Dear Dr. Joe Dispenza,
I read your article about gratitude. The title implied that it should be a challenge, “The Gratitude Challenge.”
I was also recently given your book, which I will not read unless I have time to dissect it to discern how I can make use of it. I can at least tell you that the book is not being used as a doorstop and I do intend to reference it as I progress. Let’s both be grateful for that. Our hard work will not be wasted.
You posed a certain scenario in your blog. You wrote…
“Imagine you’re at work, it’s lunch time and you’re hungry but there’s a problem. In your rush to get out the door you forgot to grab your wallet. You have no food and no way of paying for anything. Luckily, you’re friends with a few of the people you work with and you decide to ask them if they could spring for lunch.
So far this is a pretty straightforward scenario. Chances are you’ve been in a situation like this or something fairly similar. What would you do next? Let’s say your coworker agrees and gives you money to buy some food. Would you express your gratitude by saying thank you?”
No… Dr. Dispenza, it is not a straight forward scenario and I can tell you in all of my years of life (38) I have never found myself in that situation and I forget my wallet all the time. I would not ask my friends to pay for me. I would go hungry and I would do so with a grumble of gratitude. In those moments I am grateful that I will not need to let someone else make it easier for me. I should have been more prepared and I am seldom ready to receive kindness I can not reciprocate with interest. When people step in because I have failed or been careless, the only feeling I have is guilt. I am grateful that my hunger reminds me of what I hate worse. Guilt is more painful that gluttony.
Your blog continues…
“Here’s where things get interesting. What if you told this person “thank you” before he or she answered your question? Does this strike you as odd, maybe even wrong? We’re conditioned from an early age to naturally express our gratitude after an event. This is a useful model in for our day-to-day interactions but limited when it comes to creating real and lasting change in our own lives.
You’ve probably heard of the word “hack.” What started as computer lingo has come to describe an alternative way of accessing information or a system. This is useful because that’s exactly how I want you to think of emotions like gratitude and appreciation. When you open yourself to these feelings you raise the level of energy in your body and expose yourself to new possibilities.”
This section has me giggling good sir, because we’ve already established that my heart could not possibly be silently whispering gratitude’s of “please feed me thank you” to my more prepared competition. My co-workers are technically that, right? One of them could take my job if I am not prepared. Forgetting my wallet is a reminder of that. I am again grateful. I am grateful to be replaceable employee.
You tell us that if we keep ourselves open to gratitude that abundant energy will be our reward and also new possibilities. What possibility will I be allowed? Can I be president of the United States? Can I build a multi-million dollar company? If I thank you before hand will you please allow me at least one of those two things? I did not remember my wallet, but I do regularly feel some sort of hunger. If I thank you in advance will you help me feed the hungry. I have abundant energy and a smile like sunshine. Ask anyone. They will tell you it’s true. I’d be grateful if I could change the world and I do me change and not help.
I keep reading, with more gratitude (thank you).
“We know the limbic brain is the emotional seat of the body. The autonomic nervous system which runs your subconscious processes is also housed in this part of the brain. Over time you’ve developed a familiar set of habits that lead you to the same experiences which produce the same chemicals which create the same emotions. You’re in a constant loop of accessing your system in the same way.
What happens when you feel gratitude, when you get what you want? You’re likely happier and more receptive to the world. At this moment the elevated emotion you’re feeling has pulled you from your predictable routine. Now, if we can feel this way after the fact there’s no reason it can’t happen beforehand.
Dear Dr. our human psyche is much like a greenhouse is it not? Imagine the system you just described. You write that our subconscious brain is housed, much like a greenhouse. The conditions will always bring rain because the conditions will always be the conditions unless something changes the formula. What are the variables of the formula? You mean to tell me I can condition an entire new life based on the elation I will gain by open gratitude and yet I beg to differ that the experience is not always a good one.
You imply that gratitude makes people feel HAPPY. For some of us it makes us feel worse, for how much more we would give if we had more to give. Emotions are not predictable therefore your hope for people is just that, it is hope. Today I am grateful to live in a world full of hope. I am thanking you again. May I thank you in advance for more hope to gain more than what I already know? Let me keep reading.
