“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.” ~Terri Guillemets
I truly have so much in my life to be thankful for. The more I am paying attention to these things for which I am grateful, the more things I seem to find that merit gratitude. And the more I find, the more I think of gratitude throughout the day, which leads to noticing even more things for which to be grateful. It’s really a most lovely cycle.
Over the last few weeks, I have been consistently practicing my gratitude journaling (writing down at least five things for which I am grateful that day) each night before I go to bed. It’s been five weeks now of daily recording of the things that I am grateful for from the day, and I am intrigued by what I am observing of my practice and it’s effect on me.
Although recording the things I’m grateful for at the end of the day works well in the sense that it helps me reflect on the day from the perspective of gratitude, the timing of this tends to make it feel more like a chore most nights. It’s the one thing standing between me and sleep as I head to bed. I’m exhausted (still adjusting to the new sleep schedule), my mind is foggy, and trying to come up with a thoughtful, comprehensive list at that point often feels like more than my poor brain can do. And it seldom inspires much sense of gratitude in me at the moment that I am writing.
That all makes it sound like a practice that isn’t useful, doesn’t it? I have tended to think that myself in those moments when I’m keeping my eyes propped open just long enough to finish my list for the day. But that’s not the whole story.
I attended a worship sharing gathering at a Friend’s house this evening. Worship sharing are Quaker meetings where we sit in silence until someone is led to speak, and then members of the group respond to that sharing and others that may have been voiced. This is a unique form of discourse in that each person simply shares their thoughts on the topic at hand without the usual requisite agreeing or disagreeing with those that have spoken before. Although previous comments obvious spark thoughts in the people who later share, it is not a conversation or debate as many discussions are in today’s world; it is just a sharing of your own thoughts on the topic as you feel led to share.
Tonight’s topic wound up being simplicity, and the thoughts that people shared on the subject ranged far and wide, from the story of the rich young ruler in the Gospels to end of life issues to dealing with downsizing to how our pride is wrapped up in our possessions to the challenges of knowing how to apply Jesus’ words to our lives today. As always, this conversation gave me much to ponder.
“The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.” ~Barbara De Angelis
So much of who I once was had died along the way of this journey through the chrysalis. I have vague glimpses now and then of who I am becoming, but that person is still a bit out of my reach, so she remains out of focus.
This process of letting go of who I was and moving toward who I am becoming is an ongoing one.
The Easter bunny didn’t make it to my house this year, so I missed out on all the yummy candy. But I think I received an even better treat today from what I will call the synchronicity rabbit.
I was sitting at my computer earlier this evening and looked out my window to discover a rabbit sitting in my flower bed. She was sitting in a mound of creeping evergreen ground cover alternating her attention between nibbling at the ground and warily checking her surroundings for threats.
I grabbed my camera, but between the light and the interference from the window, I wasn’t able to get a very good picture of her. However, as I focused on my attempt to get a decent photograph, I noticed some motion in that dark patch just in front of her. I counted at least three little baby bunnies in a nest in that area. (Squee!! So cute!)
I’ve shared before my struggles with learning to trust the universe to provide for me. Trust in general doesn’t come easy to me, but trusting that there is a divine force out there that will provide is even harder.
I’m also not by nature a risk-taker. Especially not in “practical” matters like finances or career choices.
And yet, I took the leap of quitting my job without another job in hand—or even in sight. I believed at the core of my being, without any proof at all, that I would be ok. If that’s not a leap of faith, I don’t know what is.
It’s Christmas, which in this country has come to mean a season of shopping, decorating, shopping, parties, shopping, gathering with family, shopping, sending Christmas cards, shopping, eating large meals, and shopping. All in all, a fairly stressful season for most between the busyness and the pressure of expectations.
I have a complex relationship with gratitude. I’ve struggled all week with the idea of writing a post about gratitude today for Thanksgiving, a topic that seems nearly obligatory on this day. I am resistant because the topic tends to be overdone this time of year and ignored for much of the rest of the year, and because it is so often prescribed with a helping of guilt on the side for not being more grateful. But it is a concept that has been much on my mind of late for various reasons, so I will add my thoughts to the overwhelm of the day.
So why do I have such a complex relationship with gratitude?
Most of my understanding of the Law of Attraction comes from Mike Dooley’s daily Notes from the Universe emails. His emails are an absolute delight and always brighten my day. Yet through their light and often humorous style, they have slowly helped me become used to the idea that “thoughts become things,” as he so often says, without spending any time or energy trying to convince me or argue a point. I highly recommend them for helping to get into that habit of thinking, or just for an encouraging message in your inbox each day.
However, my concept of this whole energetic attraction mechanism has remained stuck in the idea of thoughts becoming things; my entire focus has been on my thinking. Continue reading →