Pay Attention, Practice Gratitude
I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness—it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.
— Brene Brown
When my grandson Owen was very young, I loved watching him notice his environment and start to figure out who and what fits where. Later would come articulating and remembering the names. That open, trusting stage.
In my little corner of Arizona, in addition to the rattlesnakes, hummingbirds, and javalina, we frequently see hawks, falcons and mating-season tarantulas. One day a coatimundi had climbed to the top of a utility pole on our property. I’m grateful that I witnessed that. The wonders of nature remind us to pause and observe the beauty and oneness of the Universal Spirit. These amazing sights trigger astonishment and gratitude that we get to live in such a world.
What about closer, more personal life events? Not every day is a coatimundi day. Our teaching states that we should be grateful for all the journey. At my age it is tempting and, I think, human to want to evaluate the past and separate experiences into good or bad, painful or happy, mistakes, or lucky outcomes. These thoughts and evaluations of the past have never proven to be useful. In fact, they can foster doubt and depression. We’re told to look for something to be grateful for.
Dr. Karmen Smith, in her book The I AM Solution, on page 157, states “Gratitude is the act of focusing your attention on what serves the highest good.” She encourages us to be Gratitude Warriors. A Gratitude Warrior acknowledges that when our thoughts are in gratitude, we’re creating more situations to be thankful for.
One of my gratitudes is for ZOOM communications. This platform has allowed me to continue participating in CSLT Services and in morning meditation practice. There I have found wonderful like-minded friends, even though we live varying distances away from each other. We remind each other to be Gratitude Warriors.
To speed up the good in our lives, we must strengthen our faith. We must give the mind a more positive and constructive foundation upon which to work. We must feed our emotions with joy, with thanksgiving, with a sense of security.
— Daniel Lee Morgan, DD, Guidance for a Spiritual Journey, page 168.