We are all more blind to what we have than what we have not. ~ Audre Lorde
In two weeks, I will complete a #90daysofgratitude challenge I gave myself back in January. Along the way, I’ve not only been present to more of my life, I’ve noticed what’s good. I’ve felt the days slipping by and noted in my #90daysofgratitude tweets and posts on Facebook things I might not typically think twice about. I’ve fostered a grateful heart.
At the same time, that doesn’t mean I’ve been whistling a happy tune for three months or that nothing’s gone wrong. My mother’s been extremely ill. I’ve experienced the worst allergies I’ve ever had. I’ve often felt exhausted and demoralized and overwhelmed. My house is in disarray and I am behind on laundry, dishes – you get the idea.
Still, my underlying feelings are of wonder, joy, surprise, and gratitude.
Turning my focus toward what makes me grateful helps. It has brought me tremendous fortune. I took a wonderful entrepreneurship workshop online from SARK (yes, that SARK) and won a business coaching call from her team. I got tickets to see Elton John in Las Vegas this May with one of my oldest friends and my best friend and her hubby. I applied for an educational conference in Barcelona this summer and got in! I’ve raised funds to go and am nearly ready to purchase my airline ticket. I have a room in an apartment in the Gracia area of Barcelona for the entire month of the conference, I got a new passport and paid my tuition, and I am continuing to raise money to cover food and ground transportation while there. Old friends and people who read my blog and people I went to graduate school with and people I’ve known through my Buddhist practice have sent me checks and donations to help make this dream a reality. A friend from high school is helping me arrange my flights since he works for an airline.
Synchronicities continue to occur at an alarming rate.
You might think there’s no connection between a daily practice of gratitude and all this largesse. However, you would be wrong.
Every time I have practiced conscious gratitude, I’ve seen my life change for the better.
Every. Single. Time.
So, why don’t we remember this? Why don’t we practice gratitude constantly?
I think it is easier to get swept away in the maelstrom of obvious negativity in the world than it is to keep our focus on what’s good, what’s right. It takes less effort to go with the flow and engage in the usual complaint-fest of daily life.
But it creates no value. And it embeds negativity in our lives. It lowers our expectations and dampens our ability to grow and dream.
We’ve got to stop falling into complaint.
Complaining that it stinks, while we continue to sit in the outhouse, is counter-intuitive.
Of course, it stinks.
We’re sitting in the shitter.
We must use our legs and feet to stand up. We must walk out into the sunlight and breathe. We need to feel that air infuse us with life-giving oxygen.
We need to walk away from bullshit that no longer serves us.
Gratitude practice is like prayer. It works better when you actually do it.
Grateful. Grateful. Grateful.
Remember to be grateful. When I see the horror that constitutes the news each day, I bow my head in gratitude. Yes, I have my share of struggle and grief. However, I can plainly see that many others would gladly swap lives and take on my troubles in exchange for theirs.
We each have a full plate of blessings and trials.
We must make something beautiful from that, no matter what.
Chip in if you can. Any amount will help and I will be forever grateful for your kindness and support. gofundme.com/barcelona-educational-conf-trip
Those who chip in will have the option of receiving a free gift from me:
A postcard (or two) while I’m traveling. (First 25 supporters at $5 – $25.)
An original eBook of my writing, created especially for this purpose. ($50 supporters)
All of the above + a personal letter or poem (your choice). ($100 supporter and up. Limited to 15 spots.)
A coaching call with me + all of the above ($250 supporters) (Limited to 3 spots.)
A four-week online course (on Teachable), + all of the above ($500 supporters) (Limited to 5 spots.)
If you interested in an in-person one-day spiritual writing intensive here in Santa Fe, I am planning one for early May. Cost? $75.00.
Email me at email@example.com if you want additional information on any of these options.
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© 2017 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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