April 2024 Letter

It all starts with Gratitude.

Two years ago I took a financial manifestation course and the first thing they taught was to live with gratitude. And I thought, "WTF? I came to this course because we were financially struggling." 

I was a total mindset change for me to appreciate all the things I have in life, starting with the small things like a good meal cooked by my husband, or an enjoyable walk through our neighborhood, or the feel of the breeze on my skin. I was so much in the "doing" and "reaching my goals" mode that I didn't realize how much there was in the life I was already living!

And of course, "What we appreciate appreciates"(1). As my husband and I started appreciating what we had, more synchronicities or miracles started showing up in our life. I started keeping a journal of things I'm grateful for daily and the list just keeps getting longer.

In addition, "Where your attention goes, energy flows"(2). We started finding opportunities to grow our finances, our time together, our enjoyment of life.

Gratefulness puts us in a mindset which facilitates the state of flow (3). Together with increased focus, gratefulness brings about this state of complete immersion in an activity, the melting together of action and consciousness; the state of finding a balance between a skill and how challenging that task is. This is the state that high performing athletes and artists are in when they are at their best. Somehow they just know what to do or say and when. 

Gratitude counteracts the brain's natural negativity. Scientists have found that when our brains are not focused on a task, our brains use the extra capacity to activate it's "default mode network" or DMN. 

This DMN simulates the worst possible future outcomes that you could possibly encounter so you can find ways to avoid them. It also combs through all your past negative experiences so you can find ways to avoid having these experiences again... Imagine how exhausting that is to have to keep working through these catastrophic scenarios! Or at the very least you are constantly getting these reminders that life cannot be all that great.

The good news is, when you make it a habit to focus on positivity, the DMN starts to shut down. Like addiction that isn't being fed, it starts to become less active. Meditation also helps discipline your brain to ignore the DMN and the amygdala actually shrinks.

Gratitude is necessary to manifest your desires. In the Law of Attraction(4) Abraham-Hicks shares that it is important to increase your vibration. And gratitude is high up on the emotional ladder where you have less resistance to receiving what you desire. Gratitude takes you to that place of connection with the Source (or the Divine or the Universe) where you are allowing the Well-Being to flow to you and through you.

Open your eyes to the wonderful things you already have in life! Start a gratefulness journal. Or start a ritual in the evening to share with your family things you are grateful for that day.

Michelle Skalnik

Ma Vié Belle!

(1)   Marci Shimoff, Happy for No Reason(2)   Tony Robbins(3)   Mihály Csíkszentmihályi(4)   Abraham-Hicks