Note: This isn’t an actual Tenacity Notes, but I put it here so I could link to it on Facebook. Read it. You’ll understand. This is an excerpt from a Breath and Water Club newsletter, July 2005.

I was teaching about gratitude at a recent class. I suggested that we all practice filling ourselves with the energy of gratitude. And remember, this is 360º of gratitude — gratitude that includes the self, gratitude that flows out from the self to encompass all of life. Gratitude about yourself and your life right now.

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. Let yourself feel that gratitude, then transfer that feeling to yourself. Have gratitude for who you and where you’re at in your life. So we all practiced “running the energy” of gratitude. It felt great.

Then 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 didn’t know what I was going to say. Probably something along the lines of “I don’t know about that, but I do know that gratitude allows us to become aware of the abundance we already have in our lives.” But clearly, whatever I was going to say wasn’t good enough, because exactly as I finished inhaling and opened my mouth to speak, the doorbell rang. Now remember, this is 8:45 on a dark, windy, cold December night in Minneapolis. Who could it possibly be?

At the door stood my next-door neighbor (and former student) with large, round, tin box. She’d stayed home from work that day and baked 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. Look, I said, my neighbor brought us cookies. One of my students exclaimed, “It’s because we were running gratitude!”

Abundance is attracted to gratitude

Yes, it’s true. We were working with gratitude, feeling it in our bodies, feeling it towards ourselves, feeling it 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 amazed at the way it’d been delivered. As an added bonus, the cookies were delicious! We ate cookies while we talked about the fact that an embodied teaching had knocked on the door.

It is not unusual for me to receive inspiration while I’m teaching. It’s true that I know a lot, but it’s also true that I sometimes find myself saying something in class that I didn’t know I knew, and I readily acknowledge that as inspiration. But never before have I had a teaching actually show up knocking on the front door! That’s for sure a teaching to pay attention to. Abundance comes to gratitude’s door.

Gratitude is a beacon for abundance. 360º of gratitude puts you in the position to experience and 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 this coming year.