How all of this began
Back in 2005 I found myself at a crossroads. I love the cliché, ‘a series of unfortunate events’, because who has not experienced at least one of these in their lives? For me, that looked like putting a match to a half-built house, (literally) the end of a significant relationship, impending bank foreclosure, no income, and no physical or emotional energy left to control or change my situation. At this juncture, my real life started.
One Wednesday winter’s morning, I sat on my sunny veranda, feeling empty and exhausted. I was in the middle of all of the above and the toll on every cell in my body was high. There was nothing I could do to change the incredible mistakes I’d made over the last 10 years, except to own the fact that it was me who had made them. I’d hit rock bottom. DEVA-STATION. Ground zero. Some say the only way to go from rock bottom is up.
I don’t really know where the thought came from, but in one moment, it dawned on me that if THIS is devastation, then it’s not that bad. I had a house, the morning sun and a warm cup of tea in my hand. I had a lovely tree in my backyard and I had good friends. For heaven’s sake, I had ocean views! At the time of this awakening, I had been watching the news a lot. Terrible wars were at play in the Middle East with many men, women and children facing loss, displacement, trauma and, sometimes, death. It felt like complete madness and it was an issue I did not fully understand at the time.
And so I looked at this life and looked at my own. In one INSTANT, a rush of relief flooded my body and my nervous system started to relax. I had popped my own stress bubble and let the pressure out. And then it began… the practice. My ‘series of unfortunate events’ became the past and I merged fully with my present moment.
It was the eggs I remember most. They had smoked paprika sprinkled over them with some dukkah spice on the side. And gave thanks for my lovely eggs. And then I ate them. Then I sat and waited and watched.
I paid particular attention to the warm sun on my back and remember this morning like it was yesterday. I gave thanks for the warmth. And then, in the next moment, a whale jumped out of the ocean. OMG! I had never seen that before from my veranda in the five years I had been living there. I gave thanks for my whale jump, my ocean view and what seemed like my blissful life.
I decided to keep this vibe going. For the rest of the day, I just paid extra special attention to what was going on around me. I noticed the deep fluorescent greens of my succulents. I noticed the orangey reds in the cordylines. I noticed the sky, I noticed the grass. I noticed even the colours of the cars on the road and I noticed people’s faces. I really started looking.
As a result, a very magical and mysterious thing happened (and still happens to this day). By orienting my attention to the present moment, my stressors immediately went into the background. I was aware of my ‘situation’ but was no longer personally attached to the story. I can only describe the experience as the awareness of a protective shield, or light body, that put a sliver of cotton wool between me and my stressful life. I was assisted.
The days, weeks and months that followed this moment were also a miracle. I started journaling, writing down my gratitudes and focusing on what was good. I did this in conjunction with my noticing, supporting this with my notes, and vice versa.
One day my flatmate, Doug, asked me what I was doing with these journals under my arm. I told him. At the time I had a gratitude journal that was just an A4 notepad and also a Collins appointment diary. He was interested in my processing and process. A few days later he said, “Hey, why don’t I design you something smaller and more compact so you don’t have to carry all those books around?” He was a graphic designer so he had those necessary skills. I responded with joy, and he and I created the very first Gratitude Diary in 2008. THANK YOU, DOUG!
The rest is history and the Gratitude Diary reaches over 16,000 people a year all around the world. I knew nothing about publishing, printing, writing or distributing, BUT my practice guided me and continues to do so each day. My $5000 credit card paid for my first print run of 500 copies.
As I gently and with joy built my business, my bankruptcy sorted itself out. I healed my broken heart and forgave my ex-partner. I became grateful for the life I already had and built my new life on those foundations. I sold the real estate that no longer served me and was left with just enough funds to invest in a new venture that, over time, would reap healthy profits.
Why Is Gratitude So Important?
Over the last 12 years, I have maintained my practice. Gratitude has guided and shaped me into a very different being today. In my experience, gratitude has been my antenna, connecting me more consciously to my higher self. Gratitude has taught me that I am not alone and that there are many, many mysteries not yet revealed to humanity about the nature of life and all that is.
I now know and feel gratitude as a key that can unlock the door between this dimension and the next. Everyone has this key, because every human being has been blessed with the gift of free will. But while we all have this gift, we must still turn the key. We must practice the application of giving thanks, for it is in the DOING that thins the veil and changes our specific energetic frequency.
Gratitude allows us to consider our own lives and take full responsibility for our own business. It helps in the integration of trauma by saying YES to each moment, brings peace and the energy of allowance. It is a tool that helps the soul learn the lesson of surrender, for when we are giving thanks for each moment, we are no longer attempting to control these moments.
Such a simple little thing, to say thank you to your own life, yet the effects of this affirmation ripple through time and space at lightning speed, and then are mirrored back to us in the form of a feeling that just feels GOOD.
And that is enough.
Here’s a little more on the practice of gratitude:
The Gratitude Diary
It’s a diary, a daily planner, a trustworthy companion, a confidante and a tool for transformation and growth.