Happy, grateful, thankful

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By Martha O’Regan

When I first learned that what I thought about, I brought about, I just knew I was destined for a life full of frustration and uncertainty because the majority of my thoughts and conversations were centered around all the above. It is also what our culture supports when you really listen to the news, advertisements, and general gossip in many circles. Think about how many conversations begin with statements such as: “I am sick and tired,” “I don’t know, but…” or “I can’t because there isn’t enough.” If you really listen, you will hear these and many equally disempowering statements from just about everyone in your life, including yourself. More often, it is just out of habit or learned behavior, but when we say it over and over, we can actually become what we say or think.

Every word that we use either out loud or in our head, every minute of every day has a vibration or frequency that has the potential to affect our health, happiness and success either positively or negatively. With science telling us that we have upward of 25,000 thoughts per day with the majority of them negative or in judgment of self or others, it’s no wonder we have such a high incidence of depression, anxiety, chronic pain and poverty.

“I am sorry” is likely one of the most common habit phrases. When we put “I am” in front of any vibration, we are anchoring it into the body and with “I am sorry,” we anchor in “I am pitiful, pathetic” or worse, which is simply not true, especially if we say it for every little misstep in a given day like bumping into someone or forgetting to call.  “Pardon me,” “excuse me” or “oops, human moment” all share the same sentiment without affecting our physiology. As I was learning this many years ago, my daughter was caught in the “I’m sorry” habit and at first, every time I would point it out, she would say “I’m sorry” for saying “I’m sorry”!  We humans are so quirky, aren’t we? Eventually, she would catch herself and immediately shift to “ooops, no I’m not” until, eventually, it was no longer a habit. Listen for your habit phrases. You will be amazed at how often you or those around you use them.

The good news is once we become aware that our thoughts truly do affect our reality, we can choose new thoughts to create a new reality.  Fortunately, at a time when I was feeling pretty sick and tired, I had a coach tell me to force myself to begin or end every topic, thought, or response with “happy, grateful, thankful.” At first, it often came with cynicism or sarcasm because it wasn’t truly what I was feeling or thinking, but I continued to repeat it anyway.  Over time, it became more natural and sincere because I was actually beginning to notice the many things that I was authentically happy, grateful and thankful for. And, the funniest part is that I began to hear it come from other people in my family and sphere of influence; at first mockingly but eventually authentically.

What are your habit phrases or those of your family and friends? Take the time to really hear them and notice how they feel. Choose your own favorite phrase to shift to repeatedly, even if it is with rolled eyes or gritted teeth at first. Keep doing it and see what begins to show up for you. This time of year may be easier to begin such a project since gratitude and joy are common themes during Christmas. I am happy, grateful and thankful for each of you who keep reading this column and encouraging me to continue. Wishing you peace, love and joy. Live Well … Have Fun!