How I use gratitude to give all seeming problems the old one-two punch

“There are many words meaning thank you. Some you can only whisper. Some you can only sing.”—Mary Oliver

aaI was just invited to participate in a Gratitude Summit. As I told the organizers, the reason I answered “can’t wait” is because gratitude, as y’all know, is my wingman.

I use it like I use duct tape. Of all the tools in my kit (and believe me, when you have a thinking cap like mine, you need lots of tools), it’s the one I most often pull out. It’s a multi-purpose utensil whether I’m trying to heal a relationship, fix a physical boo-boo or just feel happier.

I’ve discovered it’s especially useful when I notice I’m marching across the desert towards some mirage that looks an awful lot like a problem. Once I finally lasso my racing mind, the mind that’s squawking “eeks!” “oh no!” “death is surely imminent,” I give it the following one-two punch.

Step One: (again I can only do this when I finally recognize that I’m making it worse by fretting and awfulizing) is to actually realize that this is a gift waiting to be opened. To say thank you that this “problem” is just another rat finally come up from the cellar, one I probably need to look and call out as the poser it is. So thank you “alleged problem” for so clearly showing me I still have resistance. This is an incredible gift when you recognize its healing potential. I mean, who doesn’t want Orkin down there shooing away the vermin?

Step Two: Recognize that whatever this thing my mind is trying to scare me with is one of hundreds of thousands of superpositions in the field of infinite potentiality. This imposter (be it seeming illness, poverty, a disgruntled boss) is literally a tiny spot, barely worth noticing. That’s cause for celebration.

So I can either continue to turn it into a big hairy deal. Or I can say “Hallelujah! Thank ya, Jesus” that I am all-powerful spirit that has temporarily descended into a body and that, with this power, with my very command, I can send it into the native nothingness from which it came.

The Course, above all else, tells us that our salvation lies in teaching the exact opposite of every single thing the ego (or that chattering, blustery mind) believes.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

23 Responses

  1. It is truly amazing that everything, everything has “gold” in it. We are growing rich every time we search and find the gold

  2. Fabulous Pam. Great imagery and a very clear reminder that “it’s all good” even when it doesn’t appear that way. There’s always a blessing in there somewhere, we just have to look for it and we will find it. So if being grateful for whatever it is helps us see the blessing then I’ll prectise until I’m perfect at it (which I guess means I’ll be practising until my last breath!! Ha!) Thanks, as always, for your inspiring posts. I love them 😁💗

  3. Hello, Pam!

    I was wondering what you specifically meant by “resistance” when you said, “So thank you “alleged problem” for so clearly showing me I still have resistance.”

    Thank you,


  4. True story: I’ve been coaxing my daughter to read your book Thank and Grow Rich for several months now. She doesn’t enjoy reading (is she even mine?!?) so she put it off until about 3 weeks ago.
    Labor Day weekend, her basement apartment (and everything inside) was demolished by the floods (Manhattan, KS). Cleaning up the gunk, I found your book (also destroyed) laying in the mud and sewer water. She burst into tears and said, “I was really loving that book.” Then she paused, surveying the destruction and said, “Maybe I can find a way to be thankful for this.” And she did ❤️

  5. Thank you Pam for the wonderful reminder! Just what i needed at this time in my life. As always you and your posts rock! Much love and namaste from India.

  6. Thank you for this always-needed reminder! I remember Corrie Ten Boom writing about her time in a German concentration camp, and she was expressing gratitude for the fleas in the barracks, as she had a practice of gratitude for everything. Her sister questioned her as to how she could possibly be grateful for fleas. At the time, she couldn’t give her an answer, but later realized that because there were fleas, it kept the guards out of the barracks more, leaving them to be able to do things they would not have been able to do otherwise. We just never know what may prove to be a blessing. But we do know that your writing is a blessing. Thank you.

  7. This is so helpful! Thank you and I can’t wait to see all of these insights published in your new book. Love & Peace.

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