Friday, May 26, 2017

Gratitude: You can be in fear or gratitude, but not both

Week One, Day One: LOVE
Concept #1: The brain can be in fear or gratitude. But not both. Chose Gratitude.

Three Games to Transform your Life, anytime, anywhere

On June 20, 2015, I walked down the street on which I lived, to meet a woman I knew and admired and liked, but with whom I thought I had no “romantic” expectations. We were going to meet for a lunch and “study” session. I was writing a book on radical listening. She was smart and kind and I wanted her input. Her name was Carol Williams then.
It’s Carol Elms now.

One of the glories of my life on that day when I walked unexpectedly into a new and wonderful life was my practice of Gratitude.
I had a gratitude journal, in which I was writing three to five times a day.
Writing gratitudes does many things for you, and was doing them for me.
It focuses you on what you love about and appreciate about life.
By doing so, it keeps your attention on what you WANT in life, not on the complaints and Don’t Wants that so many lose their attention  in. 
Gratitude has been proven to help shift our brains. These wonderful brains of ours have been shown scientifically to be able to be in either gratitude or in fear.
But not both.
Repeat: our brains can be in gratitude or fear. But not both. 
Our hearts can be in fear or gratitude. But not both.

So when I walked a half a block down to the house that is now Carol and my house, I wasn’t in fear.
I was focused on what I love and like and was grateful for in life.
I wasn’t counting on a miracle, nor was Carol, whose prayer practice included a ton of gratitude. So, expecting a miracle or not, gratitude had us both ready and able to let it unfold.
We talked about my book. She had some great ideas. I had one pretty good idea. There is a “game” in that book (which comes in this book on week one, day four) where you take “turns” talking. You set a timer, and one talks and one listens. No interrupting. If the talker slows, pauses, stops, the listener keeps silent until the timer chimes.
The mindless pattern of most conversation is shifted radically: no interrupting. “Just” listening. Time is granted to concentrate on what is really important to you as the speaker.
Time is granted to be really listening when that is your turn.
Really listening.
Each person gets equal “air time.”
You look eye to eye, and concentrate on being present as much as on saying what you want to say. Even more, you pay attention to actually listening to what the other is saying.
We liked this.
We played this a while.
And then another hour.
And then another hour.
And before we knew it,  the one and a half hour lunch meeting had turned into a twelve hour “non-date,” at the end of which, we were pretty darn sure we’d meet the love mate that we’d almost, but not quite, feared wasn’t out there.
And we had our secret fuel: we were in gratitude.
So fear didn’t win.
The miracle did.

And now it’s time for you to start your miracles coming along:

Love Game #1: 
Stand up
Stand in a slightly different spot. Think a “grumpy/ poor me” thought.
Now move to the Real You spot.
Say three gratitudes aloud.

That’s it. Nothing to wait for. Do it now.
Notice the difference.
This isn’t theory.
This is discovering: what will gratitude do for your brain/ your “real self” right now.

Right now.
Don’t put down the book.
Don’t worry if you are in the bookstore.
Wherever you are, people will smile, or want to smile if they hear you complete these three sentences.
“I am grateful….”
“I am grateful…”
“I am grateful…”

That wasn’t so bad, right?

And why do this?
Because you want to go out to lunch with someone and have it turn into the marriage of your life.
Or, you want to shift your momentum: since the brain can’t be in fear and gratitude at the same time, stating gratitude lifts you into the self that is the real you. 
(Did you notice the shift/ dissolution of the grumpy/ poor me mind?)

Why else indulge/ partake/ pursuit/ enjoy gratitude?
You want to keep up happy momentum, since the Universe / God likes to be thanked when things go well for you.
Or, you want to point more energy from the Universe/ God unto what you love and like in life, and being grateful is one of the quickest ways to do that.


This isn’t a book to look at, read, get lost in, have some more “good ideas,” get excited to give it to someone who needs it.
You need it.
I need it.
We all need gratitude as an almost constant dose.
Like smiling.
And happiness.

Love game #2: 
Write Three Gratitudes
Sit over on the edge of your chair, and again, think some sort of “grumpy/ poor me” thoughts.
Then shift to the center of your chair, smile, take a deep breath and..
…in the “real self” center of the chair…
Write now, right now, write and finish these three sentences:

“I am grateful…”
“I am grateful…”
“I am grateful…”

Good. That wasn’t so hard, either.
Can you feel the difference.
Can you feel that you can’t really stay grumpy when you are in gratitude.
There are deeper and more cleansing ways to heal the sour and hurt part of our minds, and gratitude is seemingly the quickest way to get back on track with loving life in a way that life will love you back.

Soon, you’ll get a journal.
This will be a precious companion, I suspect.
Mine certainly is.
Almost every other day, one of my gratitudes is, “I am grateful that I have a practice of writing gratitudes in a gratitude journal.”
Writing it down is good.
For your brain.
For your soul.
For your life.

Don’t believe me.
Try it and see how it goes.

And write now, even if you have no pen and no paper. Write it in the air, or on your leg with your finger.
There is something about hand writing that activates a more full part of your brain than if you type it into a computer or thumb it into a phone. Let the bigger/ more young/ more real you write out at least three gratitudes.
Why is it nice to have them on paper or in your “gratitude journal?”
You can look at them and read them again.
You have a place you are collecting your positive and thankful attention to life.
You know you have a commitment to waking up from fear and living in the wonder of life, the delight of life, the “yes” of life.


Now, stand up. Jump and wiggle a little and play Gratitude Game Number three, which includes a little bit of an enlightenment concept that is crucial to your life, and we need to sneak it in right here.

Enlightenment Bonus Concept: 
Concept #2: 

You know about kids, right? They goof around, are silly and get deliriously happy now and then.
Why not you?

Here’s one way to begin practicing BOTH SILLINESS & GRATITUDE on the same day, day one of your new adventure toward love, lust and enlightenment.

Love / Gratitude Game #3:
Bend down and feel all small and constricted and think the “grumpy/ poor me” thoughts.
Now, straighten up. Move to a new spot and…

Hands above your head ( if an easy “do”)
Spin a bit and
Say three or more gratitudes

That’s it.
Standing is required. We sit too much in modern life.
Jumping is necessary: we need to get up off the ground.
And, jumping requires us to be coordinated in a quick way that very little else can.
Being silly is necessary: without humor, life is death.
Laughter and silliness is the antidote to the serious/ glum/ grumpy/ worried/ pissed/ annoyed self that has WAY too much control of our life.

Near a window, or outdoors is suggested.
Barefoot or at least in socks is better: connection to Nature is part of lust and enlightenment: your real feet like to touch the real Earth.  Noticing your body in this present moment. This is our million year old heritage.

So, stand, maybe outside, maybe barefoot.
Put your arms over your head.
Wiggle your hands around.
Jump in a circle, both directions.
And while you are doing this say three or four or more gratitudes.

Then, go take a walk outside, maybe even singing about what you are grateful for.
Or skipping.
Who knows what you’ll invent with the fear gone and the joy in ascendancy.  Good.

Summary of Day One:

Gratitude is the way out of fear.
Gratitude paves the path to miracles in your life.
Write gratitudes.
Say gratitudes.
Jump up and down with gratitude.
Silliness is next to Godliness.

Start a gratitude journal.

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