Many Pagans and Wiccans believe in the Law of Attraction -- the notion that if we surround ourselve with good, we will attract positive things back to us. It's the age-old concept of "like attracts like." Part of that theory is that by showing gratitude, you can cultivate more good things to come your way. Here are ten simple ways to show thankfulness, and bring abundance into your life in return.
If you want to express your thankfuless to the universe in general for all the good things in your life, why not hold a gratitude ritual? By verbalizing the things we are grateful for, we can send a message out that we do indeed know how fortunate we are. Try this simple ritual, as a solitary or in a group, to count your blessings and express your own gratitude.
2. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Our society is a busy and fast-paced one. However, if you take a few moments every day to sit down and think about your blessings, it becomes a lot easier to remember them -- especially on those darker days! Start a gratitude journal, and each day, write down something for which you are thankful. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like - the point is to remind yourself of your blessings.
3. Carry a Talisman Associated with Thankfulness
When you're feeling underappreciated at work, you're stuck in traffic with a bunch of honking horns, or you're frazzled because once again you forgot to make dinner, it's hard to remember the good aspects of your life. This simple trick is much like the notion of tying a string around your finger -- take a piece of jewelry that you enjoy wearing and turn it into a talisman of thankfulness. To do this, sit quietly, holding your necklace or bracelet, and focus grateful, positive energy into the item. Wear it regularly, and then when things aren't going so well, each time you feel it against your skin, you'll be reminded of that gratitude energy you put into it. If you don't wear jewelry, instead you can use a stone to carry in your pocket.
4. Show Others You're Thankful
Remember when you were a child, and your mom made you write thank-you notes after every birthday? There's a reason for that -- when people do things for us, they need to know that they're appreciated. If someone has done something nice for you, let them know how much it meant to them. Send them a note, call them, or tell them in person. It doesn't have to be complicated, just a simple, "Thank you for [whatever]" is all that's needed. Just those few words can help brighten someone's day, and let them know that their words or deeds didn't go unnoticed.
5. Random Acts of Kindness
Ever do something nice for someone else, just for the heck of it? One way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is by doing kind things for others, without any hopes of compensation. Pay things forward a bit, and do something good for someone else. With any luck, they'll take it a step further and do something nice for someone too. Just by performing these random acts of kindness, you can trigger a "gratitude chain" into motion!
6. Remind Yourself of Your Good Fortune
Are you happy to have your health, a reliable job, a family who loves you, and a roof over your heard? Make yourself a collage or poster of images that remind you just how lucky you are. Don't have room to hang a poster up on the walls? Use sticky-notes instead -- write one thing you're grateful for on each one, and hang them in places you'll see them, like over your desk, on the microwave door, the bathroom mirror. Each time you're reminded of your good fortune, you'll feel thankful -- and that can help bring more good things your way!
When we have good fortune in our lives, it's easy to be thankful. However, many of us feel even better about our good fortune if we can share it with others. Find a way to make a difference. If you're grateful that you've got food to eat every day, why not organize a canned goods drive to help a local food pantry? Donate your time to local service agencies, like domestic violence shelters, hospice agencies, or even pet rescue operations, depending on where your interests lie. It feels good to help others out, and your efforts might be just the thing that someone else needs to pull them out of a hole. Remember the times in your life when you needed help, and pay back the favor. Find a need, and then find a way to fill it.
For many Pagans and Wiccans, there are times of the year when we ritually shed the old baggage and focus on new beginnings. Because of this, goal-setting can become an important aspect of our spiritual development. When we set ourselves a goal, we are basically saying to the universe, "This is my will," and that's how magic begins. One of the problems many people seem to have, however, is that they don't really think about the goals they're setting. Put some thought into your goals and what you hope to achieve -- by doing so, you'll be all the more thankful when you're finally able to cross something off your list!
9. Learn From Your Mistakes
It's easy to screw things up. But the great thing about making mistakes is that we can actually learn from them. The inventor Thomas Edison tried over 3,000 times to create the first lightbulb. When someone asked him about these failed attempts, he said, "Actually, I didn't fail 3000 times. I found 3000 ways how not to make a lightbulb." Every step we take is part of the journey, and sometimes we might take the wrong path -- but as long as we can take a lesson from the experience, we're not doomed to repeat our errors. Learn from your mistakes, and show your thankfulness even for the things you messed up. After all, those help shape you as much as the good experiences do.
10. Recognize Those Who Inspire You
Is there someone who has touched your life in a profound way? Perhaps a teacher who took you under their wing when you were a child, or a co-worker who mentored you when you were sure you'd lose your job. Maybe your parents set a great example to you of the sort of adult you wished to be someday, or someone saved you from a bad decision you almost made. It's important to recognize those people who have dramatically impacted our lives - and it's also important to remember that we may well inspire someone else some day. Be sure to thank the people who have impacted you. Show your gratitude to them, and perhaps someone else will show the same to you in the future.