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“A Grateful Heart”

-By Patricia M. Armour

Perhaps it’s been a tough year, emotionally, financially, and physically. But, you survived it all. Let your first thoughts be that of

thankfulness for everything in your life, and recognize the wonders and blessings already bestowed upon you.

Life is a Train Wreck

“Are you serious – my life is falling apart, and I’m supposed to be grateful?” Yes! I know that this sounds irrational, counter-intuitive, and unnatural when life is a train wreck and everything has turned into disaster. If you are battling a serious illness, if you’ve lost your job or your home, or if your relationship is stressed to the brink of trouble, you still have power – the power of choice. You may not have a choice about what’s happening, but you always have a choice about how you react to it. First, when life is a train wreck, acknowledge it for what it is, without pretending that it’s a wonderful thing. Next, putting yourself into a resourceful state of awareness is the best way to get through it all. One of the best ways ever to get into a resourceful state is to practice gratitude.

Practice Gratitude

Take a moment now and think of just one thing you can be grateful for – it can be anything, no matter how small. If you can’t think of anything to be personally grateful for, think of something out there in the world to be thankful for. Every day, add at least one more grateful thought, and soon you’ll find yourself remembering and seeing good things in your life and all around you.

Gratitude can help you shed the burden of unhealthy situations in order to clear a space for something better to come in your life. You will notice that the hopelessness begins to lift a little, a moment here, another moment there; before long your spirit is stronger, and you will realize that you are choosing more positive thoughts, and even finding some solutions that previously eluded you are now becoming obviously helpful to you.

Gratitude Invites Miracles

Take a moment and consider any "impossible" situations in your life right now. Why do you believe they are impossible? Are you willing to believe in the possibility that a miracle could occur? Are you ready for a miracle? If your soul says “Yes,” here are three ways of how you can use gratitude to invite miracles into your life.

Why not open to the possibilities of miracles of any kind – especially the miracles that will liberate your life through the power of gratitude? Look for resources within yourself that you didn’t even know you had. Open your mind to the possibilities of great things happening. You may not know what they are, but you can open yourself to good fortune at any time. Another resource is your creativity. What can you attract, create, or manifest beyond what you’ve ever created before? Can you imagine new ways to attract and bring in more income? Can you create a spiritual openness to give and derive great healing energy? What resources for the renewal of your life are within you that you can be grateful? Recognize the miracles in your life.

More Than Just Words

Gratitude and appreciation are more than just words. It is not just the words we say that reveal the condition of our hearts. People watch what we do more than what we say. Our actions are the best indicators of who we really are. Let the words of John F. Kennedy inspire you with this thought, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” If you know someone who gives of their time and resources to help people in need, you do not need to be told that that person has a grateful heart. With a grateful heart you will not find fault, but rather, you will find something to praise. You will not complain, but instead, you will rejoice. With a grateful heart, you will not focus on what is lacking, you will be filled with all that is good. You will not be resentful because you feel cheated; you will cherish and acknowledge the many ways in which you are blessed.

A Grateful Purpose

Gratitude helps awaken you to limitless possibilities. The deepest part of you also knows that for every desire born within you, a corresponding possibility exists. Perhaps you know what you would like your life purpose to be, but your skeptical mind won't allow you to go for it. You make excuses about how hard it would be, how you have too many demands on your time, or how you don't have the talent, skill, or experience to do what you really want to do – but gratitude can change all this. The more time you spend being grateful, the more positive you feel, and the more easily you can believe in yourself and believe in the seemingly impossible. A grateful heart convinces you that even if you can't see a clear path to your dreams, a path surely exists and will make itself known at the right time.

Honor the Best in You

Gratitude helps you honor the best parts of yourself and everyone else. As you have a sense of your own dignity, you become even more grateful. People who possess inner peace, happiness, and contentment, are comfortable within themselves, and show their gratitude toward life, self, and others, through good manners, poise, and consideration, with quiet self-esteem, self-respect, and elegance. Dignity is the face of gratitude. It has been said that your life purpose has nothing to do with you personally, but with all of the lives you touch through the fulfillment of it. When you are fully connected to a sense of reverence and gratitude for your life experiences, you cannot help but attract ever greater levels of meaning and purpose in everything you do. Thus the more grateful you are, the more you will find yourself fulfilling a powerful purpose in life.

