The Season of Gratitude-Thanksgivingby Danielle DeBray on 11/15/14
Although it is November when I write this, the ground has turned hard and white, and visions of gravy and mashed potatoes dance in my head as the day of national feasting fast approaches, this can also be a time of renewing one's attention towards gratitude. It is always easy to belabor the problems one has or the anxieties that swirl in one's mind, but it is in the stillness of now that if one chooses to rest one's mind that one can find the inner-peace where gratitude lives.
To take this to an extreme example, if one is in physical pain, it doesn't matter how expensive the bed is or how elegant the bedroom is that one lies in to experience physical pain. The physical gifts that life can bestow or take away from us are just distractions from the internal world. In other words, when one is in pain, an elegant room doesn't reduce it!
To transcend the pain, one can of course take a pain pill to cut it, but sometimes, that's not always available for one reason or another so again, one is left with one's own internal landscape to make sense of the pain. I use physical pain as an analogy here because it is easier to delineate sometimes than emotional pain, but the same skills apply.
So back to the plush bed in the elegant room where one is distractedly focusing upon one's physical pain. To get away from it, the stillness in the body, where the pain fades to the background, is found in being stricktly in the moment. If one focuses upon the future or reminesces about the past, there is only heartbreak. One can get lost for days remembering or wistfully wishing for what could be, but isn't now.
The moment of now offers abundant opportunities for gratitude. If one is in bed in pain, can the thought enter in that one is lucky to have bed to feel pain in? There are so many in the world don't have that. If there is a body part that is shrieking in pain, many don't have that body part to feel pain. So how lovely that you have the opportunity to have your body share with you it's journey.
But can you hear, it? Do you tell it--f" off! I don't have time to listen, I have more fun or important things to do than to bother with a silly body part! Do you fall into discouragement and say 'what did I do to deserve this?' Maybe you barely notice your body because your going over lists in your head of what to do? Maybe this is all you know as to how to deal with your body because this is all you ever got and anything other, is strange.
In the stillness, the answers will come. Can you turn off the judgement of your pain being inconvenient, an annoyance to deal with, something that you judge is making you inadequate, doubt that it's such a big deal. Can you turn off your judgements, your distractions, your wistful wishes, your meanderings to the past and just rest with the abundance of knowing that right now in this very moment, you may hurt or all may not be perfect, but you are ok. Just in this moment. You may not have everything figured out, you may not like where you are, you may not have the answers questions you have, but just for right this moment you are ok because you actually have the presence of mind to be able to actually read these words and affirm them to yourself. Just in this moment alone.
You can see it's a choice. You can choose to hold this reality or you can choose to come up with a million reasons why I am wrong: --That you are not ok; --That I don't know XYZ issue you have going on for you. You can choose to put your attention on explaining and arguing, or you can just try something new and hold that, just in this moment and this moment alone--you are ok. And what if you string a whole lot of those moments together and hold that just for these moments, you are ok. What if?
May gratitude warmly and richly fill your heart so abundantly it graces your Thanksgiving holiday overflows into your being throughout the year.