law of attraction

Count your blessings card from Kyle Gray's "Angel Prayers" oracle cards deck

Everything you read about angels states that when you’re in a state of gratitude, your angels rejoice and dance around. If you’re like me, you’ve heard countless people say that practicing gratitude is good for your wellbeing, good for manifesting money, good for stress relief, and all this other stuff. Gratitude is touted as the key to undoing all the bad things in your life, especially financial problems.

Despite all this, I admit, the “practice of gratitude” is something I’ve always had trouble with. Whenever I sit down to use my gratitude journal, I don’t feel genuine appreciation for the air that I breathe or the roof over my head or whatever the hell else people tell you you’re supposed to be grateful for every day. It just feels more like I’m trying to remember what gratitude feels like than actually being in a state of appreciation for those things. Additionally, I find it really hard to appreciate things like the air I breathe when it seems like I’m struggling so much in so many different areas. Even still, like a lot of people, I used my gratitude journal almost every day in an attempt to feel less shitty about the current state of my life (because let’s be real, that is the only reason I used it). My inability to focus on gratitude plagued me all the time. I could feel that writing in my gratitude journal wasn’t accomplishing anything.

The problem with gratitude is that it can’t be forced.

Or mustered up, or summoned for the purposes of igniting positive change in your life. When you try to, the appreciation isn’t genuine. You’re not grateful, you’re trying to be grateful.

Because of this, focusing on gratitude in this way will never lead to health or prosperity or joy, regardless of what most spiritual gurus say. This is why so many of us abandon the practice of gratitude.

So what is the real value of gratitude? Why does everyone make such a big deal about it? Is there actually a way to “practice” gratitude at all?

I didn’t really seek the answer to these questions, but the answers found me anyways.

I practice yoga because it feels damn good water bottle

The Christmas Miracle

This past Christmas, while I was making us some Christmas Day green juice, my boyfriend Ben went into the back yard to let the dog in. While he was there, he found a purple metal Lulu Lemon water bottle (above) that had been sitting in the back yard. He brought it in and said “is this your water bottle? It’s been in the backyard since at least your birthday party.”

I had never seen it before. My birthday is in August, so whoever had left it there clearly wasn’t coming back for it.

“It’s not mine,” I said with a shrug.

“Do you want it?” Ben asked. “I’ll wash it off for you.”

Again I shrugged in response to this. I never really carried around a water bottle because, although I drink 4 liters a day, I’ve never found a water bottle that I liked. I usually drink out of a mason jar with one of those straw lids (seriously). Bottles are always either too expensive, don’t hold enough water, made of plastic, just plain ugly, or some other thing. I had been given a plastic one with a straw in it as a gift a few months prior and never used it because the straw was weird and you had to suck really hard to get a sip of water and I didn’t like it. Also it was too small.

After Ben washed the water bottle for me, I started using it when I didn’t feel like dragging my mason jar around, and found that it was a lot easier to carry (duh). It fit in my car’s cupholders, and I could put my green juice in the jar and still have water in my bottle. Over time I started bringing it everywhere, and felt this new sense of relief because I never had to worry about having something to drink out of. I always had the water bottle with me.

Listen card from Doreen Virtue's Daily Guidance from your angels card deck

My Moment in the Light

This past weekend I was with Ben. I got a new phone and we went grocery shopping. We took my car and I brought the water bottle with me.

As we pulled in the driveway of his place after we were done, I went to take a sip from the water bottle and, again, I felt relieved that I had the water bottle there. It was just so nice to have on hand.

When I was drinking, I suddenly noticed. Oh my god, I held genuine, not-mustered-up unbridled appreciation for something: the water bottle. It was SO utterly convenient, I loved it so much.

Ecstatic with this realization, I turned to my boyfriend, held the water bottle in the air, and practically screamed “HOLD ON, can I just say— I’m going to share something I’m grateful for because we never do that. I AM SO grateful for this water bottle. It is so fucking convenient and makes life so easy and it’s METAL and it was FREE! And YOU cleaned it up for me! Which is awesome because I would’ve totally been too lazy to! Having this water bottle has no joke improved the quality of my life. I love it so fucking much and it’s so fucking awesome!

I felt like this was kind of a big deal on its own, but I had an even bigger revelation when I witnessed Ben’s response.

The Sudden Realization

Ben was elated (and a little shocked, in a good way) by my sudden outburst of appreciation. As he explained to me why he chose the water bottle, how it was only going to waste in the backyard, how he thought the phrase on it suited me, and so on, I was able to see the effect my gratitude had on him.

When I decided to share with him how grateful I was, I did it purely on an impulse. One thing I hadn’t anticipated was how it would make him feel when I expressed my gratitude.

He was overwhelmed with appreciation because I was so grateful for this thing he gave me.

I had been so busy trying to find things in my own life to be grateful for I had never even thought about the effect expressing my gratitude might have on others.

Then it occurred to me. I finally understood gratitude.

The truth about gratitude

Gratitude isn’t just about what you are grateful for. Gratitude is EVEN MORESO about expressing appreciation to others so that they can FEEL APPRECIATED.

Gratitude can’t be forced, which is why it’s important to take note of the things you’re grateful for when you’re already in a state of appreciation for them.

Other people seeing you in a state of gratitude inspires them, just as observing others in a state of gratitude can inspire you.