Prayers of Thankfulness

The best prayer you can say is one of thankfulness. Some of the best prayers are done with an open heart, in a state of gratitude, when you say "Thank you." However you experience God, loving father, nurturing earth mother, as a higher power, creator of all that is, as a spirit of kindness and compassion, or as the great spirit in the dance of life. When you live with the fullness of a grateful heart, and give prayers of thankfulness every day, you are soul-centered in gratefulness. Say prayers of thankfulness as often as possible, in the morning, at meals, at the end of the evening, in small quiet moments, in eventful moments, in any moment, of appreciation and joy. Here is a Thank You Prayer for You:

“Thank you for the blessings I receive in my life. Thank you for my food, my home,

my consciousness. Thank you for sending me prosperity and well being. Thank you

for leading me on the best path for my happiness and fulfillment. Thank you for

showing me the best ways to be of service in this world. I am eternally grateful.”

Open Your Heart to Happiness

Gratitude reconnects you with your authentic self. This is the part of you that experiences your life on the deepest level. It is not only who you are, but who you were meant to be. It is the part of you that is most pure, and naturally joyful, lighthearted, loving, compassionate, generous, abundant, and grateful. As you focus more and more on gratitude, joy, passion, and love; you shift your energy into a state of authentic happiness. Being ever thankful for the wisdom you receive to guide you in your decisions throughout your life, your heart, your soul remain open, and you feel peace with yourself and the universe.

Patricia M. Armour, Minding Your Spirit © 2000-2014 All rights reserved. Articles in this self-help column are an original work created by Patricia M. Armour, and are the intellectual property of Patricia M. Armour, and cannot be reproduced, displayed, or posted on-line or off-line in any form without written permission from the author. We accept no responsibility whatsoever for the content, recommended resources or legality of any published articles contained within MindSpaMentor website. Before using the information and self-help techniques in any article for a health related matter be sure to consult with a medical professional. Feel free to link to my site and share the url with your friends and colleagues. - See more at: http://mindspamentor.com/thelotusgarden.html  

Evolutionary Journeys, ~Patricia M. Armour

“The Power of Hope” – By Patricia M. Armour

We look to the future as a ray of hope in times of personal trauma and for a troubled society. Hope is trust and reliance

upon the future that life will be better. Hope is a feeling within that what is wanted will happen, a deep desire accompanied

by expectation. It is the thing that one has hope for that gives us confidence, courage, reassurance, and promise; as it

conveys a reason for hope, whether it is a person or thing on which one may choose to have faith. Where there is life,

there is hope. The promise of hope is the soul-centered belief that anything and everything is possible.  

Three Keys to Hope

There are three keys to improving your life and building a positive future. If the image of your future life is a house, how would you build it? The solid foundation is your personal truth and understanding of your past in life-lessons learned, the strong structure of the walls is the strength of self-empowerment through today’s decisions centered on your present moment awareness, and the expansive, lofty-peak rooftop is personal creative inspiration and sense of purpose directing your future progress and potential.

(look back with forgiveness and resolution to reflect on the learned lessons of your past)

(look out with clear intent and gratefulness to perceive the opportunities in your present reality)

(look ahead with inspiration and purpose to confidently contemplate your future possibilities)

Expect a Miracle — A Gift of Hope

In the book entitled, The Miracle Question, it presents a powerful question that can create profound results in helping people who feel overwhelmed by their lives and are seeking solutions for greater success when answering this miracle question with honesty, authenticity, and comprehensively. Upon answering the question in this way, you will find hope redirecting your life. Here is the question:

This question is a great initiator in activating the three keys to acquiring and maintaining hope:

This question describes the balance, power, and positiveness between reflection, contemplation, and perception. It progressively moves you through the roles of: survivor (hope trumps emotional fear), striver (hope transforms mental anger), and thriver (hope transcends physical events).

Through this exercise, you can intuitively and cognitively realize that the central and integral nature of hope is essential in creating a life-affirming, prosperous, and promising future. It gives you a focused sense of purpose for your life, the ability to see the blessings and opportunities present in your life, the timeliness of developing an appropriate action plan, and recognizing how hope reinforces a desirable outcome and positive future. The power of hope in everyday living is a new beginning wherein you can find strength and courage within your soul to pick up the pieces of your life, heal the human spirit through the shared humanity of our connectedness, and begin again.

Five Levels of Personal Power

There is grand importance to a spiritual connection – it is self-empowering, life-affirming, and profoundly healing. You may not be able to choose your initial circumstances or to control your current situation; however you can choose and improve your attitude of awareness toward your life condition. The power of your attitude is in your positive intent; leverage it by maintaining a hopeful perspective that good things will happen in your life.

