I recently saw a beautiful TED Talk where Brother David Steindl-Rast spoke about gratefulness and gratitude. I was mesmerized by his short talk. I believe it was less than 16 minutes long.
David Steindl-Rast is a Catholic Benedictine monk that is best known for his work on the interaction between spirituality and science. I am especially found of this link because many people can only see the spiritual side of life and others can only see the scientific side of life. His blend of both is remarkable and very eloquent.
In this TED talk he notes that happiness comes from being grateful and that happy people are not the basis for gratitude but that grateful people are the basis for happiness. We all want to be happy. The easiest way to be happy is to practice gratitude.
Brother Davis takes us back to our childhood. When we were small, we were taught a basic lesson on how to cross the street. You must first stop, look and then go. He correlates this to gratitude very simply. When we were young we would see stop signs. These signs directed us to stop or halt ourselves for safety reasons. With gratitude you must also stop yourself and get quiet. As you observed the street for traffic, you must stop and observe your surroundings or life. You must get quiet to hear, see and touch your surroundings. Breathe in the air, hear the birds singing or children playing. Open your senses and heart to what is around you. Quietly just feel your surroundings.
As you look around yourself, recognize God’s blessings. I am writing this blog from my bedroom and I can see a blue jay outside my window. I found that interesting because in animal symbolism, the blue jay resonates truth, faithfulness, and solidarity. They also keep the same mate for life, which is symbolic of endurance, patience and loyalty. This is interesting to me because this is the rom I share with my husband and we practice all of these qualities.
I also see pictures of my daughter in different stages of her life. I have one of her around 5 years old with Santa Claus peeking out of a curtain behind her. This is special because when she had the picture taken Santa was no where to be found and when I picked up the picture to show her Santa was there. It was magical and one of my favorite pictures. I have one from her junior prom dressed so gorgeous in the dress we negotiated for at a local dress shop. She looked far beyond her 16 years in this shot. I also have a picture of her and her husband as she transitioned into being a wife and a grown woman.
In my room I see my amazing grandson’s baby crib that he uses when he naps at my house. He is such a miracle and blessing from God. This is also another reminder that my daughter has transitioned into being a mother and another thing I am grateful for.
What are you observing around you as you read this blog? Breathe in the air, feel the sunshine if you are outside, celebrate another day in our world by the grace of God. Recognize the miracles and wonders that surround you. What I am saying is stop and look.
The final point in crossing that street of gratitude is to go. That’s right, go. Explore your world and give thanks for every given moment. We know we are never promised tomorrow so live in this moment for today. Touch someone’s life, say a pray or maybe call an old friend. Don’t waste your moments. Savor every one of them.
Every moment is a gift of opportunity. How do you choose to use your moments of opportunity? I personally choose many different ways to drink in and feel my opportunities. Let me tell you a few ways.
I choose to give of myself because in touching other, I am receiving back so much more than I give. Every day I post an inspirational message on Facebook that celebrates God’s love or Word. I do this because it makes me feel tremendous reading the quote for the post that is reaffirming God’s love for me. I also see others sharing and liking the post meaning God is part of their life as well.
Another way I choose is I have a podcast that is about 10 minutes per episode speaking on how I am grateful for so many blessings in my life. I try to honor those that are constantly blessing me with love and support. My facilitator of my Grateful Gratitude with LoLo podcasts also practice gratitude and has helped me immensely to develop another format for gratitude. I know some people prefer hearing the words as opposed to reading them.
Lastly I have this incredible blog to share my thoughts and ideas on gratitude. This blog helps me to embrace God’s love and support every time I sit down to write. I know some times I write random blogs but always know they come from my heart and a place of appreciation for my life.
In closing this blog I would like to tell you once again I am blessed to have you on this journey with me. I pray that everyone that is here with me feels God’s love, grace and mercy every day of your life. Choose to stop, look and go. Blessing, love, peace and gratitude.
“One can learn to focus on opportunity as the gift within every given moment. This attitude towards life always improves the situation. Even in times of sickness, someone who habitually practices grateful living will look for the opportunity a given moment offers and use it creatively.” -David Steindl-Rast