GRATITUDE IS OUR SAVING GRACE
Yesterday, something happened that knocked me off center. It triggered a vicious whirlpool of worries that sucked at my energy, my peace, my joy, my concentration.
This was infuriating because I wanted to spend the entire day writing with turbo-charged mental and physical stamina.
But suddenly all I wanted to do was go to sleep.
“You have to send love to the situation,” Catherine said. “Negativity only makes it worse. Just concentrate on sending positive energy to resolve it.”
She was telling me what I already knew — and do — most of the time.
But sometimes we can forget to practice what we preach.
So, I meditated on what she said, prayed, napped for an hour, woke up feeling better, and started writing.
Then another one of the dearest people in my life called, lavishing me with eloquent words of comfort that melted away my angst.
I spent the rest of the day, until 11:30 p.m., working with excellent energy and focus.
I was overjoyed!
Today I woke up feeling peaceful and happy. After yoga, gratitude overwhelmed me during meditation. It was much more than saying thank you. Here’s what happened:
In an instant, my mind stopped racing forward over everything I want to accomplish today: work out, run errands, finish editing a giant manuscript, and write a good number of pages. At the same time, my brain stopped whirling over yesterday, and things that happened months or years ago. The constant barrage of “what if” and “I should” and “maybe this, that, or the other” suddenly went silent.
And I became acutely conscious of the NOW.
This moment. The stillness of my body. The plushness of the couch under me and the blanket over me. The pleasant sensations in my body. And—with a quick mental status check of my loved ones, my career, my health, my home, and everything else—I was enveloped in a peaceful, floaty sensation that all is well.
All the while, I refused to revert to hysterical worry about a few things.
This is quintessential mindfulness. Focusing on this moment, because in scientific truth, it’s all we really have. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow isn’t promised. But we do have NOW.
With that, peace wafted through my entire being. Gratitude washed over me like a warm wave. An immense thankfulness to God for blessing me with extraordinary people who are not only there to laugh and celebrate when things are great, but to comfort and uplift me when I’m down. That is the true test of love, and when we acknowledge it, it deepens. When we lavish it back on the people we know and love, it creates an infinite cycle of love and peace that expands exponentially. Imagine if everyone in the world did that, right now! We would have no war or division; we would all live together in a spirit of harmony.
Change starts one person at a time. So, taking stock of all the blessings in your life, and sharing them with others, is a way for all of us to do something every day, at no cost, to foster peace within ourselves, each other, and the world.
You’ll find that gratitude will push a RESET button inside you.
Worrying about things doesn’t change them; it can actually make them worse because it triggers the stress hormone cortisol in your body which can make you sick. What you resist, persists. What you think about, you bring about.
I want to bring about great books, a healthy happy lifestyle, and a positive impact on my loved ones and the world.
So, I’m dwelling in a place of gratitude today… I hope you can join me!
© 2017 Elizabeth Ann Atkins