“What?!” you ask, “thankful?!!! I am sick of the snow, sick of the cold, I want Spring!!!”
Those of you who know me, know I really don’t like heat, and so Fall and Winter are happy times for me. I do love Spring, but when it arrives, I know Summer is on its way with the heat and humidity and mosquitoes and, and, and. . . But, that’s not why I am saying to remember to be thankful. I would like to think I would be reminding us all to be thankful even if it was 100 degrees and humid.
So, what I am talking about is that those of you who are reading this have a computer, a home, clothing, food, a bed, loved ones, pets, health and so on. There are people in this world who not only don’t know when and where their next meal is coming, they don’t even have clothes to wear. We have so much to be thankful for, and we often take it all for granted. When we are snowbound tomorrow, choose to be thankful for a warm place to live, warm food to eat and the warmth of love from friends, family and animals around us.
One of the co-founders of the Acupuncture school where I work says that all unnecessary suffering is the expectation that things should be different than they are. Some suffering is necessary. If a loved one dies, or you get hit by a car, suffering is natural and part of the experience. But most of us experience suffering from wanting life to show up differently than it does. We could be in suffering for more snow coming. I could suffer that summer is on its way. Or we all could choose differently. We could choose to be grateful.
More things go right in our lives than go wrong. We are just used to focusing on the things that have gone wrong. We ignore the days that go smoothly, or the delicious meals that grace our tables, or the joy our dogs express when we walk in the door. But let one thing go wrong and that’s all we talk about for hours, or days. I am learning the practice of bringing my mind back to gratitude when I catch myself complaining. I mess up (a lot), but I get to start over and over and over again, and that’s something to also be grateful for. I invite you to practice with me. The next time something goes “wrong” and you catch yourself complaining, think of one thing you are grateful for and shift your thinking. I also invite you to email me and tell me what changes in your life when you do this practice: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay warm, dry and safe, and I send love to you all.