At least, that's what I thought until I heard about the concept and got a book containing 180 stories of "miracles" that came after people expressed gratitude for problems ranging from finances to infertility. The book, Say Thank-you and See Miracles, is written by Rabbi Shalom Arush of Yerushalayim. The stories in it range from impressive to unbelievable, but they are first-hand accounts of what people experienced when they said thank-you for their problems.
Rabbi Arush instructs people to say thank-you for half an hour a day, and for emergencies to do it for six hours! He says to really connect to the gratitude using prayer, singing and even dancing! What a concept!
Impressed by so many positive accounts, I decided to give it a try. The next day, during a 20 minute walk to a friend for Shabbos lunch, I expressed thanks for a list of issues that even included things from my childhood. I did it again the next day as "pauses" in my day allowed for it. And again. And again.
After a week, I realized the phone was ringing more with clients, including some who had no longer been coming and referrals from people I had worked with years before! One person got my name from a vitamin company whose products are among the few I deal with as the only location to get that product in my area. I didn't sell it to him because he didn't need it yet, but after talking with me, he became a client!
Hmm. This thanking has got something! Plus, it was a perfect addition to Mindful Mitzvahs.
Amazingly, as always, Hashem sent the refuah before the makah. For "some reason" I had been inspired to leave an extra place in the Mindful Mitzvahs pamphlet. Perfect! People could write it in as part of their Mindful Mitzvahs program.
I did sense that, since people would be doing it as part of a total Mindful Mitzvahs effort--combining it with doing the Kavanah of Mitzvahs and focus on Hashem's name during davening and brachos (kind of like a spiritual "chemical reaction) --it might be "enough" to do it for 10 minutes a day and increase the amount of time if necessary.
Always being one to incorporate anything that can improve client results, I also started recommending that my clients say thank-you at least ten minutes a day for their problems--even non-Jewish ones (what could it hurt to acknowledge that there is a Borei Olam who has a plan for every aspect of our lives?)
One frum man, who did the Mindful Mitzvahs program as his part in our work on his family's issues, told me that a co-worker was so amazed by HIS transition in just a few weeks, that she asked for my number! She said he stood up straighter, spoke more positively, and smiled for the first time in the more than seven years she had known him! He himself reported vast improvements in his family situation, in addition to the problem he initially sought my help for, B"H!.
So, dear reader, my advice to you is simple--start saying, and making every effort to feel gratitude for what you don't want in your life. It acknowledges that Hashem is perfect and does everything for our highest good out of His love for us, so there must be an important reason that we have it happening. Saying thank-you acknowledges that and helps strengthen our "emunah" muscle, if you will.
Combine that with Mindful Mitzahs (Kavana before doing mitzvahs & focus on the meanings of Hashem's names during brachas--materials on the Mindful Mitzvahs Campaign materials page). Stir in a generous portion of teshuvah for NOT doing all this before (even if you didn't know about it), and Abra cadabra, your spiritual "chemical reaction"!
What have you got to lose? Your problems!