Discover Your Abundance Through Gratitude
“The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe.” ~ Deepak Chopra
In his bestselling book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra describes timeless principles to help us experience our innate state of abundance, wholeness, and wellbeing. One of the seven spiritual laws is the Law of Giving and Receiving, which is based on the principle that we are all part of an infinite universe, a field of pure potential that gives rise to everything from our physical body to the oceans, stars, and galaxies beyond. While we may feel separate from the world and people around us, at the deepest level, we are inextricably connected to this infinite field of possibilities.
As the Law of Giving and Receiving states, our minds and bodies are in constant exchange with the universe. It is an organic flow of giving and receiving. In some areas of our lives, we trust this flow without question. For example, if our lungs are healthy, we breathe in and out all day long, never worrying that the universe will suddenly run out of air. We freely accept the air we receive, not feeling undeserving or worrying that by accepting the air, we’re limiting someone else’s possibilities. We don’t try to hoard our breath or fear that the person breathing next to us is going to use up the air supply and leave nothing for us. And as we exhale and let go, we give back to the universe releasing the carbon dioxide and other elements that in turn nourish plants, trees, and the ecosystem.
Many of us have a greater challenge in relating so easily and freely with other infinitely abundant resources of the universe, including money, love, happiness, appreciation, attention, and caring. Yet the universal Law of Giving and Receiving applies to every aspect of our lives: Giving engenders receiving, and receiving engenders giving. They are both expressions of the same flow of energy in the universe.
In order to keep abundance circulating in our lives, we need to perpetuate the natural dance of giving and receiving. One of the ways we can do this is through the practice of gratitude, which deepens our awareness of all the gifts we receive each day and opens our eyes to the abundance that is already ours. This awareness releases the constriction that prevents us from giving and receiving freely, opening us to an unbounded flow of possibilities and goodness.
The following gratitude practices are easy to weave into your daily life. Choose one practice to do each day, and at the end of the week, reflect on any positive shifts you’ve experienced as a result of cultivating gratitude. You can then continue with the same practice or try one of the others on the list . . . or come up with your own gratitude practice. The possibilities are infinite!
- Before getting out of bed in the morning, be thankful for the warmth and comfort of your bed, for having a roof over your head, for a good night’s sleep, and for the beautiful day ahead of you.
- Throughout the day, cultivate a sense of gratitude for the gifts you have in your life. Gracefully receive all the gifts that life has to offer. Note even the small gifts such as a compliment, a hug, or a smile.
- Create a gratitude journal where you can write a daily list of what you are grateful for. This practice can be done first thing in the morning to set the mood for a thankful day and/or at the end of the day to recap all the blessings you experienced during the day.
- On a daily basis, tell others how grateful you are for their help and presence in your life. You can tell family members, friends, sales clerks, waiters, co-workers, and even strangers.
- Before falling asleep, choose one thing that happened during your day that you are grateful for. Fall asleep bathed in this gratitude for the good that was brought into your life today.
By practicing gratitude, the universe acknowledges that we are open to receive all the good it has to offer us. We then start to increasingly experience more things to be thankful for in our lives.
Gratitude Reminder from David Simon
Editor’s Note: We are grateful to Chopra Center co-founder Dr. David Simon, who gave from his heart and offered so much healing wisdom to the world. In this special message from one of his many writings, David encourages us to celebrate the gift of this human incarnation.
Each day is an opportunity to celebrate life – to pay attention to the little things that make life worthwhile – the songbirds at dawn, the scent of a baby’s hair, your partner’s loving embrace.
How do we cultivate an attitude of celebration and appreciation? Whatever we put our attention on grows stronger in our life. If we continually focus on what is wrong, we will spend most of our time in emotional pain. If we focus on what’s going well, we will find ourselves celebrating.
Start paying attention to all the little things that go well. You didn’t get into a traffic jam on your way to work. You heard a favorite song on the radio. Your computer did not crash all day. You witnessed a beautiful sunset. You shared a loving conversation with your spouse. You’re still inhaling and exhaling. Each time that something goes well, celebrate. Each time that something doesn’t go as badly as anticipated, celebrate some more.
There will always be unexpected bumps in the road of life, but you can learn to ride out the rough spots and enjoy the smooth patches. As you cultivate an attitude of appreciation and celebration, your life will feel increasingly magical and precious.