Why Cultivate Gratitude
Dear Why Team member, I hope this weeks message finds you well and encouraged living your
Best Year Ever!
I realize it may be hard reading that with all the events in the past 2 weeks, but in the end, an attitude of gratitude is important so, Thank You for being a part of the team and for your time to consider this week's message.
As spring settles in, consider allowing gratitude to settle in as well and start Cultivating Gratitude! Especially when we feel times are tough, 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.
An attitude of gratitude can help us not lose perspective; this is not a gene, it’s a muscle we need to work to strengthen, or it will atrophy. Gratitude fuels hope for the future, a positive attitude will help you live hope. 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.
And who wants to live in want? 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 fortunate, to experience true fortune. In the end, we lead by example - attitude matters - it directly affects how we function in the world - and is seen and felt by others. 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.
Pay particular interest in your attitude and 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. No matter how you develop your practice of gratitude, just know that as you invest time and energy into your healthy disciplines, you are generating the necessary fuel to live your BEST YEAR EVER!
Make it a great week!
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