Attitude of Gratitude

November 19, 2007 at 10:12 am | Posted in inspiration, Jessica, life, writing | 2 Comments

It has been a crazy year. And not just for me. Every time I turn around, someone I know and/or love is going through something major. I’m an HSP (highly sensitive person) so to know that so many people in my little microcosm of the world are going through so much is a little overwhelming – magnify that random sample times the millions of people around us and you can pretty much guess that fairly large numbers of people everywhere are going through some serious . . . stuff.

I’ve mentioned a few times during the course of this blog that I love to read, so when the going gets tough I turn to words. Bria and Meg and I often commiserate, and our shared gripes led us to start a little Jack club – and by Jack, I mean Jack Canfield. I immediately started reading Jack’s “Success Principles” book and felt inspired. Bria encouraged me to try “The Power of Focus” and we started doing the exercises in the chapters together. We created a new verb for what we were doing – she would call me and say, “Are we going to Jack this week?” We even set up our own little Yahoo group among the three of us where we had planned to Jack each Thursday.

Then life and writing and other obligations interrupted our Jack progress, so we’ve tabled our Jacking each week until we all have the flexbility to devote more time to it. Even though we aren’t actively Jacking at the moment, there are some principles that have stayed with me and that I practice every day.

In both books Jack advocates for an attitude of gratitude. To be grateful for things big and small. To recount, at the end of each day, at least five things from that day for which you are thankful. In Jack’s world, an attitude of gratitude is intrinsically linked with the Law of Attraction – if you are thankful with pure intention and genuine gratitude, good things will come your way. I may not have yet reached the pinnacle of where I want to be, but I can say that I notice a big difference in the way I feel when I consciously work gratitude into my thoughts rather than let the nasty comments dominate my internal dialogue. (Not that I am nasty, but a good example of this internal dialogue often rears it’s head when I’m driving, as Bria can attest. Too many jack*sses have somehow qualified for the license to operate some really heavy and potentially dangerous machinery.)

But I digress, as I am wont to do. Where was I?

Right, the attitude of gratitude. So with Thanksgiving already upon us, we thought we might take this week on the blog to talk about what we’re grateful for this holiday season.

I truly am grateful for the blessings in my life, of which there are many. And here are some, in no particular order:

    Family and friends. I learned early on in my life to tell the people you care about how much you really care about them because you never know when you’re going to get another chance. I don’t take them for granted and I love them intensely with my whole heart.
    So it is in this spirit that I share my thanks with Meg and Bria for embarking on this blog venture with me. When we talked about the possibility of the Purple Hearts in early spring, I had no idea how it would evolve or what it would come to mean to me. It’s been a great endeavor, and I thank you ladies for sharing it with me (and for so many other things!).
    My health. And I know that item might be the most trite thing to say when it comes to gratitude, but trust me – you don’t realize what it means to be healthy until you find out you’re not. One of my favorite blogs, I Slept with Robert DeNiro . . . But About My Cancer is written by a television writer who was diagosed with cancer earlier this year. She writes a very honest, at-times painful, and poignant blog about her experiences, but her sharp sense of humor makes it a must-read.
    Natural Beauty. There’s this tree outside my bedroom window and I could lay in my bed and stare at it for hours. It’s magnificent. Or the sunset out my back door. Or a wild, windy gray day (my favorite). Or mild temperatures on a bright sunny day where the brilliant natural colors and comfortable warmth and mixed inherent sounds and sweet smells all make me feel like I’m living in HD. Plug in a little Bach and I could sit in the middle of a field and feel like I was in church.

    Little Things. Like a series of green lights on my drive to work in the morning. Something as mundane as my bed. Or something unexpectedly thoughtful as someone who holds the door for the next person. Or a genuine thank you. Kindness goes a long way.

    My most precious possessions. These would have to be my books! I am an addict, but I can’t help but be grateful for my love for reading. I can’t imagine getting by without it.  

    Uanswered Prayers. If I had gotten what I thought I once wanted, I would now most likely be heavily medicated and living in Guam. Things have a way of working themselves out for the better . . . even if you can’t see the why of it at the time.

    Perspective.

    Unexpected Surprises.

    And I am grateful when I arrive safely at my destination at the start and end of each day. I watch some of these drivers around me, and they just re-affirm my belief that there is a higher power much greater than any of us. It’s a miracle that more near-misses don’t result in fatal crashes and I am more grateful than I can say when I know that my loved ones and I have made it safely through another day.

Be careful out there! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving – may you have lots to be thankful for this holiday season and throughout the new year.

-Jessica

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2 Comments »

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  1. Jessica- You have put my own heart into words so eloquently that I have no idea what to write on Friday other than ‘ditto’. Thank you for reminding all of us that life is about being grateful for what we have and not miserable about what we don’t!
    You and Bria are definitely on my gratitude list as well!
    Thank you–Meg

  2. Two quotes came up in my CS Weekly e-newsletter this week, both of which I think are appropriate:

    “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”
    – Cicero

    “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”
    – William Faulkner

    Thank you for commenting, Meg! Hope you had a happy holiday!
    Hugs,
    Jessica


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