For today a slightly different post than usual. Lately I've been thinking a lot about Gratitude and what it really means to me. Maybe because we are heading for the Autumn equinox this concept has been a lot on my mind. Gratitude is the one pillar of my spiritual practice which never wavers. When everything else is put to the test and doubted, gratitude remains fully alive and intact. I even don’t mind if I can figure out to who or what I am grateful.
Yesterday when I was Googling about Gratitude, to explore how others practiced it and what they had to share about this subject, I came across Ann Voskamp, a Christian writer, who has written a book called: “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are”. It was written in 2011 so perhaps many of you have heard about it already. Although her spiritual path isn't exactly mine, I think she has a very important message for all of us, since in my opinion Gratitude is a universal principle. She dares you to list one thousand things you are grateful for. One thousand gifts from who/whatever you think they are coming from. It is a well known practice to list five things each night before you go to sleep but to list one thousand is something entirely different.
Ann Voskamp has been through a lot in her life and she claims her faith but even more her Gratitude practice has pulled her through. Gratitude is not all about being thankful for the big things in life but even more for the everyday events, like a bird singing, a leaf falling or the snoring of your dog. Just try to notice the beauty around you where you are at that moment. You don’t have to live a grand life to be grateful. This morning while drinking my first coffee in the garden, I enjoyed the first signs of Autumn in crisp morning the air.Being grateful when times are good isn't so challenging but being grateful when the wheel turns and life gets difficult is not that easy.
Seeing beauty when the lightening hits The Tower is a gift we can gracefully accept with our hands wide open. That’s when trust comes into play. Do you trust the flow of life; trust that everything will be okay again. That’s something to be grateful for and everything else will follow. We are all worthy of so much; even of one thousand gifts and more
So for today I am going to start with my list of a thousand gifts.
“Wherever you are, be all there." I have lived the runner, panting ahead in worry, pounding back in regrets, terrified to live in the present, because here-time asks me to do the hardest of all: just open wide and receive.” Ann Voskamp