Recently, my kids and I were ill. Starting from my younger daughter, and passing to each of us in turn, we all took turns being unwell. As I’d just finished the first level of a hypnosis course and I had much too much work to take time off to be sick. In my process of getting well again, I began to value more something I hadn’t necessarily paid too much attention to for a while up to then: my health.
It’s interesting how we tend to pay more attention to something when it’s missing than when it’s as and where we expect it to be. As a Love Coach, I find this often with people who come to me in relationships that they feel are no longer working. “Well, what do you like most about him,” I generally ask my clients as we begin our work together.
It’s interesting how many clients, when they arrive, can express so much more easily what they don’t like than what they do like about their Partner. As we dig through the layers, it’s easy to see that one of the reasons why they find themselves unhappy with their partners is the fact that they are focusing more on what makes them unhappy than what makes them happy. Not surprisingly, their relationship strongly improves as we transfer the focus onto what they do like. Suddenly, they begin to remember why they chose to be with their Partner in the first place and what they value most about him.
Focusing what is working in your life brings you closer to enjoying it.
In the same way, the more my kids and I focused on how miserable and sick we felt when we were ill, the more ill we felt. It was the adding of a gratitude meditation and thanking the universe for my general good health and imagining myself well again that made the biggest difference. I tried this with my kids too. “What did you like most about when you were healthy,” I asked them? “What will be the first thing we’ll do together when we’re all healthy again”? By focusing on being healthy, rather than on being ill, we were able to pull ourselves into good health again faster.
This focus is true for the use of language as well. Both the hypnotherapy foundation course I just finished and the NLP course I did last year taught us to avoid using the word “don’t”. So if you want your husband to remember your anniversary this year, rather than saying “don’t forget our anniversary this time,” try “honey, I’m really looking forward to what you’re planning for our anniversary this year” (said in the right tone of course). Any man, who still cares enough about his wife to want to make her happy, will take the hint and deliver gladly just to witness your excitement and appreciation for what he arranges (make sure to give it amply if you want more of the same in the coming years, even if you don’t love what he arranges).
Gratitude should be used abundantly in both the way you think and the way you speak.
According to the Law of Attraction, we tend to attract what we think, whether it is positive or negative and whether it is thought consciously or even very unconsciously. As humans, we have a tendency to focus on what we feel is missing in our lives, or in the people we are close to or intimate with. The result is that the more we focus on what is inadequate, the more unhappy we become with our lives. Gratitude is a way to turn that feeling of “not good enough” on its’ heel and to force us to look for that which we value.
Now that we’re celebrating the festive holidays and the New Year, it’s a great time to think about what we value most in our lives and in the people that we are close to. When I spend time thinking about what annoys me about my kids, they seem to become more annoying. However, as soon as I consider the many aspects of their unique and interesting personalities that I adore, I suddenly realise again just how special they are, and how grateful I am for having them.
Gratitude has the magic ability to help us see the world through rose-coloured glasses, suddenly becoming keenly aware of how beautiful and wonderful it really is. Wouldn’t you rather see things that way than through the other glasses that come from complaining and irritation: those that leave your life feeling empty and your soul constantly wanting?
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” — Thornton Wilder
I wish you happy holidays,
Julia Keller is a Transformational Love Coach for Women and a Driven Woman Group Leader in London.