One of my favorite books is “Love’s Executioner" by Yolam. He is a Psychiatrist who is strikingly honest in his approach to treatment and refreshingly transparent in his responses to the people whom he treats. If you haven’t read this book and are ready to take a good hard look at some of your own reactions and assumptions about people, I highly recommend it.
So why do I bring this book up here? Well, one of the statements in his book was the basis for the title of this article.
In one chapter we learn about Yalom’s client George, a rather crass guy who has learned he is dying from cancer. At the beginning of his treatment he demeans and degrades everyone with whom he comes in contact (including the support group leader and members who are, of course, supposed to be there to “support" one another). In the end, however, he undergoes a transformation and my brief summary of that transformation is: he realizes that he has a purpose and is actually worth something and valued (especially by his children). Based on this new found knowledge, he realizes also that he no longer has to demean others in order to attempt to elevate himself. Near the end of the chapter we learn that George has always felt like he had nothing of value to offer to his colleagues and so never spoke up in meetings to express his thoughts, but after tapping into his newly gained confidence, it dawned on him, while in a meeting, staring at his ratty old shoes…"I am not my shoes!" This thought touched him at his core and stirred him to speak his opinion about the topic at hand—his colleagues listened and commented on his great contribution! In his last session with Yolam he told the story about the meeting and his tremendous discovery—“I realized that I am not my shoes!" What simple but powerful words, “I am not my shoes!"
Guess what my friends- we are not our shoes either!
How many times have we looked around our world and identified our success or fulfillment based on what we have acquired, what we done and especially what we see or do not see around us. Our clothes are too old or too few. Our house is not the one we’d always dreamt of owning. Our career is not fulfilling. Our income is too small… The list can go on and on.
I want to share a little personal life secret with you- the source of my joy and inspiration is a result of incorporating the concept expressed in the title of this article into my very being. That is not to say that I do not occasionally fall into the same traps of desiring something I don’t have or getting a little ticked at things that aren’t exactly working perfectly, like we all do from time to time. But my mode of operating shifted sometime over the last several years. I can’t pinpoint the time and perhaps there wasn’t an exact time, but it crept over me and seeped into my bones like the sun on a warm Summer day. It is a sense about life that my friends and colleagues say that I exude. I don’t even mean to much of the time. The essence of it, if I had to put a word to it, is “gratitude. "
I am so grateful for what I have! I am so “not my shoes!" Even when I look around and have thoughts of what is missing or what I’d like, they are flitting thoughts they scatter like fireflies as soon as I come back to my center, my gratitude.
I believe that being grateful is the heart of living in abundance. You see, abundance is wanting for nothing and gratitude is being thankful for all that we have. It is only natural that gratitude is the precursor to abundant living.
The challenge I am now taking on and that I offer to you as well is to incorporate gratitude into a daily meditation practice. Even if that means you sit for only one minute each day and simply devote your thoughts to all that you are grateful for during that entire minute (if you can do more, that’s wonderful, but one minute is a great start for those who do not currently have a regular meditation practice).
The next challenge I am taking on and offer to you is to consciously watch for times when feelings of lack or dissatisfaction creep into your thoughts and in those moments stop and consciously pull yourself back into thoughts of gratitude—even if it is as simple as being thankful to be alive.
Finally I will be holding a space for you and challenging you to be watching for a sense of abundance entering into every aspect of your life.
As simple as 1-2-3… 1 Sit quietly for at least one minute each day and consciously reflect on those things you are grateful for – You may find it helpful to write them down. 2 Intentionally pull yourself back into a space of gratitude when you find yourself beginning to be dissatisfied or complacent. 3 Expect and look for the joy and abundance that will follow (write down your results and look for opportunities to share/celebrate your results with others!)
I already believe wholeheartedly that I live in abundance, but I can’t wait to see how amazing my new experience with gratitude and abundance will be after making this intentional commitment.
"Intentions alone are like huge waves that cascade throughout the universe and they inevitably return bearing wonderful presents. " “The Saint, The Surfer & The CEO, " Robin Sharma
I would love to hear your experiences after a week of being conscious about your gratitude! Please feel free to email me (email@example.com) or visit my new “Access Your Potential" blog to share your experiences. You can find my blog at: http://accessyourpotential. blogspot.com/
Here’s to us living in the fullness of gratitude and living a life of unimaginable abundance!!!
Copywrite 2005 ACCES Angel C. Hale Personal Success Coach www.AccessYourPotential.org
Hello, I am Angel Hale, Personal Success Coach and founder of ACCES ( HY PERLINK “http://www.ACCESsYourPotential.org"). I work with amazing, highly ambitious clients who want to be at the top of their game personally and professionally. They are intelligent, creative people who have discovered that they want even more in their lives—more productivity at work, more time with loved ones, more time to play, more time to give back to their community and planet, more financial freedom, and/or more capacity to do the things they love. If this sounds like you, I invite you to join our “Access Your Potential" community by visiting http://www.ACCESsYourPotential.org and sign up for our free monthly E-Newsletter. Also, if you would like to join my clients in experiencing a process that has profoundly enriched their journeys and put them on the path toward realizing their greatness, I invite you to contact me to set up a complementary coaching session (value = $125.00).