Friday, October 26, 2012

Gracious me.

I like to practice something I call the "Sanctification of the Quotidian." Literally, praising and expressing graciousness and gratitude toward the everyday processes of life.

The thought occurred to me this morning, that if everyone counted their blessings... there would be less worrying, more kindness, and a shedding of the rigid  masks that we tend to wear as people. Now, when I say count your blessings, I know what you just did. You thought about your kids, your mortgage, and just said "yeah, yeah, I know". But you are missing the point here. I mean, really get in there with your blessings and roll around. Go toe to toe with them. Listen to their secrets. Learn their ticklish spots. Only then, will you truly understand what gratitude means.

When I speak of the quotidian,  I speak of the mundane. Why? Because if we can learn to lavish in the mundane, than everything else...well that is just extra. When you wake up each morning, appreciate the texture of the sheets beneath you, the blanket, the distant chirping of birds. Wear your favorite scent and put on the radio. Enjoy a cup of your favorite herbal tea...the coos and giggles of little ones, the comfortable mess  in your home that sends the message that, well, someone lives there. Smile at a stranger. Hold the door for others, and well just BE at peace.

Replace all negative thoughts with positive ones. You can't control what others do and how others behave, so there is no use trying. As humans, worry happens, but we should only worry about that which we can control. Otherwise, there is no point. None. What we can control however, is our own thoughts, and our own reactions to others. Don't get angry over a driver who sped around you in a blaze. Be thankful that the reckless driver is now away from you, thus preventing any possible accidents. Don't be upset that you don't have your dream job, just be thankful that you have any job. And if you don't, just be thankful that the universe decided that regardless of your employment status, you are precious and whole, and the universe has found a way to feed your belly. You are here. You are alive. You are mingling and buzzing and pulsing with the outside world. Money will come. Money is extra. When we think of our basic needs as humans: Food, water, shelter....we must know that we are thriving if we have all three. That is what matters. That is what is important. Everything else, is extra.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like – Will Rogers.

As people, we are told from a young age that we should go to school, get degrees, good jobs, penchants, mortgages, have kids. While all of these things are wonderful, they are not the key elements needed to finding happiness and being at peace. I doubt that we were put here on this earth to obtain MBA's and Stock holdings. The purpose of life is to discover your gift, and the meaning of life is to give it away.- David Viscott. Discovering  your gift is your life's work! If you choose to seek that through school, organizations, or whatever else...that is your choice. As long as you don't lose sight of why you are doing it in the first place.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive – Howard Thurman.

Be humble and kind. I can't tell you how many people I know that just cannot be kind. They look for reasons to tear into you. To knock you down. To point out flaws. Be kind to these people too. For they are hurt and angry and have not found their gift. They have lost their way and do not know where to look. They are unhappy and not at peace. They are uncomfortable with the fact that they cannot control others. Be at peace and treat these people with kindness. Whether they admit it or not, they'll remember.
 You are not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor should you feel the world must live up to yours – F Perl.

So here's your assignment. Start a gratitude journal. 

Every night write in it 3 things that happened that day that you are thankful for. Perhaps you caught a cab right away? Perhaps someone complimented your shoes? Perhaps your daughter drew you a picture? You are NOT allowed to complain in this journal. Only be thankful.Then at the end of every month, write down three BIG things you are grateful for. Whether it's your family, your health, or your's up to you.

The purpose here is to start small and work your way up. From the inside out. That is where true gratitude begins.

Live well.