Crazy, right? Everyone says gratitude’s the shZizzle! But in working with my Joy-Training clients, I’ve found that very often there’s a smidge of a belief — way underneath there — that if we’re really grateful, it means we don’t deserve the thing we’re grateful for. Like: “Oh, thank you; I’m so grateful to you; I don’t deserve this . . .” In a super-subtle way, it puts you in a slightly lower position to the thing you’re grateful for. And if you don’t fully believe – on every level – that you deserve a thing, you are most definitely subconsciously blocking yourself from receiving it.
Know what word I like better? “Appreciation.” You can appreciate a gorgeous work of art, for example, without any of that subtext. When you’re appreciating something, you’re merging with the wonderfulness of it. It’s like you share its energy; you’re feeling joy from this thing, period. You’re not feeling indebted to it, the way “gratitude” almost, sort-of implies.
The most insidious side-effect of all this focus on the importance of gratitude is this: It causes a lot of people to look at their lives and say, “Wow, I should be thankful for this.” But what if that feeling isn’t authentic for you? Then you add the “should be thankful” judgement to that laundry-list of judgements you carry around about yourself. And compounding that list does nothing for your self-love. So if you’re feeling like your life sucks right now, I want you stop trying to be grateful for it. It’s too hard. I’m going to show you how to “appreciate” it instead.
Let’s say, for instance, you feel a financial lack right now. You’d like to have more money.
Well, you have some money, right? If I said to you now, “I want you to be grateful for your money,” you could probably stretch and do it, but you’d most likely feel a little resistance when I suggest that. Like: “Ha! Money is the source of all my stress. How can I feel grateful? Sure I have some money, but it’s hard to feel grateful when it’s not nearly as much as I need/want, blah, blah, blah . . .”
But what if I said, “Can you appreciate the money you have?” It’s easier, right? You do have some money, and you did have breakfast, and I presume no one reading this is sleeping under a bridge tonight. So . . . that’s something to appreciate, right?
Maybe it’s not money for you. Maybe there’s something else in your life you feel you’re lacking. What one thing, if it were to materialize tomorrow, would make you feel complete, joyful, like you’d arrived at peace? See if you can identify it as a concept word like money, fitness, success, love . . . .
Now whatever it is, I want you to acknowledge that there is some of this thing in your life. If you want to be thinner, or more fit, or more healthy, you can probably acknowledge that you possess some degree of health in this moment, right? There are people who have less health than you have. If love is what you’re lacking, I want to congratulate you for loving yourself enough to read this post. You do have some love in your life.
Point is: I guarantee you that there are multiple people in this universe walking around right now with half of whatever you have in this area of lack that you identified. Half your money, half your health, half your love.
So you can see that there’s something you can appreciate about this specific area of your life. Not necessarily be thankful about it – not if it hurts – but you can appreciate it, right?
Well, guess what. Appreciation has a causative effect on growth. What you appreciate grows. Even in the financial world, this is the word they use! In the bank, if your money is “appreciating,” what is it doing? It’s growing. You’re getting more of it.
It’s okay to want more of this thing. But only, only, only from the space of appreciation. If you didn’t appreciate it, you wouldn’t want it to begin with! Why do you even want more money? Because you have some money, and you appreciate what you’re able to do with it! If you lived on Krypton and you’d never heard of money, you wouldn’t want it. I want you to internalize this right now. This is an opportunity to make an energetic shift that can have freakin’ miraculous repercussions for you!
If you want from a space of lack, you’ll never manifest jack. Wanting needs to be exciting! Fun! That’s where the creative energy is. In Juicy Joy Training, we wiggle our hips when we say the word “want.” We have a gleam in our eyes.
Wanting a thing = loving it. You can’t know you love it unless you have — or have had — some degree of it. Ergo: Wanting = Having and Loving! Wanting = Having and Loving!
When you get really immersed in the appreciation of having the thing you want, you’ll be dialed into the right frequency to allow more of that thing to flow toward you. That’s the zone of effortless creativity. Appreciation is a form of love, so whatever it is you want more of, the secret to getting it is to deliberately focus your attention on your genuine love for this thing!
There’s a Kafka quote I adore: “By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” So desires are good! Necessary! They just have to come from love, not lack.
I wish you happy fulfillment of all of your desires. I’m appreciating you this holiday season.