I believe that gratitude is an innate gift of the heart - a natural response to the miracle of life as we experience it when we are truly present. M.J. Ryan uses the analogy of a flashlight in her book, Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life.
“Gratitude is like a flashlight. If you go out into your yard at night and turn on a flashlight, you suddenly can see what’s there. It was always there, but you couldn’t see in the dark.”
I have found this to be true in my life. So often, I go through my day not really seeing all I have been given. Instead, I am aware of what’s not here, what is missing or what should be different.
Yet when I am mindful of this moment, it leads me to recognize every thing I have is a gift. Life itself is a precious gift. When I am awake to the now, I feel grateful, and this gratitude then lights up all the little gifts each day.
To do this, I have to slow down and let go of some of my to-do’s. If I open my heart and really see what is here in this present moment, letting the breath anchor me in this body, open, receptive and available to what is, I see those gifts.
This weekend, I enjoyed the gift of my grandchildren as we spent the afternoon and evening together. I chose to let go of all the things “I should be doing on Saturday” and spent time with two incredible members of my family. I marveled at their wisdom, laughed at their antics and listened as they shared something of what life is like for them now. I feel so grateful today as I reflect on this amazing gift I was given to get to know them a little more and to see the beauty of their souls.
For the Half-Day Retreat in November, we will be looking deeper into seeing the goodness of what is – slowing down to savor the incredible giftedness of our lives. Join me if you can Friday, November 9 OR Saturday, November 10, 9:30am-1:30pm.