As I slowly emerged from the unusually deep stillness and peace brought to my heart by the Saturday morning meditation, one of my first thoughts was that of gratefulness for the experience. It isn’t every morning that I have an effortless transition from waking up and walking up to the meditation room, relaxing the body and mind, focusing on the heart, and then going into nothingness. The truth is that, more often than not, the body won’t relax or the mind won’t still the thought parade or the storm will be clattering on the windows or the birds will be chirping or one of the puppies will wake up and start barking or…
You get the idea. One makes time and space, one practices the techniques with the best of intentions, and yet, the outcome isn’t what we expect. The ‘perfect’ meditation experience is often more elusive than one wants it to be, and it has taught me one thing over time — be grateful for them all. I have taught myself that, at the end of the meditation session, no matter the resulting condition of my heart and mind, I am going to smile and say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity to participate. With this focus on gratitude, regardless of the outcome, I have taken the pressure off of myself, my body, mind and heart, and redefined the ‘ideal’ outcome of every meditation session.
What has been the ‘side-effect’ of this redefined focus on ‘gratitude for the opportunity’ to participate? I tend to now approach many tasks, old and new, exciting and mundane – even the ones that I was ‘meh’ about, with a different attitude. Unloading the dishwasher? Mowing the grass? Going to the post-office? Walking the dogs in miserable-looking weather? Sure. More often than not, the tasks take on a new hue of Joy, when I remember to focus on the fact that I have been called upon, and have the ability to do my minuscule part in the moment.
I believe that once we bring gratitude into our everyday actions, give it a home in our daily existence, its energy has the potential to radiate into many, if not all areas of our lives. With a focus on gratitude, we will radiate joy to all who come in our path, because our “heart’s eyes will remember to focus on the goodness, gentleness, kindness, and friendliness” that resides in all.
It’s time to brew another pot of tea, turn on some holiday music, and get ready for the day. I am grateful for hot water and tea leaves and the sunshine on this cold day. What has your experience been with ‘focusing on gratitude’?
P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter chat, Sunday Nov 20 at 9amET / 2pmGMT in #SpiritChat. I look forward to your sharing, and am grateful for our community that radiates light to all. Happy Thanksgiving week to all! Namaste. – @AjmaniK