Gratitude month is upon us…
And yet, many of us are having a difficult time finding something to be grateful for…Thank you 2020!
I expect after the election, things may get worse. At least for one side of the political spectrum. I foresee people struggling to create their daily gratitude lists.
First, let’s review the benefits of gratitude. In a white paper titled, “The Science of Gratitude”, The Greater Good Science Center reference the benefits of gratitude practice for individuals and within groups:
- Gratitude is associated with better health.
- It can improve life satisfaction, happiness, optimism, and overall well-being.
- Gratitude may curb materialism.
- There is evidence that a grateful disposition may protect against burnout.
- Gratitude interventions may improve relationships.
- Grateful employees are often high performers
Are you convinced yet? Yeah, yeah…We have read it all, heard it all. But Covid-19, Civil Unrest, Eddie Van Halen, and Sean Connery died this year. Really. What do we have to be grateful for?
Flipping the Script
Most of us may have seen our gratitude evolve to attitude…Well, we can flip the script whenever we choose to. But how do I do this Elysia? Well, I am so glad you asked. Let’s just start with one item.
- Perhaps, you might reach for a memory. Struggling with the current state of our country? You might think about a time this country made you happy. I am sure you can.
- Or your significant other who you have seen way too much this year. Are you annoyed constantly with your other half?
- Does he/she NEVER do something you wish they would? Maybe this person doesn’t speak your love language.
- Maybe you can find one moment your loved one said or did something that was completely out of the ordinary. This filled you with the feeling of being loved like never before.
- It doesn’t have to be a big event, it could have been a small, yet powerful moment.
So, do you got that memory? Good.
Now think about this memory as a precious gem that you rarely pull out of its box. Open the box and take this gem out. It is probably a little dull. So, imagine yourself polishing this gem. There it is, brilliant once again. Do you remember how good this gem makes you feel? There’s your gratitude.
Furthermore, you don’t just have to take this gem out during Gratitude Month. You can do this anytime you need it. Polish the Gem.
Polishing The Gem
So, I’m going to make a short story, long….
Three years ago, I was at an advanced yoga teacher training in Hawaii. Recently divorced, I had just developed a friendship with a wonderful man. We emailed each other constantly because there were too many words to put into text messages.
He lived on the east coast, yet I was falling in love with a man I had only seen twice and never even held hands with. Further, he recognized how important this training was for me in Hawaii.
After a powerful week at the Ashram and final exams, the other teachers and I went to a restaurant to celebrate. We were all exhausted. I really wanted to rest up for the graduation the next day.
A waitress walked up to our table and asked for me. Then handed me a leather fold with an airline ticket inside. It was HIS ticket. He had flown all the way to Hawaii to attend my graduation at the Ashram the next day!
My classmates asked me if he was the guy standing at the bar looking at us. I turned my head slowly, then back really fast covering my mouth in astonishment. We all yelled out loud.
I got up and walked over to him. Not a confident walk, by the way. My legs felt like Jell-O from all the Yoga sequences we had practiced over the week. We embraced for a long, long time. And all I could say was, “This.”
I was booked to stay for another week on the island for an extended vacation. And he spent it with me. I had never felt so free with another soul as I did that week. Walking around the cabin in the nude, going swimming in the morning, and just sitting on the sand.
We chose to keep it a low eventful week. The real event was just being together.
For the next year, we had the most beautiful affaire de coeur. We met up in DC, again in Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. We drove through New Mexico, Nevada, and California.
However, just as I foresaw it: We could not keep up with the distance and our different travel schedules. Additionally, my Gastroparesis had returned, rendering me grounded at home. And not wanting to see anyone.
Thankfully, we are still best friends. We still catch up when we can. And when I ever find myself questioning his friendship and love for me…I polish the gem. Oh, what a gem it is!
Wishing you peace, love, and gratitude this season. Stay blissful my friends. – e
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