GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 15: “An attitude of gratitude brings great things.” ― Yogi Bhajan
What we focus our time, our attention, our lives on, grows. This is easy to prove to yourself. Spend an entire day saying, “thank you” every time you encounter someone.
Just saying it will make them smile, even if you don’t know them. No matter what happens, say “thank you” as sincerely and as pleasantly as you can.
It changes you and them in an instant. People may walk up to you on the street, in the market, in the mall, at work, anywhere, feeling unhappy, worried, sad, etc. They will feel better the minute they get that greeting from you. Many will ask “what are you thanking me for?” And all I say when I do this is,
“Because I am grateful for you.”
Again, they may ask why; and I just say, because you are you and no one else is like you. It baffles them, but most people will let it go at that. If you know the person, please find something nice and kind to tell them if they ask why.
If not, just say that you are experimenting with being thankful for everything you see and do. When you drive your car, thank the car for starting or not starting, for having gas or needing gas, for having air in the tires or not having air in the tires, for taking you safely (or not) to your destination. Thank your car for running smoothly and being comfortable to sit in, or not. Thank it for having seat belts to protect you, having a radio or music function to entertain you. Thank the radio or whatever it has for the music it plays. Really listen to the music if you have it. Or thank the silence if you don’t.
Do this with everything in your life throughout the course of the day. It is amazing how much we take for granted. If ANY of these things were to leave us, we would be sad, angry or perhaps depressed and lost.
Yet, we forget to be present to the many, many miracles that surround us each and every minute of our lives.
Have you ever woken from a great night of sleep and said, “thank you” to the pillow(s), sheets, blankets, mattresses and bed? I do it often. I love whatever bed I am sleeping in. And warm blankets on a cool night. And the clock that wakes you up, and the floor under your feet for keeping you upright. And the stove on which we cook our meals, and the pots and pans and spoons and knives and forks. You get the drift.
Be grateful for the food you eat, each and every ingredient. It would not be as savory without all its ingredients. And the ability of your body to convert that food into healthy (or not!) energy. And the water you drink and the tea and the coffee and the many things that go into each of them being in your life.
Can we talk about plumbing? I love plumbing when it works, as it most often does. It sucks when plumbing breaks, but we seldom think about how much we rely on it and it is a great blessing in our lives. And homes and all the beautiful things in them. And the sky, and the trees and birds. You get the drift.
Spend an entire day in this practice. It brings great mindfulness into our lives. It gives us a sense of the enormity of the gifts we truly are blessed with. If you are reading this, don’t forget to thank your phone or computer and whomever it was who taught you to read. It is not a right, it is a gift. And the eyes doing the reading. And my keyboard and fast-typing fingers…see how this works? I love it so much!