The essence and power of hope is profound in its ability to help you live more effectively and joyfully. You create the life you experience every single day based on your degree of hopefulness, as you are one with its power. When you discover something meaningful, and live with purpose, you instill hope and build a foundation of possibilities. Redefine your goals in alignment with your true life purpose, and then activate these five levels for a purposeful presence. A hopeful perspective provides you with five levels of personal power:

Contemplation – Courage – Compassion – Commitment – Creativity  

Belief… Trust is when you eliminate all toxic thoughts from your life by replace them with the positive beliefs integrated into your deepest being. When your beliefs trust in the power of hope, you will attract and receive help from other people, relatives, friends, and strangers, as they appear in your life just when you seem to be in most need of healing and help. This automatically renews your faith, with additional gift of inspiration.

Faith… Strengthen it with unwavering set of spiritual principles that you live by daily, set forth by your belief in the higher presence of God. As your faith in the goodness of people is restored, you find yourself comfortably sharing your hope, beliefs, and faith as you reach out to others in many unexpected, thoughtful, and heartfelt ways. When you contemplate on the mystery and meaning of a greater presence, you become soul-centered in your faith, and a greater purpose.

Hope… Hold on to it in the self-assurance that you can overcome any adversity in life with the power of hope. You can change your attitude toward your immediate situation, your life path, and your future, with visions of hope and promise, new perspectives, and possibilities of a better reality. Each one of us secretly wants to believe that hope will flourish in such a vibrant way that it will change conflict into peace, convert scarcity into prosperity, transform fear into love, and awaken hidden desires and dreams into personal reality.

Hope through Prayer

The soul of prayer is hope and the belief in the empowering promise hope offers you. In uncertain times, prayer helps you to be strong in adversity. Amid the suffering, struggle, and unfairness in the world, positive prayer teaches you trust -- in yourself and God, because it does not separate you from one another, but ultimately unites us all when we are true to our authentic spiritual self. Prayer is an opportunity to change our thinking, change our awareness, change our selves, and to change the world. Prayers are both affirmations and declarations of your personal connection to the divine spirit within each of us. It moves you beyond the walls of self-doubt, fear, judgment, unforgiveness; illness, struggle, and limitation. The hope in prayer stimulates and inspires millions of people to higher thoughts, soul-centered truths, and nobler deeds.

Sharing Love Offers Hope

Hope allows you to appreciate and love your life more fully. Loving yourself is recognizing all your intrinsic gifts and qualities by putting your strengths and talents to good use. It is forgiving your flaws and weaknesses by being your best self, and aspiring for more while living your dreams and goals. As you welcome more people into your circle of love, you automatically open your heart to a higher purpose of compassion and a greater love for humanity. Each of us possesses a loving spirit and an open heart to be shared with the whole world. Love – share it and offer the bright light of hope to one another.

Inspired Hope of Goodwill

Our desire to perform good deeds comes from our desire for a sense of belonging in the global community. Hope encourages the compassion that leads to innumerable acts of loving kindness. This is often where we recognize our connection to one another, as compassion, hope and kindness reaches across cultural, economic, ethnic, and religious boundaries. As we give the gift of service with humility to help in healing others, so too we receive the kind of healing we need a hundredfold, simply by our belief in goodness and hope for the world. As you focus on nurturance of hope for yourself and others through empathy with understanding, patience with tolerance, forgiveness with compassion, and generosity with kindness, and hope with enthusiasm, you can lift people’s spirits, and create a shift in your own emotional resonance toward joyful living.

Hope Creates Peace

When you are willing expect peacefulness, hope heals your heart and sets you free. What are you willing to do through the power of hopefulness to attain peace within yourself and throughout the world? The individual self, the global community, and the planet have been harmed countless times in countless ways, and yet forgiveness does not include forgetfulness, but greater understanding. When you are unwilling to let go of the wrongs in life, you are holding onto suffering in your soul. Personal resolution is being at peace. You are soul-centered when you learn to accept parts of yourself and your life that you used to resent, and grow to appreciate yourself and others exactly as you are, not at you wish life could be. When you heal yourself with the inner peace that hope instills in you, and then unite with others of peaceful mind, you can offer the gift of hope to the world, and create peace on earth.

Wonder of Winter

Sometimes the happiest and most peaceful place on earth is found when you do whatever brings you closer to your soul-centered self. It is how your soul wants to function in the world to bring about goodness, love, and peace. This will ultimately bring you a life of greater hope and personal fulfillment. Let today be a holiday and dress it in hope. The wonder of winter is in the true messages and meaning of the season: faith, hope, love, goodwill, and peace on earth.

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