Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well - and aware that life was not created fair. Despite that, we have a daily choice to make on how we view our circumstances; is our glass half full or half empty? It’s both, but we get to choose on what to focus.
Allow me to remind you that tomorrow is promised to no one and that if we truly look at all we were given, we should be crying for joy.
Since on the topic, when was the last time you shed tears of joy?
In over 12 years of research, Brene Brown, an author I have much respect for, confesses that she’s never met a person that would describe themselves as joyful without that person also having an actual ritual for practicing gratitude; hence the conclusion:
“It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.”
In a deep state of gratitude we can feel overwhelmed with emotion much like a cup can be overwhelmed by the excessive liquid poured into it. It is interesting that in these moments of deep appreciation for all that life has brought us, feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, that similarly tears can well up and overflow. For most of us this can be a very rare occasion, but one to be immensely appreciated in a world that is preoccupied with what is missing; a world incessantly seeking reasons for discomfort outside of ourselves, and promoting self-pity when often it's just the absence of gratitude. Instead of appreciating the joy and the possibilities available to us now and in the future, fueled with gratitude for ALL that life has brought us, we often find ourselves disconnected and unable to create those wonderful possibilities.
If we're not careful, the automatic brain’s preoccupation with what it knows, which is only the past, can have us developing the limited habits of seeking primarily to repeat past pleasures and avoid past pains. Preoccupation with the past leaves little room for authentic connection with what is present in this very moment, what is present now for a birth of new possibilities.
Life is emergent, always emerging around us and within us; how connected are we to it?
Few things are more profound to me than when I arrive at that place, where upon quiet reflection, I count it all as joy, when I see how my greatest pains have come to become some of my greatest gifts, as they have awakened me more to myself and those around me. Moments when I feel that all my negatives are positives, gifts for my growth and development, when I feel that absolutely nothing is missing and that all I could have ever dreamed for has not only come my way but has filled my cup to overflowing. In these moments, especially, I find myself giving thanks, not via some intellectual exercise, but rather from a deep place of gratitude for the love I have been privileged to experience; for those moments of true human connection when we are beyond all pretense, identity or protectiveness. I share this with you because it took me years to develop and stick to a “practice of gratitude”. This weeks message is an effort to save you time and reduce the pain of self-learning.
You may remember me sharing and suggesting you establish a gratitude list. I promise you that list will help you feel the present that the present is and appreciate more the current moment.
To be fully in the moment when you really see the beauty around you, in the fall colors of the leaves, in the eyes of your dog and the wag of his tail, the warmth of the coffee in your hands is immeasurable. To be so grateful for the given moment, each moment given to us, moments that one day will be no longer; wasting-not the given moment and wanting-not for more is a high accomplishment.
To just be so grateful to be; to be with your loved ones and also thankful to have been with the loved ones that are no longer physically with you, but here in an indescribable spirit, present through you and with those you love is grate(full)ness in itself. When you are no longer sad for endings, but grateful for what has happened and for new beginnings, in each newly given moment, when the truth of enough is all around you and you feel overwhelmed to just be grateful for being and grateful for being in the lives of those you love; giving thanks becomes a way of experiencing the gift of life that has no comparison.
During this month of Thanksgiving, consider making more time to remember all that has been given to you. May you connect so fully with it all that you are overwhelmed.
May you feel deep gratitude in those thoughts and experiences of connection that give our lives true meaning.
This week and beyond:
Happy Thanks Giving!