Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gratitude is Built for ALL Things

Gratitude is a cornerstone of success. Having a sense of thanksgiving and praise for life is key to attracting more of what it is you're thankful for.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things: waking up, breathing, walking, talking, love, good relationships, a wonderful job but what about the not-so great things?

What about the awful boss who never promotes you?
What about the less than supportive spouse who doesn't like the idea of you starting a business? What about the whiny kids who would rather jump off the walls than take a nap for you when you really need to get work done?
What about the meddling in-laws who come over unannounced?
What about the university who's just overcharged you for last semester and who you can't get a hold of to have the billing error fixed?
What about being thankful for the not-so-great stuff?

What most of us fail to realize is this:
The "bad" experiences are our greatest teachers and
they have, within them, the most powerful leessons.

It amazes me how easy we forget our blessings when having a bad day.

I woke up this morning and things didn't go as planned.
#1- I woke up late (I'm usually up by 5 am) and I woke up at 8:30 am.
Waking up late for me is like getting to work 2 hours late for anyone with a 9-5 job. I have 2 toddlers at home right now that are up at 7:30 am and if I don't get in my meditation/prayer/power of positive thinking/work window in at the crack of dawn, it doesn't get done so today, guess what? It didn't get done.
#2- Unmeditated and very agitated, I tried to do work and get my "to-do" list done (I have a ton of to-do lists; I'm a list woman) and between the toddlers bickering, my 12 yr old asking philosophical questions (he's so smart!) and having to cook in between, very little work got done, to the point where I went into my room and cried. Yes, I cried...

Add to that the fact that the Internet was slow, my email communications provider's website wasn't working and I was feeling a slight tinge of writer's block and it was a doozy of a morning/afternoon.

Finally, I did the smart thing: I surrendered. I took a shower, said my affirmations, got dressed and took a long nap (thank God for grandmas who can watch their grandchildren). I woke up refreshed, renewed and with a very different perspective.

All morning long, I'd focused on what I wasn't able to do. I was focused on doing things my way and was completely resisting going with the flow. I was missing out on opportunities for gratitude because I was so set on seeing what wasn't working. A nap solved that issue because I rested and with rested eyes, you see things much differently.

I woke up and realized that I am so blessed. My children are healthy, happy, rambunctious and full of energy. They love life and their simple appreciation for my time teaches me how to love life as well.

I looked at my 3 year old and, for a moment, was brought back to a time when I was pregnant with her, sitting in an Ob/Gyn's office, having an ultrasound, being told that she might have Downs Syndrome. They asked me if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy. I flashed back to that devastating moment and, all of a sudden, I was reminded just how blessed I am. That child was born absolutely healthy, no Downs Syndrome and she is fiercely independent, fiercely vivacious, and absolutely loving. Is there any greater gift?

For the last two days, I've been thinking about a line out of Louise L. Hay's "You Can Heal Your Life." In it, she says, "Money is the easiest thing to demonstrate." The first time I read that, I thought "HUH?" but thinking about the miracle that is my daughter, I see how right she is.

You can't pay for good health. There's no amount of money you can pay to not have a child with Downs Syndrome. Love is priceless. Family is priceless. Every major thing in life that is essential to living, including breathing, is FREE.

It's time to be grateful for everything, even the bad experiences because within the bad experiences of life are miracles we may not be able to fully see until long after they've passed. I teach about extraordinary success because every day I live it. I'm learning that the extraordinary part of success comes in the ordinary aspects of living, that courage is a choice, and that gratitude is a requirement.

Joy in the storm is a life lesson; don't worry if you're not getting it the first 5,000 times a bad day hits. It comes with time and, eventually, when it storms in your life, you learn how to dance in the rain.

I wasn't dancing this morning; I'm dancing now:)

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