In simple terms, an effect is an event or experience that happens because of a cause.
If you follow this logic, whenever you want to experience a different effect, you change the cause.
The law of cause and effect is also a spiritual principle, especially when you apply it to how you want to live your life.
For example, say you’ve spent the whole day on the couch watching Netflix and now feel sluggish. If you don’t want to feel sluggish, then change the cause and do something else.
Recently, I was having a coaching session with a client who was stressed with her finances. She sighed in exasperation and said, “I’m horrible with money.”
I share with many of my clients and students that whenever you use the words “I am,” be mindful of the words that follow.
“I AM” sets up a statement of what you are declaring into the Universal Law. An “I am” statement is a seed you are planting in the garden of your life.
When my client stated, “I’m horrible with money,” she planted that particular thought-seed into the Universal soil.
Let me be clear that I’m not denying that she was experiencing financial struggle. What I’m pointing out is that her “I AM horrible with money” is a thought-seed that, if nurtured and fed regularly, inevitably leads to more experiences of financial struggle.
The thought-seed of “I AM horrible with money” is the cause, and financial struggle is the effect.
If she wants to change the effect of feeling financial struggle, then what needs to change is the cause. Un-plant the thought-seed.
Here is where gratitude comes in.
When people think about being grateful, people usually consider the emotion to be an effect or a reaction to something or someone.
- I’m grateful because she was kind to me.
- I’m grateful because he gave me a beautiful gift.
- I’m grateful for the pay raise at my job.
What many don’t realize is that gratitude doesn’t only have to be a reactionary emotion.
Eric Butterworth, in his book Spiritual Economics, calls the practice of giving thanks a “causative energy.”
When you think about how you express energy in life, is your energy causative, or is it reactive?
With my client who was experiencing financial struggle, I felt her energy as reactive. I gently and lovingly nudged her.
“Let’s take a step back,” I said. “Let’s talk about what you’re grateful for. What are you grateful for in your life?”
She sat in silence for a few moments, and then she began to share. She was grateful for her home, her family, her friends, her animal companions, her health, and the list went on for a couple minutes.
I then asked her to share what she was grateful for when it came to money. At first, she said, “I don’t know if there’s anything grateful there.” But after a few moments, she shared that she was grateful that she did have money to pay for her home and for food to eat. She felt grateful that she had paying work. She was grateful that she had some retirement money stashed away.
After spending a few moments in this place of gratitude, she shared that she felt much better, about herself and about her money situation.
She said, “I’m getting some ideas about what I need to change. I need to take charge of what I do with my money.”
In that moment, her energy shifted from reactive to causative.
You see, gratitude is a causative energy because it reminds you of what you already have in life. There’s no need to look for anything outside of you to make you happy. Whatever you are looking for is already right there with you and in you!
Gratitude is a causative energy that affirms you are in the driver’s seat of your life. Right where you are, you are already provided for.
Sometimes it’s not easy to see, and that’s where it’s helpful to have a friend or someone close to you (including me as your coach) provide a set of eyes to help you see the blessings in your life.
When you begin to see your life as full of blessings, your heart opens even wider, to the point where you want to share your joy and love with others.
Gratitude doesn’t ask, “What can I get?” Rather, gratitude asks, “From this place of fullness, what can I give?”
In the spirit of gratitude, here’s your coaching assignment for this week:
- Let’s get into the spirit of giving thanks this week and express gratitude.
- Find one person in your life, and share with them your gratitude for their being in your life.
- Repeat every day for the next 7 days, with someone new each time.
When you share your gratitude with others, you set a new cause into motion. You add to the energy of love and goodness into this planet. And know that whatever you give from your heart comes back multiplied in form.
Have a happy thanksgiving. Know that I am grateful for you.
I’d love to hear what you are grateful for. Share in the comments below. Let’s spread the love of gratitude as a causative energy this day!
The idea of gratitude as a "causative energy" is one of my core spiritual lessons in creating a life that you love. On that note, I’m putting together an online class called “Vision Your Best 2016.” If you’re interested in getting notified when this program is available, fill out the form here. You’ll also get notified of the early bird special.