Quote from Adrienne Orpheus

“Count Your Blessings” image is from Kyle Gray’s Angel Prayers Oracle Cards
“Listen” image is from Daily Guidance from Your Angels Oracle Cards

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A runyon canyon miracle

November 13, 2014

Things over the past year have been really rough for me, as I have been adjusting poorly to living in the US again. After living for four years in what I consider to be paradise (London), adjusting to living in Hell (Boston) has been, shall we say, difficult. I’ve screamed (literally), I’ve cried (until I ran out of tears), I’ve been too busy at the bottom of my despair hole to update this blog (hi, I’m not dead). I’ve tried to accept living in Boston for the foreseeable future but there’s just something in me that screams “I don’t belong here and I need to leave ASAP”. There’s no opportunities, no fun, no culture, no good music scene, no sense of community anywhere, the absolute worst weather imaginable (yes, significantly worse than London), and everybody is rude as fuck. I realize how whiny this sounds, but if you spent over 4 years building a life in a place you love more than anywhere else in this dimension only to be forced back to your old miserable life for no good reason, you’d probably feel shitty about it too.

Since the UK government has deemed me unworthy of living in their country, my search for a new place to live has begun. I’ve narrowed down my list of potential places to live to the following locations: Portland, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Right now I’m visiting LA to see if I’d feel comfortable living here, and also to go to the Supernatural convention in Burbank.

Now, let me backtrack for a minute. I don’t talk about spirituality or manifestations on my blog that much because it is my belief is that nobody cares. However, I do keep a synchronicity journal in Evernote to keep me motivated, or to keep me alive when I feel like leaving the planet. During my last recording session for my upcoming EP “Ice Queen”, one of the synchronicities I mentioned in my journal was that I manifested a dollar bill apparently out of thin air. I came out of the studio after a day of recording vocals, opened my car door, and there it was propped in between the brake pedal and the seat, a pristine dollar bill that was definitely NOT there before I got in the car earlier that day.

I didn’t think too much of it then because hey, maybe it was there the whole time and I just didn’t notice it. That seems pretty much impossible due to my penchant for scraping up any loose change that happens to fall anywhere in the car, and my tendency to keep my wallet as zipped tight as possible, but maybe, just maybe I was making it up.

seen in Runyon canyon

So anyways. I’m in Los Angeles now, against the advice of uh everyone back home, and despite the fact that work is absolutely livid at me for leaving them to do their own excel spreadsheets for a whole week. So far, the city isn’t wowing me as much as London did, but I have very little hopes of regaining the happiness I had in London. The first time I went to London, I went purely because I wanted to take a semester abroad, I knew virtually nothing about Britain and I was not an anglophile by any means. But from the time I landed on the ground there, I knew instantly I wanted to stay forever. I haven’t got that feeling from any other city (including LA) so I was still feeling kind of lost about where to move.

The place I’m staying is on North Fuller Ave right near Runyon Canyon, and my host mentioned that there was donation yoga in the park there every day. I LOVE yoga classes and I jumped at the chance to go. I planned my entire morning around going to do yoga in the park. I didn’t bring a mat with me on this trip because I was paranoid about my bag being overweight, but I decided to go anyway because I thought maybe the teacher would have an extra mat for me to use.

So this morning I woke up early, did a meditation, and then put on my workout clothes to go do yoga.

Before leaving for yoga, I took a ten dollar bill out of my wallet to donate to the teacher and put it in my hoodie pocket, choosing to leave my wallet at the apartment. The suggested donation was $5, but I only had 3 singles, 2 $20 bills, and a $10 bill. No 5 dollar bills, so I figured I’d just suck it up and give her the ten and let the extra five be a special thanks for letting me borrow a mat.

I went to the park, but, alas… the teacher didn’t have any spare mats. So I decided to go for a hike instead. Normally, hiking is really not my thing, but I figured I was there and god damn it I was going to do SOMETHING. To my surprise, the hike was glorious. If I move to LA, I’d love to live as close Runyon Canyon as possible so I can hike every day or do yoga every day. The views were spectacular, and it was certainly better than any hike I’d been on in Massachusetts. Additionally, I saw a really cool synchronicity in the form of a sticker that said “triple b” – one of my boyfriend’s nicknames.

Anyways, I went hiking for over an hour, just walking and reflecting on what to do about my life and thinking about things. Eventually I went back to the apartment I’m staying in, figuring I should get showered so I could go explore the rest of the city some more.

When I got back to the apartment, I reached into my hoodie pocket to retrieve the $10 bill I had got for yoga, to put it back in my wallet. When I pulled it out, to my utter shock, it was a $20 bill.

“How?” I thought. I was sure I had grabbed a ten, but I thought maybe I had accidentally grabbed one of the 20s by mistake. I grabbed my wallet and flipped through the money that was still in there to see if the ten was in there. But no, the rest of the money was still the same: three singles and two $20 bills. During my hike, the 10 had become a 20.

Now, I know this sounds completely insane. Laugh if you want. But there’s absolutely no way that I put a $20 bill in my pocket this morning. I deliberately flipped through the bills and I KNOW I chose a ten. I distinctly remember looking at two $20s, 3 singles, and the ten with it’s slightly different colors and picture of Alexander Hamilton’s face. I remember thinking $10 seemed like a lot for a donation but choosing it anyway. I remember receiving the ten from doing angel card readings over the weekend. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but it became a $20 bill when I went to put it back.

Maybe it was my willingness to give away $10 that manifested $10, I don’t really know. But if miracles can happen to me even at my lowest, they could happen for anyone else too, including you.

As for my moving situation, I still have to see Burbank, and I’m waiting for LA to prove itself to me… but in all honesty I’ll probably just end up wherever I end up.

Love and light–


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