as part of my activities to rework my abundance blueprint, I designated the journal my friend gave me as a place for recording my gratitude. I go to this gratitude journal frequently and write a page or two on what I’m grateful for. I usually do this before bedtime, and my entry becomes a recounting of my many blessings in that day.
What my gratitude journal does for me is that it helps bring my attention to the positive. It causes me to focus on the abundance around me, and I’ve come to know that whatever you bring attention to multiplies. Indirectly, this becomes a form of requesting or asking… a form of prayer. Which reminds me of a quote attributed to the journalist/novelist, Veronica Chambers, “The shortest prayer in the world… is ‘gracias’.”
Through the wonderful feeling that is gratitude, I express joy for my abundant blessings and then more blessings appear. As I take great joy in having these further blessings, I express more gratitude because I am so very happy to receive them, too. On and on goes this circle of joyful gratitude and joyful blessings. Maybe it’s just a matter of changed perspective, and it simply seems that I have more because I’m noticing everything more. But c’mon, does it really matter what came first – the chicken or the egg? Isn’t it enough to just know I have/see more abundance now? Well, yes and no. Mostly, I’m just happy to be happy. Then there’s that side of me that wants a deeper understanding, so I’ve been thinking about the nature of gratitude and co-creating the abundance in my life.
Several years ago, a friend directed me to the Prayer of Jabez. Apparently, Jabez called on the God of Israel to bring him abundance in I Chronicles 4:10:
“Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”
When I first read this passage, it seemed to me like Jabez is making a bargain or threat that he will not cause pain if God blesses him with abundance and keeps him from evil. However, as I’ve reflected on this over the years, I’ve come to realize that Jabez isn’t making a deal, like a child who agrees to eat his vegetables so he can have desert, but rather, Jabez recognizes that with abundance and blessings, he will have and bring joy into the world rather than pain from scarcity. I recognize that in God we find Joy and that in Joy we find God, so in asking for the joy of blessings, Jabez is bringing God in with them. No wonder God “granted him what he requested”!
Even so, apparently, it’s in God’s Nature to bless:
–“You will show me the path of life: In your presence is fullness of joy: At your right hand are pleasures forever more.” – Psalm 16:11
–“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7.
Well, this definitely provides some hints as to why abundance comes from the energy of thanks, but even if I’m far from fully understanding it all, I do know this… being thankful feels good, and it’s a great deal of fun to recognize my blessings! Ever since I started consciously applying gratitude through my bedtime journaling, being thankful has spilled into other areas of my day. I use thank yous a whole heck of a lot more. And I say and think thanks on the spot whenever I recognize a blessing. I guess you could say that I’m subscribing to Gerald Jampolsky’s sentiment, “Gratitude is not a platitude. It is a way of life.”