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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Being Grateful Heals

When I was ill the first step I used from the movie "The Secret" to heal myself was gratitude. While sick and in pain it seemed easy to concentrate on what I could not do, what pain I DID have, what events I would have to miss... When I became aware that "energy flows where attention goes" I knew the very first step was changing the way I was looking at my life and expressing gratitude.

I became aware of all the beauty around me. Having grown up in NYC I was not surrounded by mountains and trees as I now am in upstate NY. I became grateful for my family. My daughter and son who are good, smart, beautiful kids who can always make me laugh. My daughter being healthy even though she was born 9 weeks prematurely. My husband sticking with me through all my illnesses that left me in chronic pain. My husband and all the sacrifices he made for me when I was ill and his never-ending strength , support and love. My mom who would do anything and does PLENTY for me and my kids. My dad who taught me so much and is always there for advice. My friends and extended family that mean the world to me. Above is a picture of my girlfriends helping me to celebrate my birthday this year. They are a constant source of laughter, comfort, GREAT conversation and I am very grateful for them.

I started paying attention to the health I did have. I could walk after all. I could still read and loved to do so. I could talk to friends and family. I started being aware of every single goodness and blessing in my life. I could still write poetry and journal. I could still enjoy music. When I started to pay attention to what I had to be grateful for it felt like I was rediscovering life. So many of the years when I was ill was concentrated on doctor visits, reading up on illnesses, feeling the pain, being angry that I needed medication, etc. that I had forgotten about so many of life's treasures.

There were times when I first started that tears (happy ones) would fall as I went over my list. It seemed I could list things for an hour and not be done by a long shot. Why hadn't I done this before? What an amazingly powerful emotion gratitude is! I concentrated on the mountains on my drive and how beautiful it is where I live -- not where I was hurting or if I missed a light. I'd walk longer concentrating on how good the sun felt on my face or how nice it was to be out rather than on my leg hurting or how I MIGHT feel afterward.

I do my morning gratitude list every day while still in bed and again when in the shower. I say my gratitude list at night while I am about to go to sleep. If ever I get upset during the day I will stop and do a gratitude list either written or in my head. It is a GREAT method for getting refocused and for getting in the moment and letting worries and negative thoughts go.

This Thanksgiving we were supposed to be going to spend it with my husband's relatives. I LOVE my father in law, sister-in-laws and brother-in-law and rarely get to see them. Due to Ray getting a full time job recently and not having accrued vacation time -- we could not make the trip. I thought back to last year. Last year because of my health I would not have even been able to contemplate 15 hours in a car. Last year I would have been so upset and beaten myself up about not being able to keep plans. This year was so different because of who I am now. Yes, I missed his family a great deal but I was not beating myself up about us canceling. I know because my health will continue to be great I will have plenty of opportunities to visit and I am so grateful for that. I am so grateful we can book to be with Ray's family right after Christmas and I know I will be healthy enough to make the trip. I am so grateful Ray got offered a good job. Concentrating on what you are grateful for in a situation rather than what is wrong with the situation gives you strength and refocuses you. You can come up with gratitude for almost any part of your life if you stop and really look at the situation from all angles.

Finding gratitude is the number one tool that allowed me to heal all of my pain. I am grateful I have healed for so many reasons. I love that I can share my healing with people. I am so happy I have the simple tool of gratitude to keep me happy, focused and healthy.

To read testimonials about my e-book which outlines all the methods I used to heal myself please visit my e-book information page. Thank you!


Neil said...

The way you described it, I realized that one way to think about it is that our gratitude becomes like a Mantra - it's something that we can use to bring our focus back to what's truly important when life circumstances knock us off balance.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I'm grateful for the integrity and care of your writing. :)
Getting to the Heart of Personal Development

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Neil, I am grateful for your comments. I do use gratitude as a mantra but I think it's important not to make it become so routine you don't think about it. I mix up WHAT and WHO I am grateful for each time and feel it when I am reciting it either in my mind or out loud. Thanks for reading, your comments and your friendship. Jenny

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