I've had them, you've had them, she's had them and so has he. We all know they've had them! Crappy days. My boss sucks, my job stinks, traffic is horrible and the weather, well, its perfect like maybe twice a year and then it's too hot or cold, too wet, too snowy and when it is good, you're stuck back at that crappy job you have....What's to be grateful for?
Take a breathe and really feel it. Experience the air rushing life into your body. The air is not something we can see, taste or really feel, yet it surrounds us and nurtures us every second of every day. What a miracle! Look around you. See anything green? Be aware of the plant kingdom taking in the poisonous carbon dioxide you exhale, using it and returning oxygen to replenish the very air you breathe. Watch a hawk riding the thermals and see him suddenly dive to catch prey. After he consumes his meal, what he leaves behind decomposes into the soil to provide the very nutrients that nourish the same plants that work to keep you breathing....
Yes we can keep going and write a whole book on the connectedness of all life on the planet and how truly amazing it is, but what is most awe inspiring is that which created all of this, designed these intricate systems and allows them to keep working. I really don't care what name or title you give to the Creator or what brand of religion you ascribe to (or don't), stop and look at all of this and just try not to be grateful!
What's our next step? Understanding that NOTHING happens by accident. The Shaman understands everything that happens is a part of the synchronicity of the Universe. Some people call it God's plan, some say it is karma and others will avow fate or destiny. We meet people we need to meet. Maybe it's that boss you were complaining about? What does he have to teach you? Is the job you hate so much showing you who you really are? Could the traffic issues be there to help you develop patience?
Judgement is the next hurdle to overcome on our journey to gratitude. When something makes us uncomfortable, irritated or just plain angry, we slap a label on it and send it blame. He did this to me, it's her fault this happened, they all suck as drivers and that's why I'm stuck here on this highway! But maybe that bad driver was rushing home because of a family emergency and got careless in his concern. The job you hate might be perfect for someone else and maybe you just accepted the wrong position. Is your boss really a jerk, or is he responding to pressure from his superiors and he doesn't really know how else to act on it? The antidote for all this judgementing (the spellchecker is freaking out over that word, but I like so it stays in) we do is simply forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiveness isn't for those you feel wronged you but for your own healing from those negative feelings that arise. Embrace forgiveness and acceptance and watch the calmness ensue. Just a quick FYI-the author is known to harbor a lot of those judgemental thoughts, but every life is a work in progress....
So why is gratitude so important? Gratitude is our bridge to divinity. It is the direct link we have to Spirit and Creator. It is our acknowledgement of the beauty in every part of creation and the synchronicity of everything around us. As a healer, it is important in my work to be grateful everyday. I have made it my practice to be consciously grateful of something every morning when I awake and every night before I sleep. It can be harder than it sounds, but there is something in your day that you can thank the Universe for. Sometimes I include the things that most frustrated me during the day for the lessons they brought me or the mirror they held up so I could recognize things in myself that bring these things on.
Try this for a week. Stop when you first wake up and thank the Universe, God or Goddess or whomever you prefer, and then do it again right before you go to sleep. I know you will see a difference in your life. I know it is making a difference in mine. Oh and, go easy on yourself, too, you might not be as bad as you think you are....