Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gratitude: Part 2

Gratitude is the intention to count-your-blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances - Timothy Miller

I first wrote about gratitude back in August. As I continue my journey through Network Spinal Care, my gratitude also continues to grow. A nervous system expanding? A spiritual flowering? Who really knows? All I know is that the experience of gratitude grows deeper and richer for me everytime I touch it.

I have come to believe that the struggle to understand gratitude is a defining theme/karmic lesson in my life.

It is becoming clear to me that the days when I am farthest from gratitude are the hardest. They are the days when I question everything. The days when I wonder why life isn't different. Why things aren't moving faster? or slower? They are the days when I doubt myself and my place in the world. The days when I feel like I'm reaching, grabbing, striving and pushing, but still coming up empty-handed. They are the days when I feel like it is never enough.

This morning I attended my first yoga class with a group of good friends. The breath work inherent to yoga is supposed to connect you to your inner spirit, and to the wider energy of the universe. I think it worked. Because today, I am gifted with endless amounts of gratitude. I lay in bed after yoga and brunch, trying to catch a little rest. I closed my eyes, but could not sleep. All I could think, see and feel was blessed. All I could think was: My life does not have to be anything other than what it is. And I felt profoundly complete. I cried tears of true joy.

Later, I attended the Yamato Drummers concert, and it was truly amazing. The drums pounded through my body like thunder. It was so primal, I felt like screaming a whoop of joy! I was breathless and wide-eyed. And because I was still in this state of gratitude, my eyes filled with tears again. This time, I felt the surge of gratitude wash through me like a wave. It was so strong that it threatened to overwhelm me. I felt like weeping. I felt like I would collapse onto the floor. I felt totally out of control.

I forced myself to disconnect. I took a step back and forced myself outside of it. I rationalized it.

Another reason we turn logical with our gratitude is that it is terrifying. The wonder of a moment in which there is nothing but an upwelling of simple happiness is utterly awesome. Gratitude is so close to the bone of life, pure and true, that it instantly stops the rational mind, and all its planning and plotting. That kind of let go is fiercely threatening. I mean, where might such gratitude end? - Regina Sara Ryan


Mel said...

I have experienced flashes of this feeling (also on Saturday moved to tears of gratitude). It's beautiful. Life is good huh Shell? Contrast your Saturday spent and felt this weekend with one say, 2 years ago...You're growing. xo

shellz said...

Or how about 1 week ago? Heh Heh. Gosh, is it really only one week since Footwork?

Sally said...

Gratitude is the intention to count-your-blessings every day, every minute, while avoiding, whenever possible, the belief that you need or deserve different circumstances - Timothy Miller

I believe the first part of the statement, but ... sometimes you, or the person you're talking to, or the world in general DOES deserve different circumstances. I think it's important to recognize injustice where you see it. It's also important not to a) create injustice where there isn't any, or b) expect the rest of the world to autumatically see the injustice as you see it. AND it's important to recognize that there are things to be grateful for in the face of almost any adversity. I think people like MLK, Jr., managed to largely strike a balance between appreciating the glory of the world but also facing up to what was going on in the world in order to deal with it head-on. I hope to hearn to do a better job of that myself.

Thanks for sharing your post. :)