Sunday, December 18, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

The word gratitude comes from the Latin ‘gratia’ meaning favor, charm and thanks. It is similar to the Sanskrit word ‘gmati’ meaning, he praises. Today I feel grateful. This warmth in my body is calling me to get creative and express it…give it away.

My son just got back from school and writing some grueling exams. I plan on grinding up some dark roast, making his favorite omlettee, maybe even frothing his cappuccino as he claims the sofa for a well deserved day of relaxation. In truth I am not into sports on TV but with gratitude as my eau de cologne I only see how his happiness fills me with joy. So I cater and think of simple ways to let him know he is cared for. In truth it is these little acts of kindness that grow my appreciation and nourish me at the same time. There are not separate doorways one called giving and the other receiving. They are one. In the very moment I give thanks, I receive it.

I am grateful for my morning brew, gorgeous dark beans with a hint of chocolate. I am grateful that my holiday dog is coming to stay today. I am grateful for this home and the huge canvas vision board I will finish today endowing it with artistic representations of my hearts desire. And the people...all of the beautiful lights that surround me. Just thinking about it cultivates more of this delicious feeling.

Melanie Beattie, a writer who first opened my eyes to the ache of co-dependency in relationship, writes, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

And if you are not feeling well, if you are lost in the veil of suffering, gratitude is the quickest way I know to shift out of it. Make a list, make a call, send an email. Each action generates more of those delightful bubbles that can accompany the state of gratitude, the state of grace.

Yes, I do love that feeling of grace. It touches my vision of tomorrow with the gentle sweetness of a mother’s hand on her child’s brow. It includes hope and possibility and openness to surprises. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow but I trust that if I keep resonating with gratitude today whatever it is will support me to expand and grow. Maybe it will even make me laugh out loud!  Living in gratitude makes me feel unconditionally loved and that’s a feeling I cannot live without. I once read that when we practice gratitude it’s as if we are practicing feeling loved. That concept intrigues me and inspires me.

So I am going to go practice some more now and maybe even reach out to someone who has been on my ‘I am not so happy with you list’ in order to ripple out and radiate my true essence. Even the struggles have inherent wisdom and opportunity to stretch and grow beyond our littleness.

I will never forget the day many years ago when I called my ex husband after years of living in the war zone of legal issues. I survived those times with as much grace as I could muster and when I failed at that task I stick handled my fear like a psychotic hockey puck. 
The learning was tremendous and I woke up from the dream one day, dropped with a thud into a new knowing of my essential self and realized that EVERYTHING that had happened during those times of strife were necessary pieces for me to grow through.

I called and thanked him. He was floored and didn’t believe me but that is not the point. What I felt was real. I thanked him and felt my heart stretch. This is the person I truly am, bigger than all the judgments I had held around his bad behavior and instead able to see the pain and fear that was driving it. And the gratitude was the knowing that if he hadn’t made his choices, painful as they were at the time , I would never have reached this willingness to now be so vulnerable…all in order to live in grace.

Charles Dickens said it so very simply, “Reflect on your present blessing-of which ever man has many-not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

What are you grateful for?

The good, the bad …the silly?

 Who can you say thanks to today? Where are you being called to stretch?

Sleigh bells ring…are you listening?  Yes, go ahead sing it out loud.

Authentically Yours,

1 comment:

  1. Well I for one, am grateful for you Marty! I'm so happy we decided to be companions on this incredible journey. Thank you! xoxoxox