When a Butterfly Flaps its Wings, Give Thanks

give thanks

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday. It was a real challenge. Everyone tells me its just a number but I believe it is a significant milestone to reach in one’s life. Whilst being flooded with love and attention from family, friends and work colleagues, I took a few minutes out to visit my local animal shelter with food and toys to share my good fortune. I have been quietly giving thanks in this way for the past year.  Very few people know that I do this, although by publishing this article I am probably about to change that. I am not looking for praise or credit for being “good”, I just want to share with you a simple little thing you can do to make a difference in your own life.

The Interconnectedness Of All Things

In early 2008 both my husband and I had a strong desire to change jobs. We were both ready for a change of career. This desire became a very strong intention for both of us.  Before long we both got the new jobs we desired and started them on the same day.

These changes simply couldn’t be dismissed as coincidences. I realized that by identifying this desire for change and focusing on it we were essentially asking the universe to help make it happen.

Giving Thanks

We got what we needed and asked for. What could we do but say thank you? Here’s the problem though, how do you say thank you to God or the divine or the universal consciousness? The only way we could think to do it was by helping someone else so that the positive energy that helped us could flow on.  We chose to make a donation to our local animal shelter which is the charity that is closest to our hearts.  Others will benefit from your good fortune if you say a simple thank you. Just choose a method that is meaningful for you.

“Celebrate a substantial raise by cheerfully taking the garbage out for a week. Or show you appreciate getting a new client by walking the dog of the old lady next door.”  – Veronique Vienne, The Art of Imperfection: Simple Ways to Make Peace with Yourself

The experience of giving thanks helps us practice mindfulness and remember how we received help when we needed it. It would have been easy to get caught up in excitement and business and forget how these new opportunities came to be. Instead we paused and gave thanks and continue to do so every time our desires come true, (or I turn 40!).

How do you give thanks?

Photo byChalliyan

11 thoughts on “When a Butterfly Flaps its Wings, Give Thanks”

  1. Happy (belated) birthday, Jodie!
    I’m beginning to realize how important it is to remain in a state of gratitude and show it through your actions; your post is a good reminder of that. I struggle with this myself, but if we all even tried to show gratitude in our actions I can’t begin to imagine how much better the world would be.
    Thank you so much for writing and here’s to another wonderful year!

  2. Wow. This is exactly the kind of post I was criticising and appreciating in my latest post.

    By the way, if you feel like you had a complete and joyful “30s”, then don’t fear you 40s. They’re going to be as great as possible :)


  3. Excellent post! I try to do the best I can to give thanks and to remember to be thankful for all that I have in life. This post is another great reminder of something I have to be thankful for: great blogs like this one! :)

  4. Gratitude is so very important, in fact it is the stuff of the universe. While I’m not big on “the secret” or the “manifesting” movement I am a BIG believer in telling God Thank You in your everyday actions and words. I’ve seen some amazing things happen as a result of saying thanks and I’ve seen some amazing (negative) things happen when opportunities have literally dropped out of the sky and been taken without gratitude. In the end “it is our attitude that determines our altitude” and although that sounds cliche it is an ultimate and universal truth.

    My only issue with this particular article is this statement,”Instead we paused and gave thanks and continue to do so every time our desires come true.” What about giving thanks when your desires aren’t manifest? You assume that you know your ultimate and highest good. Sometimes a “NO” is to your betterment and benefit and in almost every case it should be embraced with the same joy and gratitude as a “YES.”

    The casting of the universe as some sugar daddy that exists only to fulfill our whims is an infantile view. A more mature and powerful view is to realize that God is fully present with a plan and a purpose for your existence and it is God’s true pleasure to give you that which is both good and mutually pleasing to you both. At least that’s my take on it. I’ve seen some amazing things manifest this way, true miracles.

  5. I had written something about the need to feel good all the time to prevent the negative karmic returns of apathy. Being in a state of gratitude is I guess even more powerful, because while you are thankful, you are feeling good at the same time.

    Thank you! :)

  6. Hi Jodie

    ooooh..it made me teary!! every time i see the paper with all the faces of the animals at the shelter i always get a sad feeling….so tis great to see you helping them with such warmth and love. Gratitude is such a POWERFUL emotion…one that somehow tunes us into the God energy within…thankyou for sharing this!

    love lianne

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