The Importance of Gratitude~
During a challenging time in my life, a mentor of mine suggested I put together a list of things I was grateful for, after I had shared with her some of the miserable things I had just experienced. It seemed like an odd thing to ask of me, in light of our conversation. As it turned out, the things on my list were the same things I had just complained about to her. It was an interesting experience, that lifted my attitude to a higher level of joy than I had previous to the exercise. It started an awareness of my gratitude deficiency, and the need to remember the things I’m thankful for each day. It’s true, we can either be grateful or we can grumble. It is a choice. Each choice leads us down a different path and brings different effects in our lives. This week, each of us were asked to make ‘gratitude’ cards. This journey truly leads us down a path, that each of us wants to travel. It brings us the things we really desire in life.
Tis the Season~
As our family gathered this past week, to celebrate Christmas together, there was no shortage of things to talk about. Usually, there is some family news to talk about, and ours did not fall short of ‘big’ ticket items to talk about. It’s interesting to observe my family members, after 13 weeks in our journey together. Nothing is out of the ordinary, as a matter of fact, everything is familiar and the usual conversations seem to take place. What was different, was how I interacted and responded. A family member was baiting me to engage in a conversation that was critical of his mother, and I told him I would not ‘go there’. In other situations, I detached and kept silent, when sarcastic comments were flying overhead. Later in the evening, I left for the kitchen and started cleaning up. It felt good to make these choices!
In the scientific world, being able to observe things, without bias, and gather information from the things seen, has led to any fruitful discoveries. This is one of the methods of study, that Lord Bacon gave us just over three hundred years ago. This is in stark contrast to being opinionated. When a person is opinionated or has pre-conceived biases, the mind is fairly closed and doesn’t learn the things that are there for the learning. From this method of observation, a person may have a premise, however, if the results of the things observed were contrary to the premise, then the scientist would hold to the truth of the things observed. It seems like the rational and reasonable thing to do. But, often in our personal lives, we can stubbornly hold to the false premises we believe. We would do well to hold things lightly, and to listen and observe more, to add to our gratitude list each day and remind ourselves of the things that really matter. I really believe that by continuing to apply the things we are learning, doing our intentional exercises, we will change our world.
If life seems to be a bit negative or challenging, remember that you have a choice before you………..to complain about it or to remember all the things you’re grateful for.
Choose well, and live well!