Gratitude: Your Secret Weapon

Gratitude

What if I told you that you have a secret weapon available to you at all times?

This secret weapon is not physical, nor destructive. Its power actually extends far beyond the reach of physical constraints.

It lifts the illusory veils we build, the many forms of fear that hinder our experience. You see, the fears we have in our modern western world are almost entirely psychological. We face almost no real danger. This means that the fears most people walk around with are overwhelmingly self-projected abstractions.

If we were facing the invasions of orc hordes every day, we would need mighty swords to fight them off. The orc hordes we face, however, are the fear-based ruminations of our own mind. The ultimate weapon against the forces of fear is the sword of GRATITUDE.

That’s not even a perfect metaphor because gratitude doesn’t involve fighting or resisting at all. Gratitude is so powerful because it’s essentially fighting by accepting. Let me explain…

Gratitude naturally and effortlessly transmutes fear.

Gratitude is like a laser beam that magically transforms insidious inner demons into Casper the Friendly Ghost.

It’s a calm breeze that refreshes your inner landscape.

Gratitude is the zenith of “positive” feelings. Actually, gratitude is beyond the duality of positive and negative. And it must be felt to be truly understood.

Where There is Gratitude, There is No Fear

Gratitude and fear cannot coexist. It’s just like how darkness is the absence of light. Once you shine the light of consciousness, the shadowy fears simply disappear.

This goes for any form of fear too. Fear is the undercurrent of all so-called “negative” emotions. Anxiety, worry, jealously, resentment, regret, stress, guilt…etc. are all children of fear. For example, stress is putting pressure on yourself for fear of an unwanted outcome; and being judged, by yourself and/or others, as not good enough. Anxiety is the fear of some possibility in the future. Can you see the trend here?

If you feel fear of any kind, shatter the illusion with gratitude. When you can feel gratitude, you’re letting go of fear. Don’t just think gratitude, FEEL gratitude, EMBODY gratitude.

The Great Transmuter

Gratitude is the master transmuter. Transmutation is the act of changing or the state of being changed into another form, which is exactly what gratitude does with what you would label as “negativity.”

It’s all a matter of changing your perspective. Show gratitude for the so-called “negativity” in your life and it transforms. Failures become lessons, crises become opportunities and imperfections become beautiful symbols of uniqueness.

Since gratitude and fear cannot coexist, all you have to do is be in a state of gratitude and all “negativity” dissipates.

Gratitude won’t necessarily change a situation, but it will change how you view the situation. And when you change the way you look at things, surprisingly, the things you look at start to change.

Remember, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

The Magic is Right Here!

Gratitude is all about accepting where you’re at, at any given moment. It’s about seeing the big picture and being able to show compassion towards everything, positive or negative.

Through gratitude, you’re able to both accept situations and accept yourself as you are right now. Gratitude is a reminder that you are good enough, no matter what. Here’s something I’ve experienced over and over again: When you love and accept yourself in each moment, you’ll grow, effortlessly and continuously, without having to force it or put pressure on yourself.

Gratitude is also rooted in presence. We only get lost in fear when we forget about the present moment and enter the obsessive thought-patterns of the past or future. There are no problems in the present moment. Show gratitude and bask in the blissful realm of the eternal now.

Gratitude Practices

There are so many ways to express gratitude. It really comes down to anything which allows you to truly FEEL gratitude. Here are some ideas…

  • Write down what you’re grateful for (a great resource that incorporates writing things you’re grateful for every day is The Five Minute Journal)
  • Give thanks every morning when you wake up
  • Express gratitude as many times as you can throughout each day
  • Practice Ho’oponopono
  • Say “I appreciate you” to someone you care about
  • Thank “negative” situations for the lessons they provide – For example; I know a lot of people who were living life at a frenetic pace, and the thing made them slow down and appreciate their lives was a car accident.
  • Even if you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, you’re alive! The chances of you being born are about one in 400 trillion! Now that’s something to be grateful for. If you’re not grateful for life, you’re just going out of your way to make yourself miserable.

    When in doubt, be grateful.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!
     

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    How to Practice Ho’oponono

    Hawaii

    We all want to see the world change for the better. But we’re doing it all wrong…

    We want to change other people. We want to change situations. We even externalize our power to politicians and religious figures to come save us.

    But how many people focus on changing themselves?

    Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
    – Rumi

     
    We do so much to stay victims, blame others and avoid taking responsibility. Are we that afraid of our own power? Are we that hesitant to make our own decisions?

    The only way that any change happens in your version of reality is if you change yourself.

    There’s a reason why Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Not change other people (you can’t), hope someone else does something (*cough* politics) or passively complain about things, but simply embody the change you want to see.

    You can only control yourself, not anyone else and not what life might throw at you (for the most part). But there’s a beautiful paradox here; when you change yourself, everything around you begins to change. Think about your perspective as a filter on reality. Change your filter and you experience a different version of reality.

