Giving thanks can transform your life, so let me start by expressing some gratitude and share some bits of wisdom that can help you feel more gratitude and appreciation for all that you have in this post.
First, let me say “Thank You” to all of you who are part of my newsletter network.
Secondly, let me invite all the women here to join my Women Leaders Inner Circle Group on Facebook. It would mean a lot to me to have you as part of the membership there. (Sorry men, I will have more for you when the Total Leadership Connections Program goes on-line in the fall).
Thirdly, I would like to say how much I appreciate my Pattern Breakthrough Coaches who make a difference for so many. You can see who they are here.
Fourthly, I’d like to talk about the role of gratitude in our world of “stuff and nonsense.”
I recently did a Facebook Live where I talked about 3 mental/emotional strength training exercises to help you go from overwhelmed to energized.
Several people messaged me to say that they had forgotten how important it is to appreciate even the smallest things in life that seem so insignificant until that is, you really look at what matters.
That led me to remember what renowned Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh said many years ago at a meditation retreat I attended at the Plum Village Monastery in France. It is a big/small story about gratitude and the small/big stuff of life.
During the dark days of the Viet Nam War, there was little to appreciate.
Life was about just getting through, moment by moment.
Chang Kung, one of the Buddhist nuns came to Thay (which means teacher) and
expressed her weariness and despair at the pain and suffering she saw around her.
Thay suggested she give gratitude. Chan Khong was so overwhelmed and exhausted
she could not think of even one thing for which to be grateful.
Thay said to pay attention and something would reveal itself.
Later that day she was walking near a river wondering how much more she could do to
help the hurting and frightened people in the midst of war.
She looked down at the mud under her feet, wanting to be careful not to slip.
And then it happened.
Let me stop for just a moment to underline the power of living in the moment. It’s not easy since our minds will make up so many stories based on fear, revenge, guilt, anger, and righteousness. However, the more we practice living in the moment, the more that can be revealed to us. Here’s what happened for Chan Khong.
In the midst of the muddy mess, she looked over and saw a tiny red flower growing from
the side of a small rock.
No big deal, just a tiny red flower growing from the side of a small rock. Yet, What Chan Khong said to Thay about this moment is so special, it’s about the power of gratitude that we can all learn from.
She said that at that moment, hope returned inside her, thinking that if a tiny flower
can bloom so beautifully in the muck of war, so too could she continue to bloom
and help those around her.
She was able to look at the tiny red flower and show gratitude for its courage to
live and bloom.
She knew, in that moment, she too could live and bloom.
Gratitude can be exchanged for self-pity. It can make you feel better physically, emotionally and mentally. I suggest you spend the first 5 minutes, before you get out of bed in the morning, and give gratitude each day to three people or situations that make a difference for you.
Giving thanks can transform your life.