Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gratitude - an excerpt

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Do you keep a gratitude journal? On Sundays, I make a list of five things I am grateful for. My list may contain things like: a purring feline in my lap, a new recipe my family loved, hugs and kisses from my family, a glorious afternoon nap with rain on the roof top, or feeling refreshed after sitting outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine watching nature.

It is better to keep a daily list, but just the fact that I am acknowledging the goodness that already exists in my life ought to count for something, right? The point is no matter how horrible things may seem, I have an abundance of things to be grateful for. And gratitude opens the door for more to be welcomed into my life, because it (whatever it is) is appreciated and not taken for granted.

How much better it is to look at life through rose-colored glasses and focus on the good things! Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. When life seems its bleakest, there is almost always a silver lining. This, too, shall pass. Why make the time harder than it is?

Instead of wallowing in self-pity and despair, I find it best to keep myself busy. I will put on music I love (the louder the better!) and tackle cleaning chores I have put off due to time limitations. Cleaning out closets is a good activity. Or how about giving one room a deep cleaning? Stretching, scrubbing, rearranging, decluttering. As I get into my work it helps to clear my head and I feel better afterwards. I'm no longer fretting over that which I can not change and I also have the perk of a cleaner home as a side benefit.

Most of the time, my problems are not so great that they can not be solved. Maybe I need a creative solution and I am just having trouble thinking outside-the-box? When the weather is nice (read warm), I like to sit outside with the sun beaming down on me with an ice cold drink and my journal. Taking in the fresh air and nature's wild beauty is soothing to my spirit. As I write, often a simple solution comes to mind. Now satisfied, I return indoors to my family with a sense of calm and a smiling face.

On occasion, I will have none of the above, thank-you-very-much! On those dark days, I allow myself the day to pout, mourn, or nurse my wound - real or imagined. Comfort is an absolute necessity. Perhaps a good cry is needed or a bit of solitude. Sometimes it is hard to pin-point exactly what it is I need, but the yearning for what is missing remains. By simply allowing myself to feel those negative feelings and let them pass, I have found that they do indeed pass and the brighter, sunshiny days return.

I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. ~Agatha Christie


Genie Sea said...

A very rich post, with must to respond to.

It is indeed important to acknowledges the wonderful things in our lives, great or small.

It is equally important to acknowledge the painful You are so right. By acknowledging and feeling we let go. :)

miss*R said...

I jot down things each day that really stir my soul.... then once a week in my soul journal I try to write them and illustrate it as well. I love Simple Abundance and like I said in the email, I look forward to our SA journey together this year xoxo

miss*R said...

ooh and I re-read the post.. for an ice cold drink try: ice tea with lemon and rose water = divine! xo