As we wind down to the end of my experiment with gratitude I wanted to start by thanking those of you that took this journey with me. Several of my loyal readers shared their experiences – their moments of gratitude and the ways in which in changed their lives for the better. I will share a couple of those stories for the last week of this endeavor.
For this post, I wanted to share my own story. As many of you already know, I decided to focus on gratitude as a way to pull myself out of the dregs of frustration I had managed to find myself in. Frustrated at work, confused over this path I seemed to find myself on with regards to writing, and saddened over some real life things going on, I found myself overly focused on the lack in my life…and that sucked the energy right out of me.
No longer interested in expanding my creative juices or finding the “cup half full” moments in the day, I trudged on…unfulfilled. Finally, after enough wallowing and the realization that my thinking was the problem more than anything else, I decided to practice what I so often preach to my friends and students, and change my own thinking.
Thus the 40 days of gratitude were born. For the last 33 days I have diligently looked for something to be grateful. More, I wanted to find something deeper than I had experienced previously -something that could help me get through those moments in life when frustration peaks and peace is more a distant memory than a possibility.
I focused all of my intention on this endeavor – using my own meditative practices, my faith and my thoughts to bring me to profound understanding of what gratitude means for me.
And you know what, it worked.
The last month hasn’t been easy – all of the problems are there (though since my thinking as changed they have ceased to be problems in the same sense). The economy is still spinning out of control, work is still frustrating most days, and I still struggle with my writing at times.
But I have changed. No longer are these aspects of life a problem. Within each moment I am able to find a kernel of gratitude – something that I can nurture and cultivate into something that moves me into a positive direction later on.
Within each moment of frustration is the possibility for tolerance and acceptance; within the anger, peace can be found; within the suffering, empathy is developed.
So today I am grateful for every moment of every day – with these moments are the aspects of everything I could possibly need.
What are you grateful for?