The Attitude of Gratitude
As you may be discovering, Feng Shui is not just about arranging your space; it’s also a new way to view, approach and interact with the world around you.
Developing a daily practice of expressing gratitude is a remarkable way to lay the foundation for a life you will love. Gratitude practice is a simple thing, but oh so powerful! It’s incredibly soothing, especially when you are experiencing a particularly difficult time.
All you have to do is take a moment to look around and silently acknowledge all of the things that make you happy: perhaps basic things like the sun on your face, the smell of dinner cooking, a warm home and a healthy family. The key is to stay clear of negative thoughts or conclusions; try to maintain a level of contentment about what is going well in your life.
My Own Gratitude Story
My son, Owen, was born with Congenital Heart Disease. He was diagnosed with L-Transposition, which means the ventricles on the bottom of his heart were switched. The doctors told us that if he didn’t have a series of procedures and surgeries to reconstruct his heart, he wouldn’t survive childhood. My husband and I were devastated. At 2 ½ months old and only 7 lbs. 8oz, my baby boy, whose health was failing sooner than anticipated, was rushed and admitted to Children’s Hospital in Boston. He endured a number of procedures: open heart surgery, a post-surgical blood infection that nearly killed him and the installation of a pacemaker. But our little miracle man persevered. We never gave up hope. In fact, I wore a bracelet that said “hope” on it, and I would rub my thumb over the word even when I was at my lowest to remind myself to stay strong for him.
Against all odds, Owen slowly began to recover. Every day he would get a little stronger, and after a six-week stay at the hospital, we were able to bring him home. We are eternally grateful to the staff at Children’s Hospital in Boston for the care Owen received and for the care he continues to receive. They quite literally saved his life… and mine. I don’t know where I would be today without him.
When you almost lose a child, or live with one who has a life threatening illness, or are afflicted by any tragic circumstance at all, it is very easy (and understandable) to develop a case of the Why Me’s. I’m not going to tell you I never did; believe me, I did, and it was a dark place to be. But I believe that we have a choice in every situation.
I began to see that even though my family was experiencing devastating circumstances, in fact, many people in that hospital had it much, much worse. Once Owen began to make strides toward recovery, we knew our son was going to live. Our son was going to grow up. We would get to watch him play and cause trouble. We would get to watch him fall in love. We would get to watch him drive a car, play sports, go to college, get married…. we would get to watch our son live his life.
But many other parents at the hospital would not experience any of that with their child; many children and parents were fighting for just one more day.
That’s when I first began to choose gratitude.
I’m grateful every day for the miracle of Owen, even when he makes me crazy. I’m grateful he’s here to make me crazy. I’m grateful for my beautiful, smart and talented daughter and I’m grateful for my strong, supportive and handsome husband! I’m also extremely grateful for our family, friends and community who surrounded us with love and encouragement the entire time we were in Boston helping Owen fight for his life. We are blessed to live among so many gracious people.
When you begin to embrace an attitude of gratitude it helps you move beyond being a victim and closer to the core of who you are. Closer to the beautiful person you were put here to be.
Let’s start right now. Name 10 things you are grateful for. (Getting teary eyed when writing these things is a good thing.)
Keep going if you want! Every day, grab your journal and write down 10 things you’re grateful for, even if it’s a repeat from the day before.
Every time you think, ”WHY ME?” get out your list, re-read it and try to add to it.
Attitude of Gratitude for your HOME
Be kind to yourself, be kind to others and be kind to your home.
Unfortunately, we are often hardwired to see the bad and the wrong in ourselves, in others, in situations and in our surroundings, but there is still hope and there is still time to shift your thinking. If you choose to see the positive in yourself, in others, in situations and in your surroundings, you will find it. Developing an attitude of gratitude for your home will serve you very well. Look for the positive attributes of your home instead of always fixating on the things you don’t like or would like to change. Just like you, your home is truly special. You just have to look at it with eyes of appreciation. Start to notice the things that make you happy about your home.
In my previous house, the kitchen was super-duper small. It was only a galley, basically—a hallway with cabinets and appliances lining the walls. Only one person could comfortably cook in the space. It also happened to function as the main entrance to the house and as my laundry room. So, it could get a little crazy in there. I would daydream about expanding the kitchen, and how it would make me so happy…but would it? Tearing my whole house apart, spending a huge amount of money and creating a whopping amount of stress? I doubt it.
My point is, when I started to look at my kitchen with eyes of appreciation, I realized that the kitchen worked hard for us as it was, and, in fact, it functioned better than a bigger kitchen. I realized that while daydreaming about my dream kitchen, I was mentally setting up the expanded kitchen in exactly the same way my current kitchen was already set up, because it functioned so well. While the kitchen could have used some more “hang out” room, the truth is, we could hang out just as easily in the adjacent living room. There wasn’t even a wall in between those two rooms!
Finding the positive in any situation has tremendous value. When you put positive feelings of appreciation into your home, they are reflected back in your life. My kitchen was in my Fame and Reputation area. If I looked at that space with disdain or I felt disdain every time I was in that space, that would have a very negative affect on my actual reputation! (We’ll talk more about the Fame and Reputation area of your home later.)
Bottom line: find ways to feel positive about your home, reflect that positive feeling into your space and it will be reflected back to you in your life in the most magical way…
What is your favorite thing about your home? Go room by room and find at least one thing that you LOVE and are GRATEFUL for about each space.
If the practice of Feng Shui calls to you the way it calls to me...let's connect!
Did you learn something new here today? I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and tell me what you now know! :)
With Love and Gratitude,