Gratitude Is Changing My Life
Yesterday, I was making a “Ten Things I’m Grateful For” list (not related to the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop). I started this practice back in October where I either write out ten things I’m thankful for first thing in the morning (well…after some meditation) or mentally catalogue ten things for which I’m grateful.
I started doing this because I make it a point to work on my own personal development. This involves reading inspirational books, listening and watching uplifting/inspirational material, and watching my thoughts. One such book – I’ve mentioned it before – is called The Magic, by Rhoda Byrne.
This book is not like The Secret. I actually didn’t buy into a lot of what The Secret says, so I was hesitant to give The Magic a try.
I’m glad I did. Between the gratitude I practice now each day, meditation, and doing activities to increase my mindfulness, my life is changing. Bad days aren’t as bad as they used to be. Stressful events aren’t as stressful as they used to be. My mind is calmer and other things are happening.
Life will always have its ups and downs, but more and more I see the “downs” as a time to reflect, give more thanks, and take away important lessons that can guide me back to the “ups.”
Life Is Happening Now
Every experience we have really does have the potential to teach us something: from how we handled that encounter with the colleague at work, to the way we spend our free time. It all matters. Because life is happening now.
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So, I’m glad for the lessons, the ups, the downs and gratitude.
I’m glad for what it’s doing. Let me share an experience of awareness I had yesterday:
I was at work, and I was feeling particularly grateful. I was giving thanks for the beautiful snowflakes I could see outside my office window. I was giving thanks for the good working relationships I had. I was giving thanks for the abundance of funding that I have right now for my after school program – it is grant-funded and is set to run out in June (more on that later).
Responding to Positive Energy
It seemed like during the entire day, people were responding to me. Maybe it was the energy I was putting out – the positive energy of gratitude. But things were happening.
I was at the central office for the public schools where I work. The assistant superintendent’s grand-baby was there. I was going about my business when I wandered into a room and there he was. For what seemed like five minutes, that baby wouldn’t stop smiling at me and held my gaze. It was at once so powerful and humbling. This little creature was adorable and calm, and wouldn’t stop looking in my direction.
I’m not saying that I’m the prettiest thing since Marilyn Monroe – far from it. But I am saying that I swear the energy I was putting forth as a result of the gratitude I felt for having met the little guy was causing this wonderful reaction.
From Crotchety to Positive
Next down the line was how a friend and colleague responded to my presence. She’s normally kind of crotchety. She’s a bit of a negative person, so I do consciously limit my contact with her – I need positive energy in my life as much as possible. But, I found myself giving thanks for our working relationship as well as how she really wants to learn Spanish. I gave her some suggestions for websites and she went out of her way to help me out on a project and was even nice when she returned to doing paperwork that she did not find amusing.
Still, I was offered some extra food at lunchtime for someone’s birthday party and back in my office on the university campus, my group colleagues enjoyed the rest of our lunches over casual conversation – which hadn’t happened much before – we’re usually always buzzing around with lots of things to do.
It was just one of those days when it felt like there was a positive charge of energy everywhere I went. And I’ve been aware of this energy growing.
A couple days ago we had a parent night and did a survey of parents’ satisfaction in the program. I make sure to run my program with so much love and kindness and instill in all my employees that we All Are One and we need to treat each other like it.
There was not a single complaint about the program – and we have 54 kids in the program! Parents came up to me, as well as the students we teach, to hug me, to hug each other and share in love and camaraderie. The employees I have under me all know I love them and that they matter.
You’re a Life Coach
Last evening I met up with a another friend. We were sharing stories about work and life and all its offerings – both good and bad.
The conversation meandered to spiritualism and talk of energy – this has been on my mind so much lately.
I mentioned how I want to make a difference on a wider scale than just a small organization. Granted, the experience I’m gaining is priceless, but still…I find myself wanting to affect people in a way that really makes the world a better place.
She just said to me, “you know, I have an acquaintance who decided to become a life coach and all I could think was why?” She was telling me how she wasn’t sure he had the personality and even the mental practice in place to claim such a position.
But then she turned and looked at me and said, “Cyndi, you’re not a life coach by name, but it’s in your DNA. You’re here to make a difference and be part of something bigger than you even know. You’re supposed to teach and bring light to others. And I think you’d be a great life coach!”
I could only look at her in that moment while my mind entertained the possibility, and simultaneously gave thanks for such a beautiful compliment. She asked if I would ever write a book on how to help people be the best version of themselves through mindfulness and creativity. I told her, “well, not yet.”
But, I’d like to. Sometime.
Not Nervous About the Future
Furthermore, I remember seeing the awe on another colleague’s face when we were talking about funding for our program. She asked me, “don’t you get nervous not knowing if you’ll have a job in a few months?”
I smiled and looked at her and said the following: “I’m in the business of helping people. I came into this job knowing it was grant-funded and it was a risk I was willing to take: to get the experience, to work with this particular population and I know that I work to help people. Therefore, no matter what happens, it’s going to be all right.”
This post is part of the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop.