There's a lot going on in this sunrise picture: Obvious is the stunning orange, red and blue morning sky. Not so obvious are the daffodils on the window ledge and the hummingbird feeders and my quietly grateful heart.
Between the last report/blog and now, a lot of profoundly challenging events have gone on in the world, in the country I live in, and in my own life. I personally had health and relationship and professional challenges. And that's just the short list. But this is not about the details of that list. What I am here to share is that through all of this doubt and ill health and bad news, I've made 2 discoveries....or rather re-discoveries:
1. Every challenge is an opportunity to look at what is not healed in me. As well, our communal challenges are opportunities to look at what is not healed in our community. It's a chance to take a good look, to acknowledge that something is not working, and to get to work on the healing.
2. Gratitude works. I realize how difficult it is to be grateful while things are falling apart or when painful events happen or when one is in deep grief. Yet I have witnessed, again and again, that gratitude--even for the smallest thing--can be a lifesaver.
As stated in a beautiful book I channeled through years ago, gratitude helps to move the energy of the challenge:
"....this is our suggestion for how to create a small movement within you when everything else has failed: Even in the midst of personal torment, external difficulties, and whatever presents itself to you as a problem, find something to appreciate.
It might be as simple as appreciating your breath, or the color of the sky or something that made you laugh. What is important here is that when all options are closed, if you find something to feel appreciation for—no matter how small—you have created a small movement in consciousness. With that movement, great things will unfold." Downloading a Friendly Universe--Your Presence is Requested
I couldn't agree more. Great things have unfolded in my life among the challenges because I would take the time to place my energy into what I was grateful for.
Last night, I sat across from my elder mom and had "the talk" no one wants to have: I gently suggested it was time to release her car and not drive anymore, because her health challenges also challenged her ability to safely drive. Her response was anticipated: She said that taking away this freedom will put her into a depression. But she also paid attention--especially to what I said after she stated her considerations and fears: "Mom, if it were me, I would feel upset. But I would also be grateful for the perfect set up for this transition: You live in a beautiful small town, walking distance to a nice grocery store and resources, in a sweet, affordable apartment complex. You have a daughter who loves going on "dates" with you--shopping for food bargains at the Grocery Outlet for one. I cherish my time with you. I am grateful you set up your life this way."
I think it helped. It also helps me to remind us all: There is always something to be grateful for: the sunrise, the colors, the breath. Look for what you are grateful for and love what you see.
With love and gratitude,