How gratitude fuels prosperity

thank youYes, I’m still working through my prosperity classics.

One of the abstracts in Tom Bowden-Butler’s book sounded so interesting to me that I looked it up on Amazon and found that it was only a couple of bucks on Kindle, so I bought it.  It was Charles Fillmore’s Prosperity.

Charles Fillmore was one of the early New Thought leaders of the last century.   He founded Unity, a church within the New Thought movement which includes thinkers and spiritual leaders such as early ones like James Allen to modern-day New Thought practitioners like Caroline Myss.

One of the things you find in a lot of these New Thought/Positive Thinking books is that the secret sauce is gratitude.  You can work your butt off.  You can list goals.  You can network a web around every mentor and business leader and prospect in the country, but unless you do all of this with an “attitude of gratitude” your mileage on the road to prosperity is going to be akin to that of a Hummer.

“Many people who order their lives rightly in all other ways are kept in poverty by their lack of gratitude.” – Wallace Wattles

However, if you simply fill the tank with gratitude for anything that comes your way–if you simply thank God for the mundane as well as the miraculous, you may find you’re driving your way to prosperity at 50mpg.    Much higher efficiency.

Why is this?  To be sure, the mystics all talk about gratitude.  Meister Eckhart famously said that “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you’ that will suffice.”  But what does that have to do with opening up the door to abundance–to prosperity?

Poet, author and teacher Stephen Levine says:

Gratitude is the highest form of acceptance. Like patience, it is one of the catalytic agents, one of the alchemist’s secrets, for turning dross to gold, hell to heaven, death to life. Where there is gratitude we get the teaching. Where there is resistance we discover only that it keeps us painfully ignorant.

So when we are grateful we tap into the flow.   When we tap into the flow, we have access to an aura of abundance that that creates a magnetic attraction.  People become attracted to us.   Doors become open to us.  We, no longer resistant to what is, are open to walking through those doors fearlessly.

Daniel Peralta describes this phenomenon in Louse L. Hay’s book, Gratitude: A Way of Life:

When you express gratitude, you raise the vibrations around you to a higher frequency. You create positive energy that emanates out from you and returns to you as wonderful experiences. You become magnetic. Good things and good people gravitate toward you because you’re such a joy and delight to be around.

An attitude of gratitude is naturally attractive. It has the power to turn challenges into possibilities, problems into solutions, and losses into gains. It shifts the energy. It expands our vision and allows us to see what might normally be invisible to someone with a limiting attitude.

So, taking this concept, adopting it, and making it “actionable” in the parlance of business leaders means that once that gratitude has seeped into your consciousness like rum in sponge cake, you are in the position of accepting your present circumstances.  More than accepting them, you embrace them.  You call them good.

Good leads to good.  So if you’re starting from a place that you deem to be undesirable, what good can come of it?   So by turning the switch from the attitude of scarcity to an attitude of plenitude, you are on a different trajectory.  You are on your way to exponential goodness.

“We should form the habit of blessing everything that we have. We know that we are setting the law of increase into operation.” — Charles Fillmore

So, let’s just lean into our gratitude.  Let’s not just thank God for the obvious.  Let’s thank God for everything that is now in our field of vision.  Everything we can see.  Everything we can embrace joyfully.  Everything we can accept gratefully.  Everything we can change purposefully.

Here’s a poem about the joy of gratitude that expresses how I’ve felt at times:

I Kissed It

I was ironing the other day
And I found myself
Kissing
My son’s white T-shirt
Size 8
It was a silly thing to do
I did it anyway

I was wondering what to cook the other day
And I found myself
Kissing
A small rutabaga
It was a silly thing to do
Kissing a rutabaga
(Purply-waxy little thing!)
I looked around sheepishly
To be sure I was alone
And I kissed it

Some things make sense to kiss
You kiss a spouse
You kiss a cheek
Or two, if you’re in France

But there are things
So beautiful
So wonderful
So awe-inspiring
(To my eyes anyway)

That the desire wells up
Irresistibly
And I…
Sshh…
Just have to sneak a peck!

A silly way (to be sure)
To simply say
Thank you

–C.M.Boyd  ©2012

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What’s Your New Year’s Prosperity Affirmation?

bart-simpson-chalkboard_www-txt2pic-comThis year I’m not doing New Year’s resolutions.  I’m doing New Year’s affirmations.

Remember when our teachers made us write things on the board 100 times in order to modify our behavior?  Well, maybe they had something in common with people like James Allen and Wayne Dyer.  And maybe they were really on to something.

I got an Amazon gift card from my son for Christmas.  So, I spent some time perusing the seemingly limitless choices, and then a light bulb when off.  Why not get one of Tom Butler-Bowdon‘s books?  Years ago I got his 50 Success Classics on MP3 and listened while I was driving.  I loved it.  It was just enough to get the gist of the classic works, already abstracted and synthesized.  And the bonus is his “In a Nutshell” where he gives you the key takeaway of the whole book.

So, getting his one book is like getting 50 books–and 50 great, time-tested books at that.

This time around, I chose 50 Prosperity Classics.   That choice may seem weird for someone like me, who writes about people like Peace Pilgrim and Charles Eisenstein and who basically feels that unlimited economic prosperity is going to ruin the environment.  But I looked at the list of authors in this book and they called out to me:  people like James Allen, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Friedman, Paul Hawken, Ayn Rand, Dave Ramsey and Muhammad Yunus.  If that’s not a diverse group of people to put under the prosperity umbrella, I don’t know what is.

What struck me immediately as I started to move through some of the authors was a common thread–the idea that manifesting prosperity is a matter of affirming your prosperity today.  And to me, prosperity doesn’t mean dollars and cents necessarily.  I’m not looking to be a millionaire, or own a better car than the one I currently have (a 2007 Prius), and I certainly don’t want more rooms to clean.  To me, prosperity is about thriving in a holistic sense.  Having physical needs fulfilled is part of it, but really, to me, it’s about creating conditions for your mental, physical, and spiritual being to thrive so that God can work through you.  Prosperity can be the happy result of unclogged spiritual plumbing.  Spiritual clogs can be fear, doubt, lack of imagination, lack of belief, and resignation.

A while back, I touched on Wayne Dyer and his book Wishes Fulfilled.  As a result of reading his book, I spun off with an interest in Anita Moorjani and Neville Goddard.   Reading the 50 Prosperity Classics I was reminded of these inspiring writers who join with James Allen, and Catherine Ponder, and Napoleon Hill in advising us to BE what we want to be NOW.  Don’t say, “I’m going to be healthier.”  Say, “I AM healthy.”   Don’t say, “I’m going to be able to pay my bills.” Say “I AM able to pay my bills.”

Once of the basic tools most of these folks teach in order to manifest prosperity in life is the use of affirmations, like  Catherine Ponder’s “I am the radiant child of God, my mind, body and affairs now express his radiant perfection.” 

Some people may think that affirmations are New Age-y and cheesy, but the most pragmatic, successful people believe in the power of the imagination–people like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs, who simply affirmed and asserted their unique visions.  They didn’t let “reality” stop them from manifesting who they were and what they were here on earth to do.  Reality is what we make of it.  It’s not a wall–it’s the window of our minds, thoughts, and hearts.

All these prosperity books are replete with stories of people who were able to manifest their realities.  I might think those stories were fiction, if I didn’t have a story of my own, but I do.    Someday I’ll tell it.