Words Without Thoughts

I was lying on the couch last night watching Hamlet, like you do, when I heard these lines:

“Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” –Gertrude, Act 3, Scene 3

I paused the video to reflect on this. It seemed to jive with what I had heard in church that morning, which was that prayer is a thought, a belief, or a feeling arising within the mind of the one praying. Without the feeling behind it, words are just words. To make prayer effective, you’ve got to fully embody the belief behind it.

I’ve been working with some affirmations for abundance and prosperity lately. I taped a few little mantras to the refrigerator and the bathroom mirror. I noticed that some days I’d recite them mechanically, just saying the words and then mentally ticking off the task, wondering when my prosperity was going to show up. Then when nothing happened I’d fall into the old attitude of lack. I began to wonder if I really believed in what I prayed for, or if I just thought I believed.

I started an experiment and began reading the affirmations out loud with passion. I said them with zeal and used big hand gestures, like an evangelical preacher. Even if a small part of me was still doubting inside, I tried to act as if I really believed my words. Then I’d stand with my eyes closed for a few minutes, trying to feel the truth of my words, letting them soak in.

A few days after this experiment I received an invitation to teach a meditation class and two yoga classes for an adult education program, something I had been trying to attract. Naturally, I accepted.

I am learning that gratitude is the prerequisite to abundance, not the other way around. You can’t sit around in a separative funk wondering, “Where’s my abundance?” and expect it to just show up. If your attitude is always that there is never enough, then that’s what gets reflected back to you. God doesn’t hear the words without thoughts. But if you start out with a feeling of gratitude for anything, even the beauty of a sunrise, that’s a signal to the Universe that you are open and ready to receive.

I challenged myself to make a list of 100 things that I am grateful for. It started out with some basics, like having a roof over my head, food on the table, and a job. The more I wrote, the more I realized how fortunate I really am. Things like having access to clean, running water; the right to vote; paved roads; the ability to drive…things that some of my ancestors didn’t have, and many people on the planet right now don’t have. I began to notice small things, like having clean sheets, the public library, and an orange tree in my yard. Once I got going, it was easy to find things to be grateful for.

Thanksgiving is an ideal time to work with the concepts of gratitude and abundance. I invite you to also make your own list. Let the feeling of gratitude grow in your mind and crowd out any feelings of lack or want. You could even start the list by taking a deep breath, and feeling grateful just to be alive.

abundance

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See a Penny, Pick it Up

See a penny,

pick it up,

and all the day

you’ll have good luck!

images

I’ve been aware of this little saying for as long as I can remember, at least back to when you could still buy something for a penny (gumballs were a favorite, or your fortune dispensed from an animatronic gypsy in a glass case at the Boardwalk). These days pennies actually cost more to make than their inherent worth. But I still pick them up.

Sometimes I see a penny that’s been really banged up, like some kids probably put it on the railroad tracks, or it got washed with a load of zippers. Some even have a green patina, like they’ve been lurking at the bottom of a junk drawer, mingling with other chemicals. But I pick up the ugly ones, too.

Pennies on the street have become a symbol of abundance to me. Even though on their own they aren’t worth much, they add up. And more importantly, they are representative of the abundant nature of the Universe. God doesn’t care if you find one penny or a hundred dollar bill. Money is energy. And even one cent is a little slice of that energy.

Sometimes I collect so many pennies that my wallet bulges and feels heavy. It doesn’t matter to me that it’s filled with pennies that couldn’t even buy an ice cream; I look at it and say, “Wow, my wallet is overflowing with money!” It’s this gratitude that acts as a magnet and draws more abundance into my life. Maybe later that day I’ll find a nickle. The fact that I believe that the penny is prosperity is what helps me fill my wallet with more than enough.

I actually use my pennies often. I like to keep the energy circulating. I’ve always been an exact change kind of gal, so when the cashier says, “Your total is $12.31,” I reach into my wallet and find one of those pennies. As I hand it over I think, “I’m so glad I found that penny. It was exactly what I needed to buy parsley for the bunnies. Thank you, Universe!” Never do I ask, “why only a penny?”

Your job is not to say how or when abundance comes to you, but simply to say yes to it. When it occurs, become the observer and give thanks for everything. Every time you see a coin on the street, pick it up and recognize it as abundance flowing your way. Receive the energy. Say thank you and be grateful.

 

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