Dear Why Team member,
I hope this message finds you well and encouraged. Thank you for being a part of the team and for your time to consider this week's message.
Especially when we are feeling that times are tough for us we tend to focus on what we perceive to be wrong in the world. But are you investing time regularly…
...to observe what is Right?
A friend of mine once said, "Life isn't fair, it's been unfairly weighted in my favor". How many of us have the strength or the grace to admit that?
Why cultivate gratitude?
Strengthening our spirit of gratitude can expand our ability to see what is possible in the midst of our storms. Gratitude helps us not lose perspective. Gratitude fuels hope for the future. Gratitude can awaken us to possibilities when fear brings feelings of hopelessness.
Our preset tendency is a desire to change our circumstances rather than to do the more difficult work of changing ourselves.
Consider your efforts to develop and maintain good eating habits and get regular physical exercise...how about your mind, do you have consistent mental health exercises? Fortify your body AND your mind. What is your gratitude discipline? Morning, evening, throughout the day or none at all? Why a gratitude discipline? We cannot serve from an empty cup. Behaviors born from scarcity are largely me focused, fear focused; behaviors born from abundance are other focused, foster faith, hope and produce more abundance both materially and via our overall enjoyment in life. As Sheryl Crow shares in her song, "Soak up the Sun": "It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got".
One need only visit a hospital or drive through the poorest part of town to regain perspective. Most of us are rich beyond our beliefs. Why? Because our current beliefs are not filled with gratitude for the riches we have. We can, without regular cultivation of gratitude, become focused more on getting more, rather than giving more. It is fascinating how poor the richest among us can feel when they are not appreciating their good fortune. In fact, consider how one must feel fortun-ate, to experience true fortune.
I cultivate gratitude every morning at the beginning of each new day. I reflect on the preciousness of a new day as I add entries to my gratitude list, listing human interactions from the day before along with the little things that can be so easily taken for granted. Mornings when I struggle to identify reasons to be grateful, I know it's all the more important that I spend more time in the space of thankfulness.
Recently I have been endeavoring to list points of gratitude before I sleep at night, with a desire to mentally baste all night in abundance. If not careful, we can fall asleep thinking about how we are hurt and what is wrong, only to find that a fitful sleep is not conducive to effectively improving our situations the following day. I also am endeavoring to add to my gratitude list throughout the day. When I feel particularly grateful for an interaction for example, I just add it to my list on my smart phone.
No matter how you develop your practice of gratitude, just know that as you invest time and energy into what you eat and exercise, as you continue into the new year, pay particular interest into how you feed and support your mind - no doubt the paid attention will pay high dividends for a more abundant life, for you and for those you seek to serve.
Make it a great week,
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