(Author’s note: It is interesting to me to see how my thoughts and writing style have evolved over years of time. I see that there is still some use to the writings below, so offer them for your perusal. Perhaps an updated version will follow!)
The Gift of Gratitude
How Giving Thanks Raises Our Vibration
By Licia Berry, 2004, originally published on www.liciaberry.com
The woman feels herself sinking into the familiar deep well of despair as she watches the nightly news. She knows where this will go; she will be hit in the gut with absolute hopelessness, and in response she will find something to eat to fill the gnawing in her belly or she will pour herself a glass of alcohol to numb the pain. Or, she will go upstairs to her bedroom and cry, wringing her hands over the state of the world, and fall asleep in tears. This road is all too familiar to her; it goes nowhere good. Then, something quietly dawns on her. She hears a subtle voice; something tells her that she doesn’t have to choose this road, that there are others. She makes a small move that begins to break the pattern she has lived over and over. She goes into the room where her dusty sewing machine sits in the dark. She pulls out a pattern she abandoned a long time ago and begins to sew, with devout attention and precious care, as if her very emotional well being depended on it. She feels a bit better, a little at a time, then notices when two hours have flown by that she has been completely absorbed in her creative work. She hasn’t thought about the horrific state of things for even a moment. By making a leap out of the familiar, she has cut a new pathway. She has made a new choice. And the more often she takes the small step to do something different each time she goes into reaction about something, the easier it will be to have power over her response.
What happened when this woman made the choice to do something positive in the face of her despair? Her body and mind were accustomed to going down a particular road…in fact; our bodies begin to expect us to go down certain path in the face of certain stimuli. It is as if we train ourselves from an early age how to respond to emotional stimuli, mental challenges, physical difficulties, and even trauma. But we always have the choice in how we respond, no matter how automatic our responses may feel.
“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.”
Author: Sarah Ban Breathnach
We all experience moments in our day when something unexpected arises, or we don’t achieve a desired outcome. We can perceive these situations as negative, positive or neutral. Our attitude towards the event is not pre-ordained or automatic, although it may feel that way due to its being conditioned in our bodies for our entire lives. In actuality, how we respond is our choice. When faced with a potential shift in our attitude, there arises a single moment of decision about how we will handle it, what I call a “choice-point”. We can choose whether we will tumble down the rocky hillside of victimization, ending up bruised and battered at the bottom, or we can choose to look at the situation as a learning opportunity, asking ourselves questions like, “What is the gift in this situation? What message has the universe brought to me?” By examining the situation from a larger perspective, we realize that we do indeed have a choice about how we respond. And if we do go down the victim road, we can always stop and focus on what we are grateful for to bring us back up.
Scientific studies have confirmed what the sages and mystics of earth’s history have been telling us all along. Gratitude, prayer and love carry a high vibration, whereas despair, anger and fear carry a low vibration. Our bodies carry vibrations that change with our thoughts and with the vibrations we encounter as we move through the world. A person whose body is wracked with disease is suddenly cancer-free after several hundred people prayed for him. A partygoer may show up grumpy and feeling anti-social, but winds up giving up the grumps because everyone else at the party is having a good time. I may intersect with a rude person in a store, whose vibration is quite low due to their anger. My body’s vibration may fall into a lower state if I allow myself to be triggered by this person. Or, I can consciously choose to respond to the situation with love and maintain a high vibration in the face of the rudeness. If I am around this person long enough and I focus on maintaining my high vibrational state, the other person’s body will be affected by MY vibration. By the end of our interaction, whether we have said anything to each other or not, his vibration may have risen to the point that he is not angry anymore. This is the principle of resonance. In layman’s language, the principle of resonance says that when there are two differing vibrations, one will rate of vibration will soon resonate like the other or they will move towards each other and meet in the middle. This can mean that a lower vibration cannot remain constant in a sustained field of higher vibration.
This principle of resonance is played out beautifully in our physical bodies in the phenomenon of kidney stones. We know that kidney stones are hard little calcifications that have to be passed through the body or surgically removed. However, a recent technology now uses very localized doses of high vibration, aimed at the kidney, to actually dissolve the kidney stones. The kidney stones are reduced to their smallest particles and passed easily through the body. We can think of this as an example of how a low vibration, no matter how solid it appears, can be changed by focusing high vibration onto it.
