Heather Hans

I’d like you to think about something in your life that’s missing.  Something you really wish you had but don’t.  Just sit with that for a minute.  Now I’d like you to think of something in your life that you do have, for which you’re grateful.  Something that you’re really grateful for and sit with that for a moment.

Which one feels better?

BuddhaToday’s teaching is about gratitude.  Gratitude is possibly the single biggest door opener to love.  The Buddha said, “Let us all be grateful for if we didn’t learn a lot today at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick at least we didn’t die.  So, let us all be grateful.”  Oprah Winfrey, who enjoys unlimited abundance, said this, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.”  That is how you increase abundance, in your life, by seeing what you already have.

There are so many things that come into our lives that are blessings, that are abundance, that are gifts to us, and that we don’t even notice.  When was the last time you felt gratitude for your trash collector coming to pick up your trash every week, if ever?  We don’t think about these things, but someone is doing that job every single day, of picking up our trash.

You could look around the room right now wherever you are sitting.  Look around the room and you can see a million little sprinkles of abundance.  If you’re outside on your phone, just open your eyes to the outdoors.  That is love, God, blessings, life!

There are many ways that you can experience more gratitude in your life.  You can have a gratitude practice where you write in your journal 3 things you are thankful for every day.  You can think of your day at the end of the night and see what you missed, reflect back on it and see what you missed.  What were the little gifts that blew by you as you were speeding throughout your day?  You can wake up in the morning and start off with, “I am grateful for _____.”  You can write thank you notes, a simple one liner email note to someone, “I’m thankful that you did this for me.”  There are online gratitude communities that you can join where people come together and make posts and blogs about ways to experience more gratitude and what they’re grateful for.  Things you never would think of, like the trash collector.

I’m not saying it’s good, bad, right or wrong to experience gratitude or to have gratitude.  I’m not saying you should.  Should is not part of my vocabulary.  I want you to go back to that introduction and see which one felt better to you.  Do you want that good feeling, and do you want abundance?  If so, gratitude is probably the best way to do it.

Gratitude is your heart’s way of receiving love.  When you have a closed heart you don’t feel grateful for things in your life.  There’s no way for love to get in when you are not feeling grateful.  The sign is up, CLOSED.  I am closed.  When you open your heart and see all the blessings and let those blessings in you will feel more gratitude, because these blessings can now come into your life.

I invite you to take a look at not just the amazing obvious blessings in your life, like your loved ones and your good health.  I invite you to look at what little things are you grateful for that you wouldn’t normally think of, that don’t even cross your mind normally.  If you can pick out those tiny little specks throughout your day then the big things are going to seem huge and the more you will attract love and abundance into your life.


Heather Hans, LCSW, MSW, MBA, CPIC, is a Visionary, Healer & Teacher, and the author of The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with ConfidenceIt is Heather's firm belief that loving oneself is necessary to have fulfilling relationships and a successful life.