Extract from Introduction
This book and its accompanying worksheets is about stepping into the real you and knowing that nobody can stop you from living the life you want and dream of and that by embodying the principles of self-love and gratitude, life and its spiritual dimension, opens up.
I know only too well what it means to live a life stuck in pain. I’m not a psychiatrist, a therapist or a social worker. I’m a woman with my own story of healing and personal transformation and this book offers a practical guide any woman can use to transform a life of abuse, despair, sadness and victimhood to a life filled with an abundance of love, peace, purpose and happiness.
Sometimes it takes the very worst experience and to hit rock bottom for us to wake up and realise that we need to love ourselves and value ourselves enough so that this never happens again.
Why have I decided to reveal my story now? Because I have finally found my voice; because being authentic and owning my truth has given me the confidence to step into my own power, follow my passion and transform my life. And it is through my own transformation that I have been inspired to share my experience to help others transform their own lives to live with purpose through the power of gratitude.
The Transformational Power of Gratitude
“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
One of the greatest of virtues, gratitude is the secret to a happy existence. Being able to give thanks for the people and things in our lives leads to a life filled with peace and joy. When you approach life through the lens of gratitude, you tend to focus on abundance, on security, on overflow; this is a calming and peaceful way to see life as opposed to viewing life through the lens of lack, deficit and insecurity, which can generate feelings of anxiety and possibly lead to depression if you believe that your situation won’t change in the future.
Studies on the science of gratitude have shown that being grateful is associated with greater happiness, more positive emotions (which lead to less stress and anxiety) and improved relationships. Dr Robert Emmons, who has pioneered much of the scientific research on gratitude states that ‘it is impossible to be depressed and grateful at the same time.’ According to Dr Emmons, gratitude is ‘good medicine’ as not only does it lead to more optimism, it also has physiological benefits including better quality and quantity of sleep, reduced blood pressure, decreased levels of cholesterol and fewer aches and pains.
Expressing gratefulness and being appreciative of life’s blessings can be easy when life is treating you well. What about when we are experiencing pain and are at our lowest points? Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is even more beneficial in times of struggle and in the face of suffering.
Life will always present us with challenges. It has been ten years since I had the courage to leave my abusive relationship and just when I believed I finally had my life under control, further unexpected challenges led me to question what lesson the universe was attempting to teach me, I asked myself: ‘What’s good about this experience? What can I learn from it? How can I benefit from this?’ Having meditated on these questions, the answer was clear. The universe was providing me with the opportunity to practice Gratitude.
Gratitude is an attitude of spirit; the essence of gratitude lies in the understanding that every moment and everything that shows up in your life is something to be grateful for. So many of us often take things for granted: the air that we breathe, the food that we have, the bed that we sleep in, the people in our lives and just about everything about ourselves. When was the last time that you told someone ‘I am so very fortunate to have you in my life’ or thought to yourself ‘ I am so blessed and grateful for everything I have in my life, whatever that may be’. If you have clothes on your back, food in your fridge and a roof over your head, you are richer than three quarters of the world’s population. If you wake up in the morning with your health in-tact, you are more blessed than the millions who will not make it through this week because of illness. If you have someone that cares about you, you have an enormous amount to be grateful for.
When you are grateful for what you have right now, the universe will respond by giving you even more to be grateful for. When you can be happy and grateful for your life today, so many more things will flow into your life. Becoming grateful even through the tough times will help develop your strength and your spirit. When you have the courage to be grateful for what you already have, life will bless you with even more and when you spend a few minutes each day giving thanks to what you have and who you have in your life, you release your inner guide, you release that love that resides inside each and every one of us. The positive energy of real gratitude generates more greatness in your life. A practice of gratitude raises your happiness level so you can remain at a higher state of happiness regardless your external circumstances.
I am grateful for so much and today, I am especially grateful for the people who have made such a great difference in my life. There’s something so special about being appreciative and grateful. There’s something so authentic and beautiful about moments when you can simply say ‘’thank you’’. Thank you for your support, thank you for this gift, thank you for my home, thank you for my family, thank you for this person in my life, thank you for the abundance that surrounds me, thank you for this day, thank you for my journey, thank you for life and the opportunity to be of service.
So many people go through life without experiencing these magical moments. Life is still an experience, even though you may be faced with difficult challenges, you are still alive! As you read this, people are taking their last breath on this earthly plane, perhaps wishing that they could be here a little while longer. We are still alive, we are still breathing. That in itself is a huge thing to be grateful for. Create moments of gratitude just for the sake of being alive and in so doing you reconnect with yourself and the great universal life force that lives within each of us.
Gratitude has its own vibrational frequency that draws energy to you and the more you experience feelings of appreciation and thanks, the more you allow this energy to be drawn to you; being grateful changes your entire reality and in so doing changes the way you experience life.
By practicing the power of gratitude, I have been able to transform my life and so can you. Embark on this journey with me, so you can realise your own potential and learn how gratitude can help you unlock wellbeing in all areas of your life. Know that you are blessed and be grateful every single day no matter what is going on. Life will challenge you, it will test you. But know always there are no mistakes and with a strong mind and an unbreakable spirit, nothing can ever defeat you. Yes, life isn’t always fair; sometimes things happen that no one can explain or justify but know that everything happens for a reason, obstacles are thrown onto our paths to help us grow and learn something more about ourselves. Know that you will never be defined by the circumstances of your life. The measure of your life will be how you react to your circumstances and in the toughest of moments, we have our greatest opportunities for growth. Stay strong and know that this too shall pass. Every moment passes and every moment is an opportunity to learn and develop from.
Gratitude is one of the highest vibrational states; when you embody gratitude, your life starts to open up and align with the life of your dreams. This universe is an amazing place and every day is a new opportunity to create miracles, to create magic, to create happiness for yourself and those around you. Be grateful every day for what you do have and life will reward you by giving you more to be grateful for because when you are in a state of appreciation, energy flows in the body. If you aren’t grateful for anything and find yourself complaining a lot, you restrict the flow of energy and the universe will provide you with more things to complain about. These are universal laws.
The truth is that life is a miracle. You are a miracle. If you just consider how you came into this world and the journey you had to take to get here, you will have all you need to believe in miracles, to be grateful and to know that you are here for a purpose, to know that your life has immense value and to know you are a powerful creator.