Another example of this phenomenon of changing the vibration of something that seems unchangeable is the study done in 1993 by the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy in Washington DC. This National Demonstration Project to Reduce Violent Crime and Improve Governmental Effectiveness brought approximately 4,000 participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs to the United States national capital from June 7 to July 30, 1993. A 27-member independent Project Review Board consisting of sociologists and criminologists from leading universities, representatives from the police department and government of the District of Columbia, and civic leaders approved in advance the research protocol for the project and monitored its progress. The study, led by John Hagelin, PhD., showed a 25%-48% decrease in violent crime during the time period of the study. The conclusion that can be drawn was that the high vibration of the 4000 meditators infiltrated the DC area, and that the low vibration of the aggression causing violent crime could not be sustained in the high vibrational filed created by the meditators. (For more information on this study, go to http://www.istpp.org/crime_prevention/ )
A beautiful example of how our thoughts change vibration is evidenced in Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work. He has documented, through remarkable photographic techniques, water’s response to positive and negative thoughts. (Remember that positive feelings such as love, gratitude and prayer carry a high vibration, where as anger, sadness and fear carry a low vibration.) In the case of a highly polluted river in Japan, the water photographs show a diffused, disorganized water molecule group. When the very same water was blessed with prayer, the water formed exquisite, organized crystal shapes. His research went further when he placed written phrases on bottles of distilled water and left them overnight. Water responded to these phrases similarly; the water which sported the label “Thank You” formed beautiful symmetrical crystals, where as the water that carried the “You Make Me Sick” label responded with a discomforting display of pockmarked blobs. As is evidenced in Dr. Emoto’s work, our attitudes and thoughts are reflected perfectly in the structural integrity of the water. The really interesting implications of Dr. Emoto’s work lie in considering that human beings are more than 70% water. If these thoughts affect a bottle of water so powerfully, how do our thoughts affect us and each other? (See the website www.hado.net )
Even when some things may not be going the way we want, we can find other things in our lives that ARE supportive and be thankful for those. And this will raise our vibration.
I was in a situation recently where I was reminded of this truth. My family and I have been traveling now for almost a year in a motor home. We recently encountered issues that have necessitated taking our home in to a dealership for repairs. What was supposed to have been a simple overnight repair became a two-week ordeal. Because we are living in the RV, we have been unable to access the things that we normally need to live our daily lives. After a week of “not having a home”, I became triggered into feeling “homeless” and victimized. While this would seem a reasonable response to the situation, I was miserable. Life looked a whole lot less wonderful because of the state I was in. I was in a low vibrational field of hopelessness, anger and depression. After a few days of hanging out in this state, I remembered that I had other choices. I looked around me and was reminded that home is where the heart is; I have my beautiful family, we are together, and we are healthy and well. AND, I was reminded that my Spirit is my true home, and that nothing can ever take that away from me. Choosing not to identify with the low vibrational state, I slowly felt my perspective shift as I focused on how grateful I am. It literally took me 10 minutes for my perspective to shift radically into feeling like I was basking in a ray of warm love. I could not wipe the smile off of my face (nor did I want to!) I see now that if I want to be happy in my life, there is great wisdom in choosing to be grateful and look on the bright side!
In addition to feeling better, being in a high vibrational state brings a clarity and focus that is not present in low vibrational states…we can think of acting out in anger and regretting later what we have said, or how people who are depressed feel fuzzy headed, as if they cannot think clearly. This clarity that comes with high vibration suddenly brings everything into focus. What is important becomes very pointed and clear! And from this place we can make better decisions in our lives – decisions that make a positive contribution to our own well-being as well as the well-being of others and the planet.
And, if you don’t have enough reasons to consider feeling gratitude on a regular basis, consider this additional benefit, noted by Christiane Northrup: “Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” Here we see the principle of resonance yet again, as well as the law of attraction. If we hold a high vibration, not only do we shift the rate of vibration around us, we attract similar vibration. If you want more true love in your life, radiate true love. If you want more kindness shown to you, overflow with kindness towards others. If you seek more abundance in your life, look for the abundance that you already have and shower gratitude upon it. (And remember that abundance is not only measured in money! It is also love, health, freedom, creativity, wisdom, experiences, inner satisfaction, caring, giving, receiving teachings, giving teachings, blue sky, rain, good food, friends, time, togetherness, good books, options, loyalty, growth, family, manifestation, spiritual help, wide open vistas, sunrises, sunsets, trees, birds, animals and plants, air, water, fire, space, the stars and planets, and this beautiful earth which holds and sustains us!)
So what can you do to raise your vibration? There are many resources you can draw on. Some examples are mediation, reading holy texts, creating, dancing, singing, moving your body, celebrating, laughing, praying, making a list of the things in your life you are grateful for and thanking each of them, and of course setting the intention to raise your vibration. Almost anything that takes you out of your usual pattern of heading down “Victim Road” will point you in the high-vibe direction. And you and the world will be a better place for it.