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When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

Irving Berlin / Publishers : Irving Berlin Ltd.from the 1954 movie
"White Christmas".

Gratitude is often thought of as the feeling-experience caused by something else. For example, I might feel grateful and happy when I receive a gift or compliment. Or I might feel thanksgiving rise up in me when a prayer seems to have been answered. I might be filled with gratitude for the time my grandchildren spent with me or the note my colleague left to acknowledge something I did.But there is another important side to gratitude that has everything to do with a prosperity mind-set. Thanksgiving or gratitude is not only the result of something; it is also the attitude which prepares us to receive. Try to imagine that gratitude is the cause, and not only the result.I heard a minister once say “I don’t always get what I pray for, but I get what I pray from.” In other words, the attitude with which I pray determines the outcome even more than the particular words or form of the prayer. Another way of expressing the same idea is to say that the focus of your awareness determines your experience.

The famous 1954 movie “White Christmas” features a song “Count Your Blesings” that illustrates the use of this technique. Make a list of the things that cause you to feel gratitude, regardless of what is going on at the moment. Doing so allows you to create a shift in where your attention is and it is as if something invisible shifts within you. Perhaps you’ll begin to notice an increase in resiliency, adaptability, patience or hope.Norman Vincent Peal is attributed with saying that “Prayer doesn’t change things for us, it changes us for things.” Gratitude works in the same way. Feeling gratitude does not secure some goal or action, it changes us.The challenging part is that feeling grateful for what is already in our lives is much easier than feeling grateful when the experiences and things we want are not yet in our lives. Nevertheless, to feel grateful in advance of the outcome, is one of the important keys to prosperity.A classical example of this idea in action comes from the gospel story of Jesus dealing with the crowds of hungry followers. His disciples reported to him that the only provisions they could find were fives loaves and two fish that one young man had brought along for lunch. Obviously it was completely inadequate to meet the need at hand.

I have been in similar situations where what I had to work with was absolutely not enough to meet the needs of the task before me, and my response was to feel anything but gratitude.In the gospel story, Jesus took what there was in his hands and gave thanks. He was not giving thanks for the inadequate lunch and settling for is with an attitude of “sigh, we’ll have to make do with this.” Instead he was giving thanks from the elevated awareness of the presence of abundance: “I am grateful for this evidence of God’s bounty which is represented in these two fish and loaves.”To me the story is a metaphor inviting me to look into my own life where there is an experience of “not enough” and to shift my attention by giving thanks for what evidence I can find of the presence of God’s bounty. Count my blessings.

The idea in the Jesus story is that there definitely wasn’t enough bread or fish, but there was something. And because Jesus knew something about the presence of Divinity, he was able to bless what was in his hands. Many folk do the opposite when faced with too little by cursing what they have. I wonder how many times I have made a situation worse by adopting a complaining or cursing attitude when I might have just as well shifted my attention to blessing by saying something like, “This may not be enough, but I lift it up and give thanks for the idea that God is present everywhere.”Specifically, examine your thoughts in the ordinary areas of your life where you might experience challenges, disappointment, and frustration.

Do you bless or curse the weather? Do you bless or curse certain family members? Do you bless or curse your work or co-workers.Practice listing the things in your life that you are grateful for on the pages to come. And give special attention to those areas where you are experiencing challenges and look carefully for the people, things and experiences in those areas that you can appreciate. Making a gratitude list is a powerful spiritual practice and the perfect way to assess and learn from your reflections about Living a Prosperous Life. You can also take time to review your journal entries and notice the areas where you have grown in awareness and personal strength. Use the following pages to list the things that you are grateful for.

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