Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gratitude Changes My Life (And It Will Change Yours, Too)


In my last post I mentioned that I would share a practice to develop gratitude.Today we will look at gratitude and how having an attitude of gratitude can transform your life. 

Often you hear people say they are grateful for this or that. You may have noticed that people who are grateful appear to be happier than those who may not express gratitude in everyday life. This is not to say they don't experience struggles and life blockages because they do. But they see them through a different lens. They view all of life-the ups and downs and in-betweens-through gratitude. 

How would you define gratitude? Master Marilyn Smith has written a delightful and powerful book called Gratitude: A Key to Happiness (Toronto/Heaven's Library Publication Corp., 2010). The title alone is a great teaching! In this book, gratitude is defined in this way:

Gratitude is appreciation, reverence, respect and joy          
that is unconditional.

Read that sentence again once or twice slowly. 

Now imagine having appreciation, reverence, respect and joy that is unconditional. Imagine living and expressing this unconditional appreciation, reverence, respect and joy.

Truly, just as described in this book, I have found the way to achieve an attitude of happiness is to focus on gratitude. When you do this, you connect with the essence of happiness, which is deep inner joy. 

You can start now, right where you are, by thinking for a few moments about what makes you happy. If you have difficulty doing this, start with something small. Are there flowers in your yard or a beautiful tree on your way to work? See squirrels playing in a tree? A baby in a carriage on the street? A cool evening? A cup of hot tea? A comfortable chair or a good book? Maybe you don’t think they are special. Look for something. Do this throughout your entire day. These are things you can say thank you for. 

Do this for one week or more. Do your best to pause and be grateful. Truly grateful. And express that gratitude. The more you do this, the more automatic it will become. The more heartfelt your gratitude will be. The more you will live gratitude.

Master Marilyn says to take however long you need to move from not having anything to say thank you for, to noticing something new, to noticing the beauty in the new thing and, finally, being the expression of gratitude, saying thank you. Doing this practice will help you achieve an attitude of happiness. When you have developed gratitude, you will have touched the essence of happiness.

How beautiful is that?

Now join me in a practice to help develop gratitude. If you are tempted to keep reading and skip the practice, don't! Sit up straight and say:

Dear soul, mind and body of gratitude, I love you.
(Everything is made of soul, mind [consciousness], and body [energy and matter].)


You have the power to bring happiness to my life.
Do a good job.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Or you could say:

Dear soul, mind and body of gratitude, 
you have the power to change my response to life.
Do good job.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Then chant (repeat) for three to five minutes:

Gratitude changes my life.
Gratitude changes my life.
Gratitude changes my life.
Gratitude changes my life...

Close your eyes and chant for three to five minutes now. Do this simple practice three to five times a day, the longer the better. 

So many of the changes we want to make in our lives can be made by simply becoming more aware and more present. And so it is with developing a grateful heart. In each moment, you can become aware of many things to be grateful for. As you repeat this mantra, you shift your awareness and become the quality of gratitude. You are not just saying the words. 

Connect with the mantra. Become the mantra. 

When you chant that way, gratitude really does change your life. 

We become what we chant. What's your mantra? If it's my life is really difficult, what are you becoming? Ouch. Change the mantra to change your life. 

Gratitude changes my life.
Gratitude changes my life.
Gratitude changes my life.
Gratitude changes my life...

By incorporating this simple practice in your daily life, you could experience huge shifts in your life. And one who experiences and expresses gratitude in daily life is a blessing to others.

Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." What change do you wish to see? Happiness starts here and now, with you. 

Quick! What are you grateful for?

Leave a comment and share your experiences with practicing gratitude. I would love to hear from you.

Until next time.

With love from my heart,
Master Elaine

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Meeting the Divine Half Way

Greetings and welcome.

It has been some time since my last post and I want to share a story with you that has had great impact on me. You may have heard this story before. I first heard it a few years ago, and it deeply touched my heart.

If you recognize the story at the onset, I ask you to keep reading. Be open to receive the message that is there for you, for we can hear the same story many times and receive new insights each time.

Here it is...

A heavy storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the river would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

One man who lived alone heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God. If I am in danger, God will save me.”

As people were quickly evacuating, a neighbor came by and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car. Please come with us.” The man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

The man stood on his porch...watching as the water rose up the steps. Deeper and deeper. A man in a row boat paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my boat. The waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No, thanks. God will save me.”

The flood waters rose higher and began pouring into his house and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police rescue motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters continued to rise higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

A rescue helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue person came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man still refused. “No, thank you! God will save me!”

Shortly after, the house broke up and the flood waters swept it and the man away and he drowned.

He got to Heaven and asked God what happened and why he had forsaken him in his time of need when he had such faith. He told God that God had let him drown.

God replied, "My son, don’t you see? It was I who sent you two boats and a helicopter."


The man was waiting for God's hand to scoop him up and rescue him. He could not see God’s hand in those mortal hands that offered help.

God rescues us all the time. It is our responsibility to see those miracles in the making.

You have to meet God half way.

You have to do your part. And that’s where service and Total GOLD (gratitude, obedience, loyalty and devotion to the Divine) come in. That's our part.

If we leave it all to God, what kind of character does that instill in us? The man was expecting God to do it all. He didn’t try to save himself. He was expecting more from God than he was willing to give of himself. In a way, he was testing God. He held a mind-set that it would work a certain way. It would look like this or that. Then he questioned why God failed to serve him in the way he thought he should have.

For me, this story sums up how so many of us choose live our lives. We have faith in God to take care of us, but we ignore so many signs and opportunities He sends our way.

We may think, why am I suffering, I have such faith…why is this happening to me?

Everything is a gift for our own awakening and expansion. We are always and in all ways being tended to in the most appropriate way in this moment.

I believe that the highest form of prayer is that of gratitude. This is so powerful. I pray the things I do will glorify the Divine and serve the Divine's will, not mine, rather than praying for this or that to fulfill my needs. You may find this practice to be very transforming also.

Starting today, do your best to be aware of the gifts that are being sent your way on a daily basis. Some of them may not look like gifts at all. They may not even feel like gifts. Become aware of how you respond to these opportunities. What is the message? You may wish to keep a simple journal.

Thank you for reading. I welcome you to leave a comment. Next time, we will do a practice to develop gratitude. Subscribe to my blog so you don't miss the blessings and practices. 

Until next time.

With love from my heart,
Master Elaine