“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” –A.A. Milne
“Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.” –Roy T. Bennett
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John F. Kennedy
Count your blessings…….no matter which way they may appear, sorrowful or joyous, boring or stimulating, hateful or kind, indifferent or filled with loved.
When Henry Thoreau retreated to Walden Pond, he wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Thoreau had come to understand that a conscious life was a gift, and the highest form of gratitude was to know it in all its depths.
‘This grace of conscious life, of having a mind that can know “this moment is like this,” is the root of all wonder, from which gratitude flows.’ [Phillip Moffitt]
This month we will contemplate what place gratitude holds in our daily life. How often do you pause and reflect on the many things in your life for which you are grateful? Does the list include a safe place to sleep, clean air and fresh water, food to eat, blue skies, laughter, birdsong? Do you experience the good things in life to the same degree as the not so good things in life? Or, do you feel the weight of bad things more?
The antidote is to actively, on a daily basis, reflect on what you are grateful for. A great example I recently came across, was being stuck in traffic. This quite often leads to feelings of irritation and frustration. But, what if instead I felt grateful to simply have a car to drive, that I am able to put gas in it; or that all the drivers around me were following the agreed upon driving rules, keeping everyone safe. In this way there is a certain universal level of “well-being and community cooperation” that is supporting me even in the middle of rush hour traffic. These moments stuck in traffic simply are, but how I am experiencing it gradually begins to shift the more I practice gratitude in the moment.
The words ‘gratitude’ and ‘grace’ originate from the same Latin word–gratus. Gratus means ‘pleasing’ or ‘thankful.’ It has been said that when one is in a deep state of gratitude, you will often feel the spontaneous presence of grace. As a state of selfless gratitude is developed and then embodied, our happiness is no longer contingent upon outer circumstances. That moment is when we can truly relax into life.
See you on the mat!