You may have seen this story before, but I thought you’d find it useful again, what with all the angst about scarcity circling around us. This is a true story. It blew my socks off when it happened, and it blows my socks off today.

Do you remember this true story? Maybe you were there!

I was teaching a class several years ago, and although it wasn’t what I had intended to teach, for one reason or another I suggested that we all practice filling ourselves with the energy of gratitude. “And remember,” I said, “this is 360º of gratitude — gratitude that includes the self, that begins with self, that flows out from gratitude for the self to encompass all of life. Appreciate yourself and your life right now. Have gratitude for the reality of you and your life. Be glad that you are you. Be grateful.”

A student said she didn’t know what the energy of gratitude should feel like. I said, pretend. Make it up. Experiment. It’s all practice. You can prime the pump, so to speak, by thinking of something outside yourself that you’re grateful for, something you appreciate. Let yourself feel that appreciation, then transfer that feeling to yourself. Have gratitude for who you are and where you’re at in your life. So we all practiced “running the energy” of gratitude. It felt great.

Then a student, we’ll call her Anita, asked a question. Is there a cause and effect relationship between gratitude and abundance? If I feel gratitude will I then have abundance?

Remember, this is a true story

I took a breath, ready to respond to her question. I had no what I was going to say, which was nothing new. I am often as surprised at what comes out of my mouth as everyone else is. But clearly, whatever I was going to say this time was insufficient, because exactly as I finished inhaling, and opened my mouth to speak, the doorbell rang. This is 8:45 PM; a dark, windy, and bitterly cold winter night. Who could it possibly be?

I went to the door, and there stood my next-door neighbor, shivering, holding a large tin box. She’d stayed home from work that day, and spent the entire day baking Christmas cookies. She thought I’d like some. Once she realized she’d interrupted a class, she thrust the tin into my hands and dashed off, calling happy holidays over her shoulder. I took the box into the living room and opened it to find a beautiful array of cookies, layers of them. Look, I said, my neighbor brought us cookies. One of my students exclaimed, “It’s because we were running gratitude!”

Abundance knocks on gratitude’s door

Yes, it’s true. We were working with gratitude, we were feeling appreciation, we were feeling glad in our bodies, feeling gratitude towards ourselves, feeling grateful for life itself — and abundance came knocking on the door! Wow. I guess Anita’s question got answered! We looked around at each other with our mouths hanging open, delighted with the teaching we’d just been given, and thrilled with the way it had been delivered. As an added bonus, the cookies were delicious!

We ate cookies and drank hot tea while we talked about the fact that an embodied teaching had sought us out. Cool. That’s for sure a teaching to pay attention to. Abundance knocks on gratitude’s door. And what could be better than an abundance of homemade Christmas cookies? Yum!

Gratitude is a beacon for abundance

360º of gratitude puts you in the position to appreciate the abundance you already have in your everyday life. And 360º of gratitude opens the door to new and unexpected abundance. Thanks to Anita for asking the right question.

May the living spirit of gratitude imbue your life.

Speaking of appreciation

A reader writes: Dear Jett, how grateful I am that you suggested we look at the back issues of Breath and Water. Many are exquisite, most are profound, some are challenging, and all are useful. You say some provocative things. I have many favorites! I have printed most of them out, and mornings, after my breathing, and while I’m enjoying my coffee, I pick one at random to read. My daily life is enriched by this practice. Thank you so much.

Yes, daily inspirational reading can be a great benefit in life. I am so pleased to hear that some of you are using the Breath and Water newsletters for your inspirational reading. Cool.