Why is Gratitude Work?
I have listened to enough of Oprah's Super Soul podcast’s to have gotten that gratitude is the key to happiness. I know this and still it’s choice moment to moment to be thankful. I have heard, just be happy. Oh okay, got it. Wish I would have thought of that myself. I have met people who seem to stay on the happier side of life letting issues just roll off of their backs and I am not wired that way. It’s work.
The irony is I have a ton to be thankful for so why is it work? I wish I knew and I’d do it. I also know that it’s a choice in each moment to acknowledge thanksgiving and to be in self-awareness. If I had to pinpoint one thing that happened in my life to bring about awareness, it’s the Baptiste Institute’s Level 1. I participated in the program last November in Sedona, NV. I had no idea that life as I knew it was over and a new me would emerge. It has been a process, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like BAM. I am new, great and grateful. Well maybe for the first month and then my old defaults settled back into my daily life.
It’s work. I stay in the work to acknowledge thankfulness in all things. I’ll be the first to confess, it doesn’t always happen and my frustration or complaining arises. It’s there that I have the option to stop and bring about some new reaction to a situation.
Yesterday my sister and I took our combined three children out for an adventure. It was the last day they were visiting, and we wanted to do something fun with them. We started by heading to the theatre to see The Grinch. This went well. Then we went to the near by playground which didn’t last long due to it being over crowded with people already, so we decided to take them to Build-a-Bear. Oh boy, well after being told numerous times to stand behind the red sign, we left with two out of three crying children and three stuffed animals in tow. We giggled to keep from crying ourselves. Then we were off to Whole Foods where an orchid fell after one of them was loving on the pretty flowers. Yes, the glass container shattered. At this point, we laugh out loud. I don’t think the clerk was amused by our laughter and what else were we supposed to do after it was cleaned? Before you know it all three children were in the basket and one was crying. We were done shopping and headed home.
No doubt, it was an adventure and it wasn’t over. My sister took the kiddos to the park and I prepared food for today. Later my precious niece took a blue pen and drew a line on my white marble countertop. The old me would have freaked. Like I would have freaked so bad my sister would have gathered her things and left. I calmly said, spray that solution, let it soak and for the most part it came off. Old me would have acted like that was the marble they were going to use on my headstone and it needed to be perfect and new me just wiped up the pen mark. Does life have to be so serious and perfect? God, I hope not.
Looking back this morning, I am smiling on the day and I am thankful for the day. I am thankful my sister drove here with her children and we got to spend days just doing us. I am thankful for this beautiful place. For the view of the Gulf of Mexico and the different sunrises and sunsets of each passing day. I am thankful to be feeling better after a cold and I am excited to have Friendsgiving today with some of our best friends.
In a previous article about the Holy Spirit, I mentioned a bible study I am participating. Journaling is part of the Bible study as it is in my Yoga studies. I have, until this week really, been resisting journalling BIG time. I have also been resisting putting anything other than my recipes out there in the world for fear of ridicule and/or rejection. I keep hearing, “write.”
In my listening, I write. I keep working. I write and work on gratitude. I pray for God to take away my depression and anxiety. I am more aware by the day of the importance of having a grateful heart. I am committed to writing three things I am grateful for before I journal. I have to do it. This is the gateway to keeping gratitude present.
Will you join me? Even if journaling is out of the question. Will you jot down or say to yourself what you are thankful for every day? God bless us on Thanksgiving. Holy Spirit help us to keep present all that we have to be thankful for each day.