The act of gratitude is widely recognised as having positive self- healing affects.
A flood of humility, devoid of all ego can be created quite simply by acknowledging and appreciating what we already have instead of pinning our happiness on the future that may, or may not materialise. "I'll be happy one day when I have that thing or get to this place."
Instead, think for a moment about what is working for you right now. It could be very simple, often unnoticed; your child's smile, a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy sky, your health, or your family and friends.
Harvard Medical School published the following information on gratitude:
"Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation."
"Seek and ye shall find" as someone wise once said. If you search for things to be bitter or angry about or to justify why you are hard done by or unlucky, you will find them. But what is happening to your soul in the process? Surely it's better to identify the good, the positive, the light in the darkness because you will easily find that too if you search for it. Also, while you are appreciating what you have and feeling positive and happy it is impossible to be negative, angry, judgmental at the same time.
The underlining point here is that we have a choice. Often though, being so busy with our lives we fail to realise that we have the power to create our experience of life. on that subject, one of our favourite poems here at The Way of the Tortoise is by Charles Bukowski. It covers many of the topics in this blog in a more succinct and elegant way than I could attempt. So if I may, I'd like to leave this here for your consideration:
The Laughing Heart
Your life is your life
Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
Be on the watch.
There are ways out.
There is light somewhere.
It may not be much light but it beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.
The gods will offer you chances.
You can’t beat death but
You can beat death in life, sometimes.
& the more often you learn to do it,
The more light there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous
The gods wait to delight in you.
Klaus White is a Trainer, Educator, proud Dad,
& co-founder of The Way of the Tortoise