    We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    – Anais Nin

     
    Here’s another aspect of the fallacy of trying to change others. How are you going to be an effective parent, teacher, psychologist, leader, coach or any other position where people are learning from you, if you’re blinded by your own biases, blocked by your own fears and possessed by your own pain? Everything you do will be based upon fundamentally skewed premises. If you’re disharmonious within, your actions will be from a place of disharmony.

    The best teachers are essentially clear mirrors, leading by example and reflecting back to others undistorted answers to their questions.

    Enter: Hoʻoponopono

    There is a simple practice that leverages the truth of inside-out-change, and it’s called Hoʻoponopono.

    Hoʻoponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It means “to make right” or “rectify an error.” Hoʻoponopono is based on the actuality of healing a situation by healing oneself.

    The practice of Hoʻoponopono consists of using these four affirmations:
    I love you
    I’m sorry
    Please forgive me
    Thank you

    Hoʻoponopono has been traditionally used to solve family and community problems, and has similarities to many other shamanic and mystical practices throughout the world.

    Think about it in terms of common sense, a family dispute will never be resolved if everyone blames each other. Forgiveness provides space for a solution.

    So how do I get that across to people — that we are each 100% responsible for problems? If you want to solve a problem, no matter what kind of problem, work on yourself. If the problem is with another person, for example, just ask yourself, “What’s going on in me that’s causing this person to bug me?” People only show up in your life to bug you! If you know that, you can elevate any situation, and you can release there. It’s simple: “I’m sorry for whatever’s going on. Please forgive me.
    – Dr. Hew Len

     
    There’s even a story that Dr. Hew Len healed a hospital ward of mentally ill criminals by using Ho’oponopono. Who knows if it’s actually true? But anything is possible.

    No Fuel for the Fire

    Any pain that people are carrying needs something to react with. If you don’t give it anything to react with, it doesn’t become part of your reality. If you do react to something, it’s because someone or something triggered pain that already exists within you. Can you see how important clearing yourself is?

    Here’s a relevant insight on relationships by Eckhart Tolle: (Note: This can apply to every kind of relationship, not just intimate relationships)

    If you both agree that the relationship will be your spiritual practice, so much the better. You can then express your thoughts and feelings to each other as soon as they occur, or as soon as a reaction comes up, so that you do not create a time gap in which an unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion or grievance can fester and grow. Learn to give expression to what you feel without blaming. Learn to listen to your partner in an open, nondefensive way. Give your partner space for expressing himself or herself. Be present. Accusing, defending, attacking — all those patterns that are designed to strengthen or protect the ego or to get its needs met will then become redundant. Giving space to others — and to yourself — is vital. Love cannot flourish without it. When you have removed the two factors that are destructive to relationships — when the pain-body has been transmuted and you are no longer identified with mind and mental positions — and if your partner has done the same, you will experience the bliss of the flowering of relationship. Instead of mirroring to each other your pain and your unconsciousness, instead of satisfying your mutual addictive ego needs, you will reflect back to each other the love that you feel deep within, the love that comes with the realization of your oneness with all that is. This is the love that has no opposite.

     
    Ho’opononopono distills these principles of clearing oneself into a simple, effective practice. You only have control of yourself and it’s the leverage point for all change. There really is no “out there” out there. Reality is a subjective experience and our interpersonal interactions are the intermingling of unique worlds.

    If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
    – Wayne Dyer

     
    How to Practice Hoʻoponopono

    If you want to solve a problem, no matter what kind of problem, work on yourself.
    – Dr. Hew Len

     
    The practice of Ho’oponopono consists of visualizing a person or situation that is creating disharmony within you that you want to clear, then saying the four affirmations: I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you. You can just say the affirmations once or repeat them as many times as you like (either aloud or to yourself). Whatever works for you.

    Affirmation 1: I Love You

    Start with being in a state of love. It’s that unconditional, compassionate love which has no opposite. Literally become love. You can bring your hands to your heart if this helps.

    Affirmation 2: I’m Sorry

    This is simply acknowledging something in your reality that you want to clear (no need for guilt or shame). Think of your life as like a movie: If something is in your movie, you have to deal with it, because it’s in your movie.

    Affirmation 3: Please Forgive Me

    Don’t worry about who or what you’re asking for forgiveness. The point is to bring forgiveness into your being.

    Forgiveness is more about clearing negativity from yourself than it is about another person or situation. Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else, it’s something you do for yourself to heal and move on.

    Affirmation 4: Thank You

    You don’t have to thank anyone or anything in particular. Just say “thank you” and feel the gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that opens the door to healing.

    Ho’oponono

    Are we 100% responsible for everything within our reality? Who really knows?

    But it can only help if we use tools like Ho’oponopono. Think about it this way… How could the world around us not get better if we stop playing games of blame and judgment and incorporate practices based in love, forgiveness and gratitude?

    It’s time to embody the change we envision.

    Much love to us.

    – Stevie P! (aka Just Another Aspect of Yourself)


    UPDATE: There is even an online Ho’oponopono certification available now. If you enjoyed this article, consider becoming a master of this phenomenal tool here: Ho’oponopono Certification.

     

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