The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel.
What are you grateful for? It’s been a common practice to keep a gratitude journal these days to enumerate all the things you’re thankful for. Expressing gratitude envelopes a certain grace that many seem to take for granted. It is so much easier to complain about what we don’t have or would like to have.
As soon as an issue arises, we can quickly complain or create more drama around it. It is common to forget the little things that surround us each day that make our lives easy. For example, waking up each day. Even if you wake up in a lousy mood, shouldn’t you at least be grateful that you woke up? It means that the involuntary actions of your fantastic body were all in check and kept you alive.
Each morning, regardless of my mood, I express the gratitude of waking to Source, God, the Universe…whichever you prefer to name it. There will come a day when this will no longer happen, you know. Why not be grateful and joyous that you get to spend another day here?
Deepak Chopra said during one of his daily meditations, “All good things bring gratitude.” I agree with this statement; however, I’d restate it as “All good things and all seemingly bad things, bring forth gratitude.”
I say “seemingly bad things” because even the difficult situations in our lives have a lesson linked to them to bring us to higher consciousness and awareness. So, we should express gratitude towards those experiences, even though it seems counterintuitive and clearly uncomfortable when we’re in the moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the great Tibetan Monk, expresses it this way, “Hello, fear, what have you to teach me?” or something to that effect. In other words, with acceptance of our current feelings, even if they seem scary or impossible to face, comes a certain grace, and with that grace comes deep gratitude within. One does not have to keep a journal of gratitude statements or use someone else’s canned gratitude statements to be thankful.
If you can be the awareness of gratitude, then you are living in a state of grace. I make it my daily practice to be aware of all the wonderous things I see before me and express gratitude right in the moment. Sometimes it doesn’t even come through as a visual conceptualization, like a puffy cloud or light on the birch tree during sunrise. Sometimes, I feel an exhilaration within.
I feel such a feeling right now because I’m going to pick you guys up from school and college, and we’re going to have a great meal at our favorite restaurant tonight. “Thank you, God, for my beautiful children and the abundant meal you bless us with tonight.” I couldn’t be any more grateful!