The Most Important Reason to Say, “Thank you!”

Want to open the floodgates of abundance? Start a gratitude practice. Maybe this sounds difficult. Perhaps you see little value or have had no practice. A young woman, a classmate in psychology, commented during a discussion that affirmations don’t work. Reflecting on her words for a few days, I understood that such a statement is unattached to practice, because anyone who applies deliberate focus to a situation, behavior or habit will see results. It’s really a question of time. The real issues is whether we have focused our attention on something of value. This is where the motivation to engage, change or attract is most potent. And yet, gratitude, a practice is passe for many, is a mainstay in my rituals of friendships, professional etiquette and a fallback when at a loss. This simple practice, remembering, honoring and finding the words to say and express gratitude will transform your life for the better.

How do we express love? Gratitude is a connection to our heart language and the current of flow. Gratitude is the action of love. The energy of love, when present, is harmonious and resonates for most people. Suzan Hilton explains in her book The Feng Shui of Abundance that “Gratitude and abundance vibrate in harmony and create more flow and ease.” Yes, this is right. This ease, experienced as harmonious vibration, is what we feel when we are close to a loving couple, a kind clerk, an old, dear friend—it’s the essence of love. Without some physical, tangible demonstration of love, people would not know, perceive or understand that love is present. This is even move important when there is physical distance.

My Goddaughter tends to the newly planted seeds she spread with bare fingers. The seeds must be watered and tended daily until they grow into mature plants.

Despite being a historically controversial Catholic figure, Valentine’s Day is culturally embraced by millions of people each year. Valentine’s Day as an important holiday in the United States, adopted and adapted by people of all faiths and beliefs, languages and ethnic group. Somehow, for people of all walks, Valentine’s Day practices are acceptable, and we make grand gestures of our love on February 14th. What is special and unique about the muddled story of the real (Saint) Valentine is that in most versions there is at least one Valentine, who wrote letters to his beloved intending to communicate his devotion and regards for her in a manner she could feel despite his absence. In other words, his letters were an expression of his love, his feelings made visible. He showed her love in the act of writing to her, and we remember his example with fondness. Valentine showed us how to express love in an intimate, private way that celebrates the beloved with gratitude.

Many people think showing gratitude is a sign of weakness or a waste of time. After a dozen years in a committed relationship, now tried in the fires of COVID-19, I’m convinced that daily expressions of love far outweigh a yearly grand gesture. (My chocolate is yummy, however.) Maybe love is an evolutionary imperative, designed to benefit the survival of humans. Otherwise, why we would bond, pair and mate? We need the emotional entanglement to draw us in, and at the same time recognize that not all emotions provide the same blessings and fulfillment necessary to sustain two people in a committed relationship. Gratitude is a form of emotional intelligence that shows a person’s empathy pathways (mirror neurons) are open and can acknowledgement and reciprocate the receipt of an act of love. Reciprocity is vital to increasing the flow of desirable emotional energy. It’s like a call to gaming partner, a text or a ping: We have to answer and connect if we want the relationship to continue. Without acknowledgment or reciprocity, the energies of love and kindness will dissipate or transform to a different emotion, just like anything that is the recipient of sufficient neglect. Neglect is not an aspect of love, gratitude or abundance.

We must use or energy channels wisely, cultivating conduits of energy that lead to greater harmony, “the good vibes” that bring happiness. Witness in your own life that when you water seeds, your nurturance gives them life. This ageless lesson persists in its truth until now. Through our careful cultivation of and attention to the seeds we want to flourish, we define our lives and our reality for ourselves and our communities. Be sure to water the seeds of love and kindness all around you so that you magnetize the goodness you deserve and bring your gifts to the world on a beam of light. When I see that, I will thank you personally, with all my heart.

Edissa lives with her husband in SoCal, where they work and garden with love and gratitude all year long.

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