About Gratitude

When I was a devout atheist, I felt there was no one to be thankful to. That changed as soon as I came to believe in a power greater than myself. I’m grateful for that, for walking into the rooms of a 12 Step program, which led me to the most important thing in my life: God, as I understand God.

This week is one that I particularly pause to give thought to gratitude.

So it was no surprise (at least not to me, the facilitator 🙂 ) that at last night’s meeting of the Gilbert Spirituality Meetup group, the topic was Gratitude. The shared stories were “inspirational” as one member put it. Yes, indeed.

When a father can get down on his knees after his son has died and the first words out of his mouth are “I am grateful…for the time You gave me with my child” that is inspiring. Recalling that this man, in his darkest hour, offered thanks to God and not venom, will get me back on track when I’m feeling less than grateful because of some minor occurrence that threw me into a tizzy.

Another member made a point of saying that even if you do have negative thoughts but have a semblance of gratitude, your energy vibrates at a higher frequency. That will get the spiral headed upward towards positivity.

I was reminded that every moment is a moment in which I can choose to be grateful. Every moment is unique, will not be repeated ever again, and hence is a sole/soul(!) opportunity to be seized and savored. The expression “Wake up and smell the roses” came to mind.

When I feel gratitude, my heart is full and I am oftimes moved to tears, tears of joy. When Rog expressed a connection between gratitude and joy, I realized he was right. He expounds upon this in his book Choosing Joy at Work.

Speaking of work, we can sometimes be self-conscious about expressing appreciation of others to those folks, especially in a business setting. What a stark indicator of our increased separation from our fellows with whom we are One. This group member was going to go ahead anyway and be her authentic, expressive, appreciative self. Yes!

When I surround myself with people who not only feel grateful, but express it – like at last night’s meeting – I feel uplifted. And, for that I am grateful.

Slowing Down

Do this! Do that! Oh, here’s yet another thing added to my plate for today. Do, do, do! What a crazy day this is already.

Yesterday it was worry and fear, today it’s feeling overwhelmed. I hadn’t done my morning readings, meditated, or blogged. But, I did find some nice deep breaths (my dear yoga instructor Mary often asks us to “find a deep inhale”) that centered me so I thought I was good for a while longer.

Then God really got my attention: my front tooth’s crown came off without any prior notice although recent problems with it made it no surprise. The whole day just changed again. That was the last straw – I slowed down, no choice. I called my dentist and arranged for an emergency appointment today, then I postponed one business meeting. And, now I’m blogging.

But was it really God who got my attention to slow down? Or, was it my ego (as Rog suggested)?

Slowing down has two aspects to it, one for peace (God), another for blocking our good (ego). There’s no question the morning has been hectic, too hectic for my liking. So I really did need to slow down, breathe, get centered. I’m grateful to finally be doing that. I can’t say I like the way it came to be.

But to be slowed down as a way to block moving forward is another matter.

Rog and I have been keenly focused on two things: simplifying our lives and growing our business in alignment with God’s will. Professionally, we have turned down contracts and clients so that we could be true to ourselves and Spirit. Several months ago we made the conscious decision to work with like-minded people and to only accept projects that would first and foremost provide us with the forum to creatively express ourselves, what God wants us to do, to be. Earning money was to be the secondary consideration. You know, do what you love and the money will come. With that decision I felt such freedom, and power, and joy; moving past years of angst and stepping into what God and faith were calling to me.

We’ve made great strides in downsizing expenses, material possessions, unfulfilling relationships, etc. It’s been a wonderful time spiritually – and a bumpy one financially. We have been meeting marvelous, new, like-minded people, and, we now have a batch of prospective clients who we know we’ll enjoy partnering up with and who Spirit will use as channels for financial prosperity.

And now, my front crown comes off! Of course, that’s not the only thing that’s happened in recent days to throw me disturb my peace. But, do you know how horribly ugly the gap in the front of my mouth is?! Not to mention the time and expense of the permanent solution that is required? Well, I’m not going to let this or my ego sidetrack me from my good.

I know what’s truly important and what I need to keep my focus on, and it’s not of a physical nature. So, I’m finding a deep inhale again, relaxing, and sticking close to God. All is well – it cannot be otherwise.