I highly recommend the practice of radical gratitude, or being supremely thankful for absolutely everything in our lives, big and small, pleasant and unpleasant. The only problem with it is, it tends to have a steep learning curve. No matter how many times you hear that “the more thankful you are, the more you will have to be thankful for”, it’s difficult to go beyond words and produce a feeling of gratitude when you are deeply dissatisfied with the current state of your life.
And so I’m suggesting something easier: a radical trust list. Instead of a list of all the things in your life you’re thankful for, it’s a list of all the things that could have gone wrong, but didn’t. Why should this be any easier than a radical gratitude list? Allow me to back up for a moment and explain.
One of the persistent misconceptions about conscious creation, or the “law of attraction”, is that every thought that flits through our mind will bring about a corresponding external manifestation in our lives. Some teachers realise from experience that this is an error, and so they teach that every thought experienced with feeling will bring about a corresponding manifestation in our lives. This too is an error. These are often the same teachers who contradict themselves by telling you that you can’t manifest a particular outcome without getting into a high vibrational state first, or without following a particular precise visualisation ritual. Why do we need to follow these precise instructions if every thought manifests a physical outcome anyway?
No, we only manifest things that we deeply, subconsciously believe in. That’s why most people can’t manifest a billion dollars on their kitchen table regardless of how vividly they imagine it, and why, mercifully, that one fleeting image of horrible tragedy that floats into your mind in a moment of undisciplined thinking is equally unlikely to produce a corresponding physical result.
Deliberately produced feeling can be a spectacularly powerful way of inducing the required belief to bring about a physical manifestation, for sure, but it is the belief that does the work, not the feeling. Visualisation also helps to deeply ingrain the belief as well as fine tuning the precise details of exactly what we are expecting to produce.
Some people may object to this principle by pointing out that we do not always get what we expect. Indeed, the very word “unexpected” would be completely redundant if exactly what we expected came true all the time. The reason why our expectations and our experience suffer from discrepancies is because our subconscious beliefs do not always gel perfectly with what we consciously expect from moment to moment. For example, I may bump into a long lost childhood friend at the grocer’s tomorrow. That would be an entirely unexpected and surprising encounter. However, my deeply rooted belief is that such encounters are possible and in fact are likely to happen from time to time. Hence, my true expectation would be fulfilled, even though the specific encounter was unexpected. No doubt I will write more on this topic in the future, but for the moment I highly recommend The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol, which is basically the bible of this particular topic. It is easy to come across online, and not challenging to read.
Although I struggled greatly with negative thinking and expectations throughout much of my life, producing many unpleasant results along the way; one of my very deeply held subconscious beliefs was always that no genuine disasters would ever come my way. Things might not always be the way that I wanted them, but basically everything would work out OK in the end. This pattern has held true from the most trivial matters to the most grave. At the most trivial end, in my mid-teens I saved up all my allowance for months to buy a second-hand computer with a 66 megahertz processor and 16 megabytes of RAM. When I went to pick it up, I was given a free upgrade to 24 megabytes of RAM. The machine served me well and was capable of undertaking all my silly high school projects, but I recall thinking some months after buying it that a 16 megabyte machine would have been next to useless for my purposes. Spending all my savings on a useless computer and having no way to undertake all my silly projects would have been a subjective disaster indeed, to my fifteen year old self. And thus it didn’t happen.
At the gravest end, I’ve missed being run over by a car by a matter of split-seconds. I’ve missed colliding with a deer on the highway by the same margin. I’ve reversed into a BMW and left it miraculously undamaged.
When I review the potential disasters of my life and note the eventual outcomes, I see that this belief has come true 100% of the time, with no exceptions. Only once did it ever seem to fail me - and that was in my mid-30s when my fiancee split with me. A year or two later I realised that the real disaster would have been if we had gone through with the marriage. The law came faithfully true, just as always.
In my experience, most people hold this belief. It’s the remnants of a deep faith; the fragments of the knowledge of our true nature, which reasserts itself as a little voice of confidence in times of crisis. A subconscious whisper of “don’t worry, it probably won’t happen.”
Even perennial worriers can hold this belief, and that explains why usually even the most anxious people never manifest the things they are afraid of. They may cause themselves unnecessary stress, but they will not bring these things to pass unless they truly, deeply expect them to happen. Worries alone do not produce the negative energy required to bring these fears about, any more than imagining counting out vast wads of cash will make you rich. What causes them to come about is the deep subconscious expectation of their fulfillment. Most people lack the expectation of miraculous gifts coming to them, but fortunately most people also lack the belief in major disasters.
Hence if a radical gratitude list is not yet within your grasp, or even if it is, consider making a radical trust list full of all the potential disasters that never came to pass. Keep adding to it as more and more disasters get miraculously averted. Reflect upon it frequently, and day by day your trust in divine protection will increase. If, like me, you find that disasters simply don’t happen to you, then very soon you’ll be able to laugh in the face of all threatened danger. As your trust in divine providence grows, you’ll find your confidence expanding beyond the bounds of disaster-avoidance and into more proactively positive areas.
And you may just realise how much you have to be thankful for, too.