New age spiritual types everywhere are singing the praises of gratitude... but is it really the answer? For me it's not...

You should be grateful. No really, you should. I mean look how much you already have. You have so much, you should be grateful for it. You should be more grateful than you are. You aren’t even grateful at all! You really need to be grateful for what you have.

 

Yeah, no.

 

I don’t do gratitude.

 

And this is why I don’t do gratitude! For me, gratitude is loaded with should’s and obligations. And wherever there are should’s and obligations, I feel myself closing off, from my own connection to my own source energy, my own flow of wellbeing. And that is of no benefit to anyone.

 

For a long time I thought there must be something wrong with me, that I wasn’t more grateful than I apparently ‘should’ be. So I worked hard to be grateful. I found yoga classes aimed at being grateful, I wrote a gratitude journal (you’re definitely supposed to do that) and I meditated on the word ‘gratitude’.

 

And funnily enough, whenever I meditated on the word ‘gratitude’, I was instantly slammed with an overwhelming feeling of resentment. And actually, that work was quite good, as I practised sitting in the feelings of resentment, letting them surface and clear, leaving me freer than I had been. But something still just wasn’t sitting right.

 

Eventually, I found my own path through the whole thing, and as popular as being grateful has become, I had to let go of a lot of guilt I felt around why I don’t do gratitude. Imagine – not being grateful for all that you have! Tsk tsk, what is wrong with you?

 

So instead I started to use the word ‘appreciate’. I appreciate. Oooh now that I can do. Because to appreciate something doesn’t ask anything of me – I don’t feel like I ‘should’ appreciate the things I have, I just do appreciate the things I have.

 

I appreciate the warm sun on my face as I write.

I appreciate the view of beautiful trees from my office window.

I appreciate the technology that makes my writing able to be seen by you.

I appreciate the coffee I drank a little while ago, keeping my fingers alert and tapping.

I appreciate the flow of words through me as I find my alignment with my source energy.

I appreciate having time and space to write and to express myself fully.

I appreciate my gorgeous child and the life we have together.

I appreciate all of the support I have in my life.

I appreciate having friends and my community

I appreciate the hand-knitted jumper I’m wearing that was made with extra long arms, just for me.

I appreciate the ease I get to experience in my life.

I appreciate all the help I’ve received along the way and all the help that is still coming.

I appreciate my clients and how willing they are to show up and change their lives.

I appreciate how far I’ve come.

I appreciate how good my life really does feel to me.

I appreciate warm hugs.

I appreciate the life I’ve lived that has brought me to where I am.

 

It is so easy to appreciate!

 

The energy of appreciation is different. There is no obligation to appreciate. It is simply something that you do because it feels good. If I’m feeling in a good place, I will write a page in my journal at night about what I’m appreciating. If I’m not feeling that great for whatever reason, I will skip it and find other ways of bringing myself back into alignment. I don’t ever have to do it, I do it because I want to do it. Because it feels good to do it.

 

Why does it matter anyway?

Here’s the really important part. The energy of feeling appreciation for something is really, really high vibration. It’s like the equivalent of the love vibration. And when you’re appreciating something, you’re lining up with it energetically – you’re bringing your own energy to a place that matches to the energy of whatever you’re appreciating. And guess what, via the Law of Attraction, you’ll attract more things like it into your experience.

 

And if we look at my dilemma with gratitude, and the feelings of resentment that it brings up for me (and I know I’m not alone here) – when I try to force myself to feel ‘grateful’, I’ll simply attract more things to feel resentment about. You can’t trick the Law of Attraction! It works on your energy, on the vibration you’re offering, not on your words.

 

The difference between gratitude and appreciation is perhaps subtle, but when you can feel into the subtle energies, they become worlds apart. So if you also feel a little bit like puking when you see your Instagram feed loaded with gratitude posts that leave you feeling like you ‘should’ be more grateful… take heart. I’m right there with you. And I really appreciate you!

 

n.b. while there are some things in my life that I can and do feel genuinely grateful for, for the most part, I prefer to stick with feeling appreciation – to keep my own energy and my own vibration pure.

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