September 12: Don’t Think, Do

Go ahead. Don’t just think about praying. Talk to God.

Prayer: Help me come close enough to you that even a little of you will rub off on me. Teach me the power of prayer.

September 11: Make it a Habit

After I left treatment, praying in the morning became part of my routine. I prayed as though my life depended on it, because it did. I didn’t feel like I had begun my day properly unless I started it with a recovery prayer, asking for God’s help and guidance.

After my son died, I was so angry about his death that I stopped my morning routine. But there came a time when I had to get back to my routine of talking to God. It can be hard to believe that God cares about the details of our lives. It can feel awkward talking to a force we can’t see or hear.

Challenge: For me, the hardest thing about praying is that I drag my heels and balk at the discipline of regular prayer. I need to remind myself that prayer isn’t work, It works.

September 9: gratitude Breeds Acceptance

Gratitude feeds on itself. It breeds acceptance. It turns what we have into enough, and more.

Gratitude Focus: We can keep saying thank you, even when we don’t mean it. Pretty soon we won’t have to fake it anymore. It will become a natural heartfelt act.

September 8: Gratitude in Hard Times

Gratitude isn’t denial. We can practice gratitude without denying how we feel. Sometimes we do need to change the circumstances in our lives. But we usually can’t do that until we accept what we have and who we are now.

One challenge about practicing gratitude is that the things we most need to be grateful for are often the things causing us the most misery Practicing gratitude when we most need to do it can feel like the most unnatural act in the world.

Practicing gratitude can be difficult when we’re depressed or going through deep grief. Some things in life are so tragic that we’ll never be grateful that the event occurred.

I’m not grateful for my son’s death. I’d have him back in a heartbeat if I could. But I’m grateful that I had him in my life. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned since he died. And I’m grateful I’m happy again.

Challenge: The hardest thing about practicing gratitude can be surrendering to God and trusting his will.

September 7: Seeing Things as They Are

“But you don’t know my circumstances. That won’t work for me. I don’t have it as good as other people. You should see my life. It’s a mess.”

Religious leaders, psychiatrists, physicists, new and ancient philosophies agree. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. When we’re restless, irritable, and discontented, everything looks bad. That’s because we’re practicing negativity. It’s a powerful form of magic, only the magic it works is dark.
Practice deliberate gratitude. Force it and fake it if you must. When you look again, after practicing gratitude, you will see that we – and our circumstances have shifted into a different place.

Application: Got a situation that’s bugging us? Don’t know how to resolve or even accept the problems in our lives? Whenever we look around and don‘t like what we see, it’s time to say, “Thank you for everything exactly as it is. “14/hen we look around and feel blessed, it time to say thanks too. Let the white magic begin.

September 6: Gratitude

“My relationship is on the rocks. My finances could be a lot better. And this house I live in, well it’s the worst. Wouldn’t I be happier somewhere else? Let me think, where would that magical place of happiness be? One thing’s for sure. It’s not where I am.”

Can you hear yourself in these words? It is easy to look around and see all that is wrong. Life can be irritating, less than we hoped for, and sometimes it really hurts.

“I want something,” a woman said to me one day. “I just don’t know what it is. But one thing I do know is I don’t have it right now”

The grass is always greener on the other side is an old cliché, but it isn’t true. The grass right where you are, no matter where that place is, is just as green as it is anywhere else. And if it’s not green or it’s all dried up, maybe it’s because you’re not watering it enough.

Those moments that surpass our wildest expectations are fleeting and rare. People, places, and circumstances that don’t measure up to our hopes abound. Learning to want what you have and be where you are is an art. So is learning how to get to wherever you’re going to.

Here’s the secret. You’re a magician, a wizard. You can turn present situations into something better.

Point your magic wand. Now say “thank you” for everything exactly as it is.

People tell us to count our blessings. The problem is, when we’re depressed, we don’t feel blessed. Learning an attitude of gratitude takes practice and effort. It’s the key to being happy in whatever circumstances we find our— selves in.

Value: Whet her we call it a feeling, an attitude, or an action we take, gratitude is the value we’ll look at and practice this week.

September 5: Gratitude for the Negatives

A friend called in a cynical mood. He was disgusted with his job and his less-than-ideal house.

“I want you to do something,” I said. “Practice being grateful for everything you don’t like every day, five times a day, for the next month. Force it. Fake it. Do whatever you have to. But you’ve been practicing misery about these same things for the past three years. That hasn’t worked. Why not give gratitude a try?”

He was reluctant. I told him a story from my life. The first house I ever bought was decrepit, falling apart. Holes went clear through to the outside. I didn’t know how to fix it up. For the first three months I lived there, I went downstairs each night after putting my daughter to bed, sat in the middle of the ugly living room, and complained and cried. The situation didn’t improve. I decided to try something else. I began practicing gratitude instead. I said, “Thank you for this house, the holes in the walls, and the way I feel.” Thank you became a meditative chant, Over the next nine months, I started fixing up that house, and it turned into the most beautiful home on the block. Thirty years later, I still remember it as my favorite house. Perspective is a strange thing. It wasn’t just about transforming that house. Going through that experience gave me an opportunity to see for myself that gratitude works.

Inventory Focus: Have you been practicing misery? How’s that working? Have you learned about the power of gratitude yet? Are you willing to give it a try?