“How do we tap into this energy and use it to create change? First, start with a clear intention. What is it that you want to see happen? Maybe you’d like to get a new job that pays better and gives you more control over your time. Create that inner world, fill it with rich detail. You’ll want to be specific about what you want because this helps create the necessary elevated emotion. If you review the specific features of your creation enough times, your mind should instinctively create a symbol to represent your desire. That image will then be the cue for you to focus on and you’ll know what it means
Next, ask yourself how you would feel if you got what you wanted. Referring back to our example, how would you feel if you got that new job? The easy answers here are likely happy or excited but you’ll need to dig a bit deeper to find the sponsoring emotion. A good way to think of this concept is by switching the question around to ask why you are looking for a new job in the first place. The answers here could be anything from respect to financial security. This is the feeling you want to focus on and manifest in your brain and body. The combination of creating a clear intention and harnessing a sponsoring emotion results in a new state of being.”
First let me start with my clear intention:
1) I am going to be a photographer.
2) If that business fails I am going to become a writer.
3) If I can’t sell any books I am going to become a lawyer.
4) If I can’t afford law school I am going to attend Harvard by invitation and when that day comes I will be grateful.
Next you advised me to fill those things in with “RICH DETAIL”.
1) I am going to be a photographer. How much value do I place on my choice and how do photographer’s make money? What kind of photography would allow me the most success for career advancement. If I can’t get hired as a photographer could I open my own business. How do I open a business? What if that business fails?
2) If I take the time to address my first clear intention with the amount of detail you described as RICH I will accomplish many things at once. I will become a photographer with the value of number one choice and I will be equipped with the knowledge to utilize and tap into every available avenue of revenue provided by my industry and then what of an industrious spirit? I should of course be grateful for that . I am thankful to be both industrious and efficient. I am quickly noticing that my success is yielding residual income. If I write most lavishly my identity of PHOTOGRAPHER and I do so with such flourish as to drag the content into a solid grounding, I should have enough written to publish my first book. I will also have a very detailed business plan, which should also include SELLING, because if people will purchase my photography they will most certainly buy my book.
3) Here we are at law school and of course I will have enough by now to pay for law school except I’d prefer to give the money I would have spent to someone who truly needs the education and a degree to allow them a concrete form of success. Maybe I will use my own money to send my protegé to learn for me. My daughter? Yes, of course, but she is not enough. I need more than two people to run a successful company. I should find an intern that is smart enough for Harvard. I should find one for each generation. Maybe I will write a book that sells so many copies that I can send an army of young minds in my place to infiltrate the greatest minds with questions so they can come back and report and I can become smarter more efficiently. I will be writing books, but what about the multi-million dollar company you promised me in the beginning because you promised if I am both grateful and clear, it can be possible. Thank you for showing me the possibility I had at first questioned. Thank you. I am grateful. I am grateful that your vision will allow my vision.
Finally, I am at the articles challenge and command for action. Thank you Dr. for taking the time to write your book.
“Once you create a new state of being the next step is to mentally rehearse the choices you will make, what things you will do, what experiences await you and how you will feel. If clear intention focuses on the “what” then this step focuses on the “how” you will go about creating the change necessary to get that new job.
Soon, your body and mind will respond as if the event or experience has already happened. You’ll be flooded with the same chemicals that are normally released when you feel grateful only this time you’re drawing the possibility to you. You know you are doing it properly when ‘you feel like the event has already happened’—that’s gratitude! Don’t try and control the outcome, if you do this then you’ll be drawn back into your old habits. You will get that new job but the how and when are yet to be determined.
I want to challenge you. Now that you understand the concept it’s time to put it to work. Start with something small. Keep in mind this is a new way of experiencing the world so it will take time. Focus on maybe being grateful for getting a compliment you haven’t yet received or a sunny day that hasn’t happened yet. Use the outline I provided and see where it takes you. Be sure to keep me updated on your progress!
Dear Dr. Joe Dispenza,
I do not want to start with something small because I know what small is and I can visit it when I feel overwhelmed. Small is a day that matters and I make mine count toward the bigger picture of success and I know I will not fail. I have PLENTY of time. I gave myself ten years three years back to be in the reality of possible. Can you see me sitting at your same table or do I belong somewhere else? I am not a Dr. or even a graduate. I would feel ill equipped save for what I master or live by trying. Is your message that I be grateful for the challenge of failure to have what I want when I want it because wouldn’t it be nice if I had 65,000 likes on facebook. Or…
I will let you know how it goes Dr.
My best with blessing and smiles,
The Life You Live Is a Choice
A Smile Like Yours Photography
Your Body Is Your Business