In a previous post I wrote about acceptance and its power to unlock stuck situations. Because of this quality I described it as the WD-40 of the evolutionary toolbox, a spray-on lubricant to remove emotional rust and get things moving again. Sometimes even WD-40 doesn’t work. You spray and spray and spray until the stuff drips off your elbow, and still whatever is stuck is stuck. That can happen when we try to evolve emotionally too. What do you do then? Put acceptance back in the toolbox and get out gratitude.

Steroids

Gratitude is acceptance on steroids.

Think of a professional mechanic’s toolbox compared to the DIY one-size-fits-none rinky-dinky little kit you can buy at supermarkets (yes, supermarkets!) for next to nothing. They cost next to nothing because they achieve next to nothing.

Gratitude is a power tool. Like any power tool, you can’t use it with a flat battery.

You have to bring enough of yourself to the job to get gratitude to work. Preferably, bring all of yourself. The more intensity you can summon, the more intent and energy you can squeeze into your gratitude, the more powerful it becomes. So how does it work?

You’ve got a situation. Let’s face it, if you didn’t have a situation you wouldn’t be reading this, you would be doing absolutely anything other than reading this. But ongoing personal development is nothing other than a constant bombardment of situations, coming at you faster and faster. You end up doing nothing but reading blogs like this, looking for crucial tips. Here’s one: gratitude is a monster.

Teachers

So, sit with your situation. You don’t have to be physically sitting. Just bring it into your awareness. Already you may feel yourself getting triggered. By that I mean you can feel stress, anxiety, rage or any other negative emotion. If this is you, practice a little conscious breathing first, just to lower the emotional revs and get to a place where you can effect change.

Once you’ve got your situation in your awareness and you’re fairly calm, exude gratitude. Simply imagine gratitude welling up inside your heart and overflowing outwards.

Send it to all the people involved in the situation—they are all your teachers, whether they know it or not. Think about it—without whatever foul deed those who bother you have done, this issue would not have risen to the surface of your life for clearing. Once you clear it, you’ll never have to deal with it again. What is the appropriate response? Gratitude, of course.

If you’re religious, give gratitude to God. Or simply be grateful. Your gratitude doesn’t need a destination. It the midst of chaos and crisis, can you be GRATEFUL for chaos and crisis?

Can you be deeply grateful for where you are right now, no matter how much it sucks, no matter how much it hurts?

Can you be deeply grateful for where you are right now, no matter how much it sucks, no matter how much it hurts? If you can, that sucker will shift in no time because it has nothing left to teach you.

Image: Penetrating the veil by Sara Biljana Gaon on Flickr