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Maintaining Gratitude

The daily practice of gratitude becomes most essential in the darkness...

Like any new skill, gratitude requires daily practice in order to become more adept. A much easier concept when things are going our way or when the holidays approach.

What happens to our practice when darkness occurs? Not always catastrophic, darkness can masquerade within many aspects of our daily lives. You know, something we really wanted and didn't receive, unwanted changes, a misunderstanding with a loved one, or a day full of "the little mishaps" that just don't cease?

It's in these moments that we do ourselves (and others) an injustice if we don't simplify and practice gratitude. This may mean taking a breath, saying a go to positive thought, talking to someone, practicing self care, and/or shifting away from our agenda to take a moment to just BE. When I say just BE, let me clarify what that means to me. Just being transcends to taking a pause and stepping back from a situation to reflect. When I'm in a moment of just BE, I'm asking myself a few questions. What is going right? What am I feeling and why? What part do I need to take personal responsibility for? What do I need to let go of or change?

In these moments, I also try to remember that I'm only responsible for MY response and it's ok for others to respond in the way they need to without reproach. In the same sense, it's essential for me to only take responsibility for myself without taking on others' stuff. We may have to admit and feel okay with the imperfection of the moment, day, or our lives right now. However, we can choose to focus on what's going right, the happiness of right now, or realizing that this negative feeling is temporary.

If we don't take these moments, is it possible we're permitting further injustice? Part of living in the NOW is permitting ourselves and others the right to be human. By embracing this moment, we might just help ourselves, see others' and ourselves differently, become more patient with each other, and actually increase our feelings of gratitude.

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