Everybody’s got a conspiracy theory. And I’m not just talking about whether we actually landed on the moon or if the Bermuda Triangle is real. I’m referring to that nagging feeling that no matter what we do, the game is rigged. Somebody’s out to get us. Secret plots by the government—winks, nods and back-room deals. It’s that “damned if I do” and “damned if I don’t” feeling that the “house” always wins.
You want a conspiracy? I got one for you.
The world is out to help you.
People are lining up to help you across the street, open the door for you, buy you lunch, reveal the secrets of the universe. There is a whole world of positive energy that is pulsating, zeroing in and taking aim—right at you.
You just need to put the bullseye on your back and say “fire.”
Unfortunately, we don’t always recognize it. We’ve become blind to the good, unconsciously training ourselves to see only the bad, identify with the difficult, and shake our fist at the challenging. For many of us, it’s what takes up our day, keeps us awake at night, and makes us chew down our nails.
How beautiful a world would it be if we knew that absolutely everything was arranged to make our lives better, and that, if we looked, we could actually see these visible and invisible forces in action.
It’d sure make getting up on Monday mornings a whole lot easier.
So, how do we bring this awareness into our lives? How do we put that bullseye on our back? The answer is simple. We live a grateful life.
Gratitude is the secret handshake that gets us into a thousand new rooms, and the magnet that attracts the power of the universe into our own world.
I know most of us will say we’re already grateful. Grateful for our families, friends and good health. In other words, we’re grateful for the big stuff. And, of course, we should be. It makes sense. But to really get the universe fired up, we need to generate gratitude all the way down to the microscopic level of our DNA. This is where the real magic lives.
In fact, I’ll contend that the more we are grateful for the everyday things in our lives, the more the universe will conspire to help us.
Truth is, the universe is already helping us. We just need to notice it more often. And it’s the noticing that brings meaning to our day.
So, let’s break out the microscopic gratitude journals and get started with a week full of thank yous.
Rooms 373-393: Keep A Microscopic Gratitude Journal
In one form or another, the gratitude journal has been around since the first cavemen discovered fire. It’s what we do when good comes into our lives.
We used to be cold, now we’re warm—time to be grateful.
Just imagine how happy those cavemen were on their first warm night. Of course, two weeks later, I bet they were all bitching about the smoke in their eyes. As soon as something becomes second nature to us, we often forget how great it is to have.
A gratitude journal is our way of saying I won’t forget. A microscopic gratitude journal goes one step further and says I won’t forget even the smallest things in my life. It says I’m going to notice everything, even the stuff that is hard to look at and challenging.
The microscopic gratitude journal recognizes that every moment is a spiritual moment. Everything has meaning, and the more grateful we are for every bit of it, the more the universe will aid us in our journey.
Whether you use pad and pen, a smartphone, a tape recorder or a mental note to yourself, go hog-wild-nuts and come up with as many things to be grateful for as you possibly can. Your list will be as unique as you are. Remember to include a few microscopic things on your list. Here’s a few ideas:
1. Be grateful for your challenges.
This is a recurring theme at The Other 999 Rooms, mainly because no one in this world goes through life unscathed. Pain and challenge is a part of the world we live in. Gratitude for this part of life makes us a co-creator in our struggles. Our challenges are no longer something that happens to us, but for us, so that we can evolve as spiritual beings.
This week, spin every challenge you have, small and large, into a thank you note to the universe. Be thankful for the red light that allows you to stop and take five peaceful deep breaths. Be grateful for the leaf blower that teaches you patience. The co-worker with the chip on his shoulder that allows you to practice detachment.
Go even deeper if you can. Ask yourself what’s been happening over the course of the last year, or even longer. What challenges have you faced that have turned into gifts?
Personally, I’m grateful for my Meniere’s Disease which has taught me how to eat healthier, reduce stress, and balance my life. I’m grateful for the acoustic neuroma in my ear because it has taught me how to transcend illness, while becoming more empathetic towards others. I’m even grateful for past financial challenges because they have allowed me to completely reinvent myself.
In fact, all of my challenges have brought me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to go to places I could not have imagined.
Spinning your challenges into an act of gratitude isn’t always easy, and sometimes the gratitude doesn’t come until long after the experience, maybe even years later. But do the best you can, and with the knowledge that your efforts may completely change your life. They did mine.
2. Be grateful for things that have nothing to do with you.
It’s safe to say that most of us would be grateful if we found a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk. I know I would. But, would we be just as grateful if a friend found the cash? It’s human nature that we’re grateful when good things happen to ourselves—love, money, career, fame. But it’s a real testament to our character when we can be just as grateful when good things happen to those around us, and not just to our friends and family, but to complete strangers. Gratitude isn’t just about what happens to us, it’s about what is happening everywhere. Be truly happy when good stuff happens, wherever it happens. It’ll open up your heart and make that bullseye on your back even larger.
3. Be grateful for all the things you like.
How many times do we like something in our day and never stop to appreciate it? And liking something and appreciating it aren’t the same thing. Liking something is a one-way street. It’s what’s happening to us. Appreciating something is stopping and recognizing the worth it places in our lives. It’s a nod and a thank you. An act of reciprocity.
This week make a list of everything you’re grateful for. Go ahead and start big, with your family, friends, and good health. Add some rainbows, sunsets and long walks on the beach if you like.
When you’re done…start peeling the onion and go smaller.
I’m grateful for Pamela D’s gluten free chocolate chip cookies, my wife’s chicken tacos, my daughter’s smile, Dexter, the mail, Barley coffee, Heidi Klum and my Vibram running shoes. I’m grateful for my fingers, little toes, ear lobes, and a fine crop of hair on my head. I’m grateful for Breaking Bad with my son, my dental hygenist’s tough love, the smell of a new book, Johnny Cash and a hard earned sneeze. My cowboy pillow cases, dreams, next door neighbors, strangers who smile at me, and, of course, I will be forever grateful to the the girl who used to give me extra punches on my yogurt card.
And I’m just getting started. I could go on forever. In fact, I hope I never stop. I hope none of us ever stop. It’s what the world needs more of right now. I think this is arguably one of the most important things we can do—appreciate every tiny drop of life.
With the right pair of eyes, we can see that everything is a gift, wrapped up in all sorts of disguises, each one playing a magical part in our path towards peace and awareness.
Be good to yourself. Walk into a new room and enter into that beautiful state of gratitude.
The world will thank you for it.
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