Good morning everyone! I hope more of you managed to remember to wake up and, while you’re still hazy, set an intention for today to be a good day. If you didn’t no problem, no regrets. Just try it again tomorrow.
As most people feel, there is currently an unusual amount of conflict in society. And that makes sense. The pandemic has hurt people in countless ways, and no one likes living with all of this uncertainty. So despite many heroes, overall we’re not at our best. Fortunately, none of that stops us from exhibiting our good side either. So here’s today’s Meditation in Gratitude:
First off, if we drive or at home, it’s helpful today if we listen to a radio station that does interviews, or magazine style news stories, or other shows that feature people talking about theirs or other people’s lives. In that case, we’ll be listening for examples of people volunteering to be kind to someone else.
As we look around, let’s keep our eyes open for the same thing. Actively watch for voluntary kindness: If someone holds a door open for someone else. If someone buys someone lunch. If someone offers to cover some work for someone else. A character on TV does something for another character.
We can even be grateful that a show’s producer brought laughter into our lives rather than sorrow. That was a choice where someone was kind to us en mass. We can be grateful for the riveting performance someone gave us on screen. Or for a song from the soundtrack.
Because I do this all the time, I find things to be grateful for serially. I couldn’t even hope to count them. Of course I’ll choose to think about other things, or slip into thinking about other things, but the reason I love just the act of being alive so much is because I am otherwise constantly finding reasons to be sincerely grateful.
Tonight, as I walked into the hospital to see my Mom, it felt good to get out of the cold. I wordlessly thanked the people who invented, designed and installed and maintained the system that was warming me up. Then I openly expressed gratitude to the nurses for the risks their jobs involved and yet they came in anyway.
In the end, we’ll know if we’re good at gratitude based on how much of it we can find. But if it goes really well, we’ll find ourselves with so many reasons to be grateful that we’ll feel like we can’t contain it all.
That’s what creates that beautiful, strong glowy feeling we all like to feel. The world is just too good for us to even fit it into our little minds. It’s that bursting feeling we get if we watch an amazing sunset that takes our breath away. It’s like our spirit explodes outside the confines of our body.
Now, if you’re feeling down, that will sound stupid. Fair enough. From that perspective it seems a bridge too far. And you’re partly right, because if you’ve been down a long time, your cells are good at doing that drug. But despite the fact that your brain can produce a different drug.
If our cells aren’t tuned to it, it can take a while to really capture a significant feeling of excitement. In essence, without practice, our bodies have gotten worse at pumping themselves up. But practice and repetition will be what will expands that capacity.
If we’re feeling down, we have to keep in mind that it can’t really hurt us to try out some conscious appreciation of genuinely good things. There is no downside. And just maybe, it’s remarkable when repeated, and amazing as a habit.
We will always find what we look for. So today, our meditation will be to be careful about what we look for. And to make it easier for our minds not to wander, we’ll aim at: reasons to be grateful.
Be as creative as you can. And if you’re working with friends on this, compare notes. Who had what you think is the best example? And what was the most creative one, or surprising one? Which one were you impressed was even found?
Collect these. Notice how routine it is to live in a place where everything is weaved together with little acts of generosity and kindness. If we bother to note it, the world is a beautiful place. It even manages to add a little fortune in every misfortune.
Note kind acts. Be grateful that humanity has these qualities. Repeat that process of awareness until the day is awesome.
See you guys tomorrow. Love to all.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.