Saturday, 22 November 2008

mindfully contemplating gratitude . . .

It's that time of year.

On the radio, articles in this month's publications, newspapers and television-- myriad takes on being thankful.

I'm reminded of a chapter in Jon Kabat-Zinn's excellent book, "Wherever You Go, There You Are." In the chapter of the same title he ponders the concept of the need to have a spiritual retreat or vacation at that special place to feel rejuvenated. The core of mindfulness and his point in this chapter is to challenge us to live our lives in a way that we make that "retreat" part of every day, or even a grander aspiration, every moment.

The first time I read that chapter I was actually sitting on the edge of Lake Geneva at my favorite place of retreat. It is one of those moments that I have often remembered since. His commentary resonated with me because for years I had found myself so looking forward to that inner respite every year (and then dreading leaving to return to my "other" life) that I was forgetting that I could make exactly THAT inner retreat experience part of my everyday living.

Granted there are days, weeks, months or years that the task of mindfulness comes easier than others. But when we look at thankfulness or gratitude it would certainly help our well-being and those around us if we make feeling and expressing our gratitude a daily practice.

Frequently, the time it most difficult to practice gratitude is when we could benefit from it the most. By conjuring those people, places or things that we are thankful for in our lives, it can make that funk we may be in dissipate-- at least a bit.

Turkey- $30.00

Travel- $100

Calories-- 5000

Daily gratitude-- priceless.

If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.
-Lucy Larcom

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