“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
Gratitude changes our perspective of life. I currently live in that state called Gratitude. Today is the day for all of us to reflect on the good in our lives. Think about what Saint Paul encouraged us to remember: “In all things, give thanks.” The truth is, if we look deeply enough, we will find blessings even in things and events that on the surface we might tend to judge as negative.
So whether you are currently living in Maine, or Texas or even California pack your bags and move to the state of Gratitude. You will be so glad you did.
I have heard it said that it is not what you say but how you say it that matters most. If we take the time to get in touch with the emotional charge (energy) that lies behind our thoughts before they become words, putting ourselves in the other’s shoes, what comes out is spoken in loving-kindness, even if it is not pleasant to say or hear. It’s not so much about seeking and finding agreement with the other as it is about creating the space to simply know we have been heard. This allows us to be highly committed to our communication, with a low attachment to winning or losing the issue at hand. I am convinced that we can say just about anything to anybody if it is said with genuine loving-kindness and compassion, with a skillfullness that does not include an agenda to hurt or inflict pain but to simply communicate. In Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success he talks in chapter one about our thoughts and not having judgement. He says, “Judegment is the constant evaluation of things as right or wrong, good or bad. When you are constantly evaluating, classifying, labeling, analyzing, you create a lot of turbulence in your internal dialogue. This turbulence constricts the flow of energy between you and the field of pure potentiality. You literally squeeze the “gap” between thoughts.” Remember it is our thoughts from which our communication stems from. Take some time today to consider your communication. Let our words be a reflection of what we have inside our hearts and minds. Take the time to write someone a letter and communicate to them how much you appreciate them. Secondly, watch your thoughts and words today…practice mindfulness!
Today I had my second class in my session 1 Living a Legacy series. What an amazing group of women, they still appeared to be glassy eyed with all the thoughts that were swirling through their heads. It is amazing that when one begins to write their life story and think about the life they have lived it can sometimes cause unease. Today I invited Melitas, my 93 year old student, to class today to read one of her stories and to share. Everybody loves Melitas, she is such a treasure and a jewel. As I sat next to her listening to her read her story I wanted to capture that moment in my memory and never let it go. It reminded me to really cherish each moment of every day as a gift and to take none of it for granted. I want to stay mindful. To me that means to take no relationship for granted; take no day for granted; take no moment for granted. This doesn’t mean we should live in fear of losing any part of what is near and dear to us. It simply means we can choose to be deeply mindful of how precious the gifts are and honor the gifts with gratitude and humility. When we choose to see life this way, every day, every meal, every hug, every kiss hello as well as good-bye…indeed every breath we take becomes a mindfulness practice that encourages us to make our grudges and resentments short-lived. Our sense of wonder and awe at the gifts make it an eternally “now” experience. Doing this connects you with life, which is where you want to be!
Today in your reflecting consider where you may have been taking others for granted. What can you do differently starting right now? Remember, the small steps count as well!
I have been writing and thinking about growth lately. Growth comes in many shapes and sizes, as children there were times where you may have had a “growth spurt.” Have you had one of those lately? It seems like as adults when we have growth opportunities it may come in the form of pain. Wouldn’t it be great if all of our growth opportunities came in times of light, love, blue skies and green lights, where it felt good and we could see where we are going? Unfortunately that is not the way it works. I can remember a student of mine telling me once that the hardest part of growth and change is when one door closes and you are standing alone in the hallway waiting for the other door to open. Reality is, we are destined to grow, one way or another. Our only choice is, will it be consciously or unconsciously? I believe there can be great personal growth for us as we learn to consciously push out into the darkness as well as the light. Think back to times in your life when you have grown from a circumstance in your life. Most of our most meaningful personal growth experiences can be stimulated when life appears the darkest and most uncertain. Have you ever put a bag of potatoes in your cupboard where they can sit and just be in the dark. What happens? They will still continue to “sprout” even in the darkness. The darkness doesn’t seem to stifle the growth of a potato.
Is it time for you to “sprout” some new growth? If the answer is “yes,” don’t wait until “growing conditions” are perfect because they seldom are. Don’t turn away from your dark or uncertain times; lean into them and invite the wisdom of the universe to reveal the meaning and purpose of the moment. Let the experience become the teacher. Push out into life and grow, regardless of the conditions, because that’s why you are here-to evolve and grow into the spectacular being you are!
Today in your journal writing consider the ways life has been your teacher. Do you find your times of growth to be more conscious or unconscious? If you haven’t “sprouted” lately, in what area would you like to grow?
Whenever we are overcome with fear, it is always attached to a concern of loss at some level. Perhaps it’s the loss of a relationship or loved one, a material possession, a job, a reputation, or _______(fill in the blank). Whatever the perceived loss, making the divine surrender will always be the answer. This demands that we let go of our need to control the universe, doesn’t it? It’s always about the lesser giving way to the greater and our willingness to be the vessel through which it may happen. In the process, we may have to make peace with the fact that something we have been clinging to must be released. (In my Living a Legacy series class I ask in session 1, what are you holding on to and what seems to be holding on to you…) This can be a very personal and difficult thing to do, but it is how we make way for the greater expression of the divine through us and as us. Our true defining moment then is when we open to this awareness and give way to it.
Try to remember today that it could be your defining moment to reveal who you really are…to yourself and to the world. Today in your writing explore what you may be holding on to and maybe this is the day to release it and reveal yourself to the world…it is one of the best things you can do for yourself…trust me, I have been doing it lately and it is liberating! I was once told by a very wise woman, you build self-esteem by doing esteemable acts! Remember: People that love you get who you are! Which reminds me, have you found your “tribe” yet? They will “get” you! Namaste!