Being Thankful Calms the Soul
Sometimes I find myself whining to myself or anyone who will listen. I may feel sorry for myself for something I don’t have, or because something didn’t work out the way I thought I wanted it to. Maybe I didn’t get that client I wanted. Maybe the soccer uniforms aren’t ready yet and we have to trade shirts amongst the girls. Maybe we don’t have a huge flat screen TV in our house (we still use the one my wife got for a work present 10+ years ago…and it still works). Maybe they are doing construction on the road on the way to work and I have to use a detour which adds a full 4 – 5 minutes to my drive.
The fact is that though, that although my life is by no means perfect, it is pretty damn good. Honestly, I could not ask for anything more than where I am, who I am, and to have the people to love and who love me. I am the luckiest man alive. I really am.
I was driving with a friend the other day, he seemed to be feeling down, and he was lamenting that his car was not the newest model, he seemed in fact to be apologizing to me. I thought his car was pretty nice…but I guess it wasn’t the top of the line in his mind. I allowed myself to get caught up in his sorrow for a second, and the mood in the car became somewhat somber. I noticed my breathing had shallowed, my face was grimacing a bit, and I immediately began to think of the things I didn’t have. But then a thought struck me and I looked at him and told him that probably some people would die to be able to have the car he had. That it was beyond anything they could ever imagine they could have.
We sat in silence for a few minutes, both deep in thought. And then he suddenly had a huge grin on his face, and he said that I was right. That the fact that he even had a car, and had the money to put gas in it, was amazing. The mood in the car brightened!
One of the things I have learned from my wife over the years is to be thankful. It is also a Reiki tenet…to show appreciation. When I am feeling jealous or angry…my body tenses up, my mood is dour. It is an actual stress on my system. It leads nowhere except to bitterness and wasted thoughts. Life can be so short, why bother wasting it with negative thoughts and emotions filling your mind.
I have found that when I practice being thankful, I immediately relax. My mind clears and my mood brightens!
Before I go to bed each night, I run through everything in the world I am thankful for. If I am having a stressful day at work, or just feeling unloved, I do the same exercise, right while sitting at my desk (I of course seem like I am staring at my stock screen intensely ready to make some brilliant trade, but I am really mentally going through a list of things I am thankful for). Without fail it works, every single time. Always.
I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my career. I am thankful that I get to coach my teams in sports. I am thankful I have a roof over my head, that there is always food on the table. I am thankful for air conditioning on a record-setting hot day like today. I am thankful I can go for long walks with my dog. I am thankful for my car, it has a sunroof (which I love), and it is the first time I have had one. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for the mentors in life I have had. I am thankful I got to see Men Without Hats at Ontario Place with Duane years ago. I am thankful for the challenging times I have had and the challenging people I have met…because it makes the good times that much better. I am thankful for my wife’s stir fry. I am thankful to have been exposed to Reiki. I am thankful I got so sick years ago, because it forced me to learn about health and how to actually live. I am thankful for the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way. I am thankful for the technical support at HostGator.com because it was the best on-line support I have ever had. I am thankful for the wonderful parents and friends from my sports teams. I am thankful to be alive.
I am thankful for so many things.
Question for you: What are you thankful for? Care to share with us? I bet you will inspire someone with your answer.