Nature abhors a vacuum.

According to the laws of nature and physics, empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural. Wherever there is a void, the universe seeks to fill it.

Turns out Aristotle was primarily right when he said  “Nature abhors a vacuum”.

This expression popped into my head as I wrapped up my cardio session at the gym earlier — and was included in my E is for endorphins post on facebook.

There are two times of day when seemingly random things just “pop into my head”. The first is immediately after waking up (sometimes those thoughts are great — and sometimes, ummmm, yeah!).

And the second most often time this happens, is while I’m at the gym — usually doing cardio (that’s my “meditation time”, which I’ve mentioned in posts like this one).

Although my post to Facebook earlier was intended to be light and fun, I’ve been chewing on it ever since. I know I’ve heard this “nature abhors a vacuum” expression before, but I wasn’t sure where it came from, so I looked it up — and that’s how this post got started.

At least that’s how I initially thought it got started. But then I looked back at something else I posted earlier in the day — a quote by Charles Burke about “Giving thanks” — and realized it felt familiar. While he doesn’t explicitly say the words, Burke’s quote includes this phrase:

“When you give thanks — real, soul-lifting, jubilant thanks — for things you don’t have yet, nature rushes in to fill that vacuum.”

It’s pretty clear my brain was making connections between this quote and Aristotle’s before I was even aware of it. (And I’ve written before about how the subconscious mind will often do this.)

So I was thinking, perhaps there really is some science behind the universe’s general tendency to fill voids — and maybe there’s a way for us to use this to our advantage?

A universal “loophole”, if you will…

I’ve heard it said before that:

“If you want something in your life, acting like you already have it is one of the most immediate ways to get it”.

So perhaps Charles Burke is onto something — what would (or could) happen if one was to be grateful for things one didn’t yet have?

Since it has also been said that our brainwaves turn thoughts into matter, could it not be the case that by acting (thinking) as if we already have what we want, the universe will “see” that void (if one exists) and seek to fill it?


Or maybe this is just some self-help silliness.

But still…

If being truly grateful makes you feel better about life anyway, perhaps that’s even more reason to practice gratitude.

It’s certainly worth trying. Isn’t it?

[jbox color=”gray” icon=””]Dear Universe!

  • I am grateful that things just keep getting better and better!
  • And for being healthy (and injury free) enough to run my first marathon in 2013!
  • And for overwhelming abundance!
  • And for the amazing people in my life!
  • And for awesome travel opportunities!
  • And for finally meeting (and entering into a relationship with) the woman of my dreams! ;)

And, oh heck, why not — for having the opportunity to finally meet Will Smith — because Will Smith is awesome.[/jbox]

Holy crackers — showing gratitude is fun. :) Who knew!?


See also my follow-up to this post: “Setting the table of your life.”

Appreciation and Gift Giving

Global manufacturers would like us to believe that holidays are the best time to show appreciation by buying more “stuff” for the people we care about.

And every holiday we do it with cards, flowers, chocolate & confectionaries, and a million cheap trinkets of all kinds made by overworked & underpaid employees in foreign lands.

And we buy into this idea — holiday after holiday — because we like LOVE to be appreciated.

In fact, feeling appreciated is one of our greatest emotional needs. So we don’t tend to mind so much that the primary reason people show us appreciation on holidays is because they are expressly being reminded told to through advertising.

While there is certainly something to be said about being appreciated & showing appreciation on mutually agreed upon and culturally convenient dates, one could make an argument that the most sincere times to show appreciation are those times when a person you care about was simply on your mind and you thought enough of them to take the time to say so. Not because it was a holiday. Not because it was convenient. But just because it felt right and you truly wanted to do it.

I think most people would agree that any time is a good time to be appreciated. But by that same token, any time is a good time to SHOW appreciation, but if you truly want to maximize the experience, the BEST times to show gratitude for those you care about might just be the times when it isn’t a common cultural phenomenon.

(* within obvious social norms)

So if today isn’t one of those holidays — or even if it is! — is there someone you could show appreciation to right now?

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo F. Buscaglia


Appreciation and gift giving

Go ahead, make someone’s day…

Lessons Learned from The Path Less Traveled by Zero Dean

Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and think of someone who has made a positive difference in your life.

I mean it — really stop and think about it and how it makes you feel.

Now — with that in mind — know that one of a person’s greatest emotional needs is to feel appreciated.

Is there someone in your life you could show appreciation to right now? Perhaps it’s the person you were just thinking of? Perhaps it’s someone else?

Do it. Do it now.
It will only take a moment.

Go ahead…


Ways to find encouragement: Make the best of what you have

Ways to find encouragement series:

Make the best of what you have.

Tell yourself you may not have the best there is, but you’re going to make the best of what you DO have. We often need far less than we think we do to achieve what we want.

We think we need the best gadgets, top-of-the-line thingamabobs, etc. before we get started. We often hold ourselves back waiting for just the right time for something — the perfect moment when everything is right.

But the fact is, we’d often get further faster if we started today and made the most of what we had. There will always be things we don’t have — waiting until we get all of them is often at the expense of making real progress towards where we want to be.

When we make the best of what we have, it allows us to make progress towards our goals, instead of waiting for that perfect moment that often doesn’t arrive. Progress is good. And that’s encouraging.


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