Acknowledging Unexpected Abundance Is Part of a Successful Gratitude Practice
A gratitude practice is valuable because it puts your focus on the things you do have, as opposed to what you do not have. Realizing and appreciating the vast abundance you have in your life has several positive benefits:
- It puts you in an optimistic frame of mind to approach the rest of the day
- It makes you a more giving person because when you have abundance, it’s natural to want to share it with others
- It keeps you out of a mindset of scarcity or lack, and it keeps you away from all the limiting beliefs associated with such a mindset
- Perhaps most importantly, it signals to the universe that you are open and ready to receive even more abundance
For the past two months, I have done a daily gratitude practice. I’ve written about it at length, but I’ll give a quick summary here. I usually do it right before I get out of bed, because I think starting off with gratitude sets an excellent frame for my day. About 20% of the time, I forget before getting out of bed, and do it at my writing desk. I don’t beat myself up for the days I forget, and actually, I think the variety in the location may help raise my vibration.
Warm-up: I express gratitude for my warm bed, my apartment, my job if it’s a workday, my neighborhood, my friends, anything special that happened the day before.
The main event:
- I express gratitude that in this magical moment of Now — the only moment any of us have — I am raising my vibration and drawing the very best version of myself to me.
- I express gratitude that in this magical moment of Now, I am able to help others raise their vibration and draw the best version of their selves to them. I will often take a moment here to reflect on ways I helped others recently. Remember, what you give to others, you give also to yourself.
- I express gratitude that in this magical moment of Now, I’m able to do my part in the expansion of the universe as it becomes an even better version of itself.
Wrap-up: I acknowledge that I can already feel my energetic vibration rising — and I take a moment to literally feel that vibration. I state that I am so ready for all the abundance that the universe is going to send my way that day, and close out with “thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.”
A gratitude practice lasts all day long, not just a few minutes in the morning
Yesterday was a Saturday. Most Saturdays I meet my friend Randy for brunch at a neighborhood restaurant around the corner from my apartment building. It’s a chance to catch up on what happened during our week as well as the neighborhood gossip.
I had missed the past two Saturday brunches. We had a snowstorm that left ice on the sidewalks for nearly a week. It also ruptured lines that made drinking tap water unsafe. With all those mishaps behind us, I was ready to get out again. So when Randy texted, “Meet up at 11?”, I quickly replied a resounding, “Yes!”
However, Randy followed up with another question. He and his wife Theresa forgot to cancel their order with a chef-prepared meal service, and now they had a week’s worth of food they couldn’t fit in their freezer. Did I want it?
Did I want it!?! Following the snowstorm, I expected my dinner menu this week to be “whatever I could find on the shelves at the Dollar General store down the street.” I replied yes, and Randy said he’d meet me outside my apartment with a bag of 5 or 6 dinners a few minutes before the 11:00 restaurant opening time.
Randy arrived on schedule and I ran the dinners up to my freezer. Instead of the 5 or 6 dinners he told me he’d bring, there were 10 in the bag! All kinds of yumminess!
I put the dinners away, then ran back downstairs and met Randy at the restaurant. We enjoyed an afternoon of grilled pork chops, conversations with good friends, updates on happenings around town, and the Tennessee vs. Auburn men’s basketball game on TV.
Wait a minute — didn’t I forget something?
Andrew Kap, in his book The Last Law of Attraction Book You’ll Ever Need, talks about what he calls “manifestational raindrops.” Think of the first tiny raindrops that land on your shoulder. They’re so tiny that they practically go unnoticed — but they should be acknowledged because they’re a sign of torrential rain not far away.
Likewise, Kap points out, even something as small as finding a penny on the ground can be a sign that great abundance is on the way. The universe knows no difference between “big” and “small” — those are human-created concepts — so something as insignificant as a penny can indicate a bounty of great magnitude, right around the corner.
A week’s worth of chef-prepared dinners is certainly much more significant than a penny on the sidewalk — so, as I was putting them into my freezer, why did I forget to slip back into my gratitude practice? Why did I forget to acknowledge that my practice was working?
Where I went wrong
I’m a writer. I realized that when doing my gratitude practice, I had been stuck in a writer’s mindset.
In the wrap-up of my morning practice, as I acknowledged I felt my vibration rising — “thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you” — I envisioned abundance in terms of being a writer.
I might see that abundance in the form of a big earnings report. I might also see it in the form of an email from an editor at a well-known magazine, asking if I do freelancing work. I might envision readers contacting me and telling me, “What you wrote changed my life.”
But chef-prepared frozen dinners? I was not expecting that.
The path to abundance is often not a straight line
This is something I’ve seen taught in nearly every book on gratitude or Law of Attraction that I read. Saturday was my reminder of how true this is. Receiving the frozen dinners gave me several reasons to be grateful.
First, I was grateful for the food itself. The meals will provide me with nourishment and variety beyond what I usually get.
Second, I was grateful that I have such kind friends who thought of me when they had more than they needed or could store. I am indeed lucky to have people like them in my life.
Third, I was grateful as I realized the dinners do represent a form of financial abundance, even if not directly in the form of money. Those 10 dinners represent 10 nights I won’t have to buy something to have for dinner. Next month I will view my bank balance and find an extra $100 or so there because I didn’t spend it on food.
Fourth, and most importantly — the frozen dinners were the universe telling me, “your writing-based abundance is on the way.” They weren’t a tiny motivational raindrop, as Andrew Kap advised to be on the lookout for. They were 10 big, delicious raindrops! I will eat them mindfully and gratefully, and let them motivate me to double down on my gratitude practice.
The road to getting what you desire really isn’t a straight one. There are all kinds of wonderful side trips and detours along the way. When you start enjoying the process, and seeing the process as the reward, you know you’re close not just to getting everything you ever wanted, but more than you ever realized was possible.
If you say you have a gratitude practice, but really, you just say, “I’m thankful for X, Y, and Z” at a set time and then forget about it the rest of the day, your practice isn’t operating at even 50% power.
Learn to see abundance in your life everywhere. Make gratitude the place from which you operate all day, every day. And when something wonderful and unexpected comes your way, acknowledge it. Acknowledge that your gratitude practice drew it to you. You did that. So celebrate it.
The more you celebrate those unexpected surprises, the more you’ll understand, the process is the reward.
So go forth, and be grateful.
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