Dude, Where’s My Gratitude?

I’m writing this miles above the earth, sitting in a steel capsule, hurtling through space on my way to give a speech. (Writer Anne Lamott says she doesn’t believe in flying. I know what she means.)

The title of my speech is “Creating All That You Need With Just What You’ve Got”, which as many of you know, is the subtitle of my book, The Comfort Queen’s Guide to Life.

When I choose the title for my talk, I was thinking only about giving the hospital a catchy title to draw people in. I had not given much thought to the actual content of the speech. What I sat down to prepare, to think about what I really wanted to say, I became very curious. I sat and stared out at the blustery afternoon, wondering, “How do you create all that you need? Is it possible? Isn’t it what we all want?”

Here is what I came up with — the five paths for creating all that you need with just what you’ve got.

1) Show up

You can’t create anything if you aren’t here in the present moment. We create from the present moment. We problem “solve” from the past.

2) Gratitude

As my friend and brilliant coach David Martin says, “Gratitude is the mood that opens up our creativity.” (more on gratitude below)

3) Self-Nurturing

How can we create anything if we don’t believe we are worth it? How can we believe we are worth it? Through sustained, gentle, compassionate healthy self-nurturing. Search our site; we have over 500 articles on self-nurturing.

4) Listening

A regular practice of listening to ourselves, to our own wisdom, to our own bodies, to our intuition, to Spirit, and to others is the only way to discern the unfolding path of our lives.

5) Receiving

Perhaps the hardest practice of all. We love to give. We all want to make a contribution with our lives. But how often do we allow ourselves to simply accept — the ideas, the offer from a friend, the compliment? When we block receiving, we block God.

*~*~*~*~*~*

MORE ON GRATITUDE

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You are in a mood right now. What mood is it? Check in with yourself. Moods prime us for certain actions and not others. Resignation and resentment are moods that point us toward giving up, blaming, slumped shoulders and limited options. Gratitude is a mood that points us toward softening, opening our eyes wide, and beginning to wonder with curiosity and love what we can create to give back, to create more of this wonderful feeling. Gratitude brings us into the present moment, helps us show up for what is right now.

Here is the best story I’ve ever read of the power of gratitude, from a reader of mine. Sue had moved two years before to a new life of her choosing, yet not without regrets. She had returned to her former hometown on business and had a free moment to drive through her old neighborhood. Sitting outside her house, she writes, “Looking at my old house, this wave of grief for what I had and was not grateful for, for what I had and was not present for, washed over me. I saw a parade of moments of grace and beauty and meaning that I had canceled out because I either told myself, “I’m not good enough to have this, I shouldn’t be this lucky” or “This it’s not enough, that woman over there has a nicer body and she lives in a bigger house and she has children and why should she have that and not me?” As I sat in my rental car and I cried, and I cried, and I cried with grief, suddenly I was overcome with a wave of gratitude that literally broke my chest open. I could feel something give way in my solar plexus as I realized, with my entire body, I have so much right now.”

The Practices of Gratitude:

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, and swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in ink.” -G. K. Chesterton

Say grace not just before meals, but before any activity that matters to you.

Create a Gratitude Calendar and express gratitude each month for a different subject like People You’ve Known or Artists or Nature. Each day take a moment to express your gratitude for something or someone that relates to that category.

Write a thank you note or email to someone every day for a month. Your partner, your plumber, your 3rd grade teacher. Don’t make it long, just make it heartfelt.

Fill Post-it notes with gratitude quotes and place them where you are least likely to feel gratitude: your car during rush hour, a folder you will open during a contentious meeting.

Watch your talk — when you find yourself complaining or blaming, close your mouth. Do not finish your sentence. Take a deep breath. Show up. Now find one thing TO SAY OUT LOUD that you are grateful for. Dude, that’s gratitude and it’s just what you need.

#Dude #Wheres #Gratitude

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