I am feeling rather grateful and optimistic today. Monday marking the beginning of a beautiful week ahead and the first day of summer! Oh, and the sun is shining! How often does that happen here in Newfoundland? Not often enough let me tell you.
But it is today!
I wanted to talk a little about gratitude today.
The importance of being grateful in life for my health, family and friends were instilled in me from a young age.
However, the real truth is… until recently I felt that gratefulness was some sort of obligation. A feeling expressed as a mandatory thank you to the universe for the things I have in my life. I am sad to admit this… But it was almost as if I was thankful because if I wasn’t it would be taken away. As if the almighty gods would sense me taking my life for granted and smite me for any happiness acquired.
The thought would terrify me, so I would dash back into a guilty and fearful place of gratefulness. Because if not the people in the clouds would notice what I had been thinking (or not thinking). Or perhaps the invisible scales of the universe would become off balanced, or maybe my karma would become negative and depleted. All the possibilities of a belief that run through my head about “what is out there” would scare me into gratitude.
Foolish isn’t it?
However that all changed recently. I guess it was not one thing in particular, but many little things that caused this revelation from within. Meditation being the main culprit. One day after a successful meditation, I opened my eyes and looked around at my home, and thought about my family, my friends, my health and all the other beautiful things in my life… I felt for the first time truly grateful.
This foreign pure emotion washed over me… and I finally got it!
Now don’t get me wrong, I was not a naive brat, beating around the streets with my middle fingers facing the world. I felt very gracious and thankful. However, the deep and true meaning of gratitude was up until this point lost to me.
I realized in that short and pure moment that I don’t want to let my life slip past me. I do not want to look back and regret not savouring each moment, being grateful for those moments and the people who I shared those beautiful moments with.
“You never know what you got till it’s gone” – Will not be a quote coming from this young lady’s mouth in the future.
So what was the root of my lesson learned?
Gratefulness is mindfulness.
Being mindful of my actions, feelings, surroundings and life has pulled back the curtain of fear that I was living behind when I thought of being grateful.
Practising gratefulness can’t really begin until you are able to practise mindfulness. I have a long way to go on my path to mindfulness. However today I am grateful that I have discovered gratefulness.
So if you find yourself searching for the courage to be truly and purely grateful for your life, friends, partner, job, body, car, house, health, you name it. Then perhaps like me the answer to unlocking the gratitude from within can be found first in practicing mindfulness.
How do you stay grateful?
Happy first day of summer beauties!