Would you agree that you have much to be thankful for? Me too. Anyone reading this has more than many and we are aware of what we have. We are grateful.

“Thank you” is one of the first lessons we learn growing up and it’s an important one. Not only is it of cultural importance to acknowledge people for their gifts, cooperation, a pleasant transaction, holding open a door; it’s a respect thing.

Is there a bigger reason to take stock, to keep a gratitude journal, to start each day thankful for the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste I so enjoy? (Fennel if you must know.)

Yes, in a word, Power. Power to attract more of what we want in our lives.

Gratitude is a high energy frequency; as such it is powerfully attractive. Positive thoughts and emotions, such as those associated with gratitude, send that positive high frequency energy out into the ether. Negative thoughts and emotions, such as those associated with resentment, send negative, low frequency energy out. What is met and returned to you is exactly what you send out. What you focus on expands. It’s an immutable law of the universe.

Another law is this, everything that happens has two polar opposite aspects. You cannot have good without bad, black without white, fat without thin, etc. So that means that although something looks horrible from one perspective there has to be something positive in there.

How can one be thankful when everything has gone to hell in a hand basket? “My teen aged step-kids are rude and treat me like crap, my car needs $1000 worth of repairs, I still haven’t found a job I like”, and so on.

Ok take a step back and see if you can accept this next thought. Negative thinking and dislike of what’s going on is resistance to “what is.” Resistance is also a low vibrational energy. The things that “happen” to us, rather, that we create, are there for a reason. If it’s possible to see the hidden opposite of our perception of “what is” then our vibration lifts and we can expect our situation to change.

Let’s find the gratitude for the above situations.

The teenagers. Difficult though it may be, in order to have the man you love, you have had to take on the kids (temporarily) from hell. “This too shall pass” comes to mind as does, “how can I give to them to ease their resentment?” PS, Gratitude does not mean you become anyone’s doormat! Accept this as “what is” for now in this newly blended family and all sorts of joy might be hiding just out of sight. A friend of mine lives this situation. Rather than continue to create anger and resentment by seeing them out of obligation she now enjoys a couple of days a month alone when her husband visits with his girls. Everyone is thankful.

The expensive car repair. Do you have the money to do it? If not will you be able to get it? Yes? Great then be thankful for the ability to pay for the repair rather than have be without a vehicle.

That job you hate. “I am not satisfied with this job but I’m glad it pays the bills.” When one accepts responsibility for having created what we have in our lives then we know we can choose to create something else.

Here’s a short story from my own experience. Eight years ago I moved back to the east coast from California. My now ex-sig-other offered a do over of our relationship and I accepted. He was living on the North Fork of Long Island. I wanted to move back into New York City. I had to start reconnecting from somewhere so I chose thankful to get started only 2 hours away.

Three months into this experiment it was clear we were not working. I determined that I would head into Manhattan on the second of January, new resume in hand, and hit the head-hunters hard in order to move out by month’s end. For the last weekend of the year my pal Chris suggested I come up to hang with her and her brother in a town a few hours north of the city. I went. We played, we drank wine, we hiked, we made plans for our new lives.

The room I slept in that night was cold, just the way I like it, so I kept my socks on. Once awake I jumped up, eager to get going. As I pushed myself up off the mattress, (it was not on a bed frame but on the floor) my foot slipped out from under me, I landed on my left hand and I heard a snap. I had broken my wrist.

In the ensuing hours my thoughts were all over the board regarding my new life plans and how this was not included. I was not especially thankful.

Looking back though, here’s what the results were as I can trace them from now. • I was offered one of the more interesting jobs I’ve ever held working on a private island. • I was able to buy a spacious house-something I’d wanted since I was a little girl. • I met the man I am now married to working on that island.

Obvious at the time? No way but what I’ve learned since is to be thankful for what comes along-oops, for what I’ve created– even when it seems bad. That’s just a perception. And what is perception but thought? And who chooses my thoughts?

“I think my thoughts they don’t think me.”

I’ve read that here and there and there are days I don’t like it but hey, it’s a fact!

Sometimes “what is” serves only to sure up our understanding of what we don’t want. In that way there is room for gratitude as well.

When things look bleak go inside and check your thoughts. Look around and choose something to be grateful for even if it’s only your little toe. Change your vibration by giving something to someone, or simply listing some of the things that are good in your life at this moment. You’ll find this practice above all others we take on has the greatest power to transform your life. And think about what it can do for others.