Gratitude, Reciprocity, and Tokens of Faith:
Priming the Mind, Body, and Spirit for Receiving Good Fortune
There is one thing that I do my best to do every night before I go to bed – take some time to give thanks. Even if it’s been a terrible day, I try to spend a few minutes thinking of things in my life that I am grateful for on that day. I try to review my day and find those moments of time, or small fleeting experiences that I may have had that brought me some enjoyment and made me feel good. I find that no matter how angry, or irritated, or sad that I am feeling, when I try and take a few moments to dwell on the good things in my life, as opposed to just mentally harping on the bad things, a shift in my internal spiritual and energetic atmosphere takes place…if only for the few minutes that I am giving thanks. My husband, my animal companions, and my lovely home are 3 things that end up on my list each night. Sometimes that’s all I can manage. But some nights I can give thanks almost endlessly for small things that brought me a little bit of joy during that day. That is the practice of Gratitude.
I have found that by training myself to focus, at least for a few minutes each night, on the things in my life which bring joy and comfort that it becomes easier and easier to find joy each subsequent day…and most importantly it becomes easier and easier to NOTICE when something brings me joy and positivity. It’s this noticing which becomes very powerful in changing our fortune. The Buddhists call it ‘awareness’ and speak of the process of practicing awareness, ‘mindfulness’. Practicing mindfulness helps to cultivate within yourself the ability to really experience things fully while you are in the moment with them, rather than blindly reacting to something without any real recognition of its presence and effect on your present experience, or without drifting off into reveries of past experiences, or fanciful dreams of the future. This allows a person to really experience their life as it is which has a lot of wide-reaching benefits for general mental and spiritual wellness.
Awareness is a real skill and blessing to have in one’s life – and it’s especially useful for changing your luck, or at least becoming more attuned to its flow through our lives. If you really stop to think about it, how often are you REALLY aware during the day - totally and 100% present in the moment with your life? Then think about how much of your day is spent thinking about stuff that happened in the past, or fantasizing or worrying about things that might possibly in the future. Is there a bit of a discrepancy? How many things happened around you that you simply were not aware of because you were living in your head in that moment, rather than living in the moment?
Luck lives in the moment – and so you should try to dwell more often in that oft-fabled realm too if you want to catch some of it! Luck often manifests itself in our lives through coincidences, or synchronicities. These are often very small, seemingly random happenstances that we often almost miss. Take that $20 bill that you found on the ground for example. What luck! How many other people walked past it before you did? Why were YOU the one that noticed it? Was it because you happened to be more aware of your surroundings and were more positioned in the moment than them? Very likely! Now what more good fortune could you discover for yourself if you actively practiced being more aware and specifically practicing being on the lookout for good things in our day to day lives? Ruminate on that and allow it to percolate inside your lucky skull.
So let’s assume that you’ve established a nightly practice of reviewing each day looking for good fortune, and being thankful for that. As a result you’ve started noticing more and more good things that happen to you during a day when they happen. What is the next step? Reinforcing and strengthening that new skill, and helping to open up other people to the experience of good luck! It’s the skill of “pay it forward”, or Reciprocity.
Luck is rather liquid – its natural state is to flow easily and freely. However it can become blocked and polluted, which makes it harder for it get to people. As someone who has managed to receive some of the refreshing waters of good fortune, it only makes sense to keep the river running through it by helping it travel onwards and bring positivity to more and more people. This practice of Reciprocity helps keep your lucky pipes clean!
If something particularly wonderful happens to you, make something nice happen for someone else – and especially someone in real need of it. I like to make a practice of providing some cash, or some lunch, to the first homeless person that I see after I experience some good luck. Giving a donation to a charity of your choice, or a charity related to the kind of good fortune that you experience is also a great option. This does several things that are beneficial:
1) It provides some aid and at least a small portion of luck to someone who could really use the helping hand. And we’ve all been in need of help before!
2) It creates a larger positive experience around the luck-kernel that you’ve sewn through your awareness, which helps to reinforce the mental efforts that you are taking to notice fortunate events, making it even EASIER to notice next time!
3) If you buy into the whole energetic resonance thing, it helps amplify the “good-luck vibrations” in your personal sphere, and thereby make you all the more attractive to the free floating “good-luck vibrations”, good luck imps, etc, et al, and invites more luck into your life. The Universe seems to know when good luck is hoarded and squandered, and when it is truly appreciated! So get on it’s Good Kids list so you’ll be positioned well for more good fortune in the future.
With all this Gratitude and Reciprocity happening in your life, you’re probably already a Good Luck Saint, and have all your ducks in a row effortlessly practicing perfect awareness 24/7 and basking in your perpetual good fortune. Right? Wrong. We’re all human. We need a little extra help to keep us on the right track. And that’s where Tokens of Faith come in, more commonly referred to as Lucky Charms! These tokens help to remind us to wake up and notice – to be on the lookout for the positive and the joyful. They help us to EXPECT it.
Expectation is a very powerful thing. If you wake up each morning just knowing that everything is going to be horrible, then you will have pre-programmed your mind to seek out any events that fulfill this expectation of yours. We’ve all had days like that. When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, even the good things that happen to you get minimized and rationalized and framed negatively to help fit your expectations. Sadly, it often seems a lot easier to have our negative expectations filled than our positive ones. It seems to be a common human skill to be able to find the worst in everything. We often need a lot of help turning our expectations around to begin to seek out the positive! Gratitude and Reciprocity can really help start to turn things around, and Tokens of Faith can often act as the catalyst for expedient changes in our overall expectations.
There’s something unbelievably comforting in carrying an object that you truly feel will help change your circumstances for the better. It’s a pretty universal experience judging by the nearly uncountable forms of lucky charms and talismans of good fortune, that cultures the world over have produced and continue to produce. Shamans, rootdoctors, village witches, magicians, and other spiritual innovators have dedicated countless hours to determining which herbs, roots, and stones in the world around us can most effectively aid us in gaining more good fortune. Priests and priestesses from time immemorial have received instructions from On High for ways and words to pray to increase our luck and overall positive circumstances. So why not utilize some of that knowledge, and tap into that current of belief, and grab onto a Lucky Charm that calls out to you? When you have that curio in your pocket you will start to look out for its effects almost immediately! It helps to powerfully change your expectations - and that is a big key to becoming a walking luck-magnet.
Any one of the three practices of Gratitude, Reciprocity, and Tokens of Faith can be enough to shift one’s interactions with the world around them enough to start attracting more good luck into their experience. When combined they can prove to be a force to be reckoned with!
I hope that this information has entertained, and perhaps even inspired you somewhat.
May good luck follow you all the days of your life.
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