As announced in my last newsletter, I offered a live seminar
this past Saturday evening at the local East-West Bookstore.
The title of my talk was “Tapping into Gratitude.” It had
originally been scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving –
thus the subject – but store conflicts forced us to move it. No
problem, I thought – gratitude is an excellent subject any day. :)

Unfortunately, in the process of changing the dates, the store gave
me a 7-9pm timeslot … but apparently put 4-6pm on their calendar.
So when I showed up the other night, I was three hours late.

“How did I manifest this?” I wondered.

It also gave me an occasion to consider something I had recently
said to a client:

“If you aren’t happy about a certain situation, can you at least be

See, I always ask clients to write out a statement of what their
ideal life would look like, stating it in the present, and starting
with the words, “I am so happy and grateful now that…”

But there are times when happy isn’t quite so easy to muster.
I wasn’t happy that I wasn’t here for the folks who arrived at
4pm to hear me speak. I wasn’t happy that the store thought I
had been a no-show for an event they had publicized. And I
couldn’t even be happy that I now had a free evening – because
I didn’t. A day earlier I had spoken with a gentleman and told
him the event was at 7 – and that’s when he showed up. When
I was an actor, the rule was that show went on unless there were
fewer people in the audience than in the cast. Being a cast of one,
I was kinda stuck…

Rather than cursing the turn of events, and what might have
seemed like some pretty faulty manifesting on my part, I calmly
accepted that there is a divine perfection to things. As it turned
out, our one-on-one “seminar” yielded some very interesting
thoughts about gratitude. And for that, I was very grateful.
These thoughts then helped form the content of my teleclasses
earlier today, and what I’d like to discuss here.

It seems that many (most …?) of us have a fairly meager education
in being grateful… as in truly feeling gratitude.

Don’t get me wrong – most of us get thorough training in how
to outwardly express gratitude…

“Say ‘thank you’ to the nice man. Did you say ‘thank you?’
You ungrateful little kid! Say ‘thank you’ to the nice man, or
so help me I’ll teach you about gratitude!”

(For the record, that is not a line of dialogue that ever came
from my parents, but a composite of things I’ve experienced
first, second and third hand.)

Anyhow, we are taught to say “Thank you” whether we experience
a feeling of gratitude or not. So this expression becomes somewhat
detached from any authentic feeling – and for many it is rarely organic.

It is a “should.”

Gratitude is something we “should” feel. If we want to be an
acceptable member of society that is. Or if we want to secure a
place in Heaven, or whatever carrot may be dangled in front of us.
Either way, it is externally motivated, rather than internally so.

And that often triggers defiance. We may feel compelled to rebel
against “should” – even if it is something we want.

Imagine wandering across a barren desert, suffering under the
sweltering sun, and coming upon a drinking fountain with clear,
cool water…

Just as you are about to reach it, someone appears and says,
“My, you look thirsty! You should take a drink.”

“’Should” take a drink?!?” you think. “I’ll show you!” And with
a regretful look at the inviting water, you move on with a sense of

To be fair to those who “should” on us, they are simply passing
on what they learned was right. This is not meant to pass judgment
on anyone – we are all dong the best we can given our model of
the world. And God knows I’ve been guilty myself – you should
see me on Halloween, asking my kids at each house, “Did you
remember to say ‘thank you?’” Tap tap tap…

Even in the realm of self-help and Law of Attraction, gratitude
still becomes a “should.”

“To get ahead, you should adopt an ‘attitude of gratitude!’ If you
want to get what you want, you should feel gratitude. You should
write a list everyday of at least 250,000 things for which you should
feel grateful.”

So it become a “to do” item – one more obligation on the road
to manifesting the riches we desire. I’m not denying the value
of gratitude lists – they can be very powerful. But if they are
done as a “should” – a daily chore - gratitude may not be the
only feeling being cultivated by the act. Low vibrational feelings
of resentment may counteract the high vibrational feelings of gratitude.

So… what if we could let go of all this “should”…?

What if feeling grateful was an end in itself that we desired,
rather than a means to an end – either getting something, or
avoiding getting in trouble…?

What if you looked at feeling grateful as being full of a great

Forget the spelling – it makes sense! Truly feeling grateful –
out of genuine emotion rather than obligation – is one of the
best feelings you can experience. And feeling great is really
what we are after.

A: “I’m going to try to feel more grateful so I can manifest a BMW.”
B: “Why do you want a BMW?”
A: “Because I believe it will feel great to have it.”

What if you could allow yourself to be full of that great feeling
right now. Not because it will help manifest a BMW – as a means
to an end – but as an end in and of itself…?

Now, I’m not denying that being in a state of gratitude helps
manifest great things – it is one of the highest vibrations we can
express, and as such puts us in harmony with wonderful things
and magnetically draws them to us. But that is icing on the cake.
The feeling itself is a worthy reward all by itself, even without
any further material acquisition as a result of it.


But then you might say, “If I truly feel grateful, won’t I just
kick back and settle for what I’ve got?”

I don’t think so. I think when we truly are full of that great
feeling, we naturally want to do something with it – which
prompts us to be of service. The more we are grateful, the
greater our desire to give.

And, of course, when we give service in that way, darned if
we aren’t rewarded with more things for which to be grateful.
Oh well.

So go ahead and make a gratitude list – if only in your head –
considering all the things for which you can feel grateful…
your heart is beating… you have food to eat… you woke up
today… Not for what you can get by feeling grateful, or because
you should be grateful – but simply for the joy of the feeling.

Consider it not as an obligation, but rather an opportunity...
an opportunity to be full of a great feeling.

You should give it a try… you’ll thank me later. :)

Author's Bio: 

Brad likes to think of himself as an Evolution Catalyst. He is known internationally for his creative and often humorous use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). He was trained and certified at the respected Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana, CA, where he served on staff. Combining this background with training in energy psychology and various schools of thought in the area of personal growth and achievement, he coaches groups and individuals in achieving greater success, health and happiness in their lives.

Brad has worked with a diverse group of clients, from CEO's to professional and NCAA athletes, from award-winning actors to clients in programs for homeless men and women and people in recovrey from drugs. He has been a presenter at a number of events, including several International Energy Psychology Conferences and the Walk On Water (WOW) Fest in Los Angeles. He is also the co-author of the best-seller "Freedom at Your Fingertips," has partnered on teleseminars with Joe Vitale and Bob Doyle of “The Secret,” and has been heard internationally on a number of internet radio talk shows.

You can learn more about Brad Yates and EFT at