Gratitude

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For the first time since I started this blog in 2010, I was unable to write for two months!  I am afraid I had a huge reality check.  With the intention of getting some encouragement to  write a book,  I attended a Writer’s Workshop. I boldly brought one of my favorite blogs to the first class. I raised my hand quickly when the teacher asked if anyone brought something to share. I read with expression, at a good pace, and loud enough for all to hear. I expected all sorts of positive comments. I didn’t get them.

Don’t  feel badly, because I really learned something and that freed me up to begin blogging again.  What I came to grips with is that I may not be a “writer” in the true sense of the term, and I may not ever publish that book. I found that I began to feel  grateful, grateful for what is:  my ability to write a blog about a key learning in my day and possibly impact a reader. The added pressure of writing to publish would bring chaos into my peaceful, purposeful world and I didn’t want that.

This train of thought  led to my thinking about gratitude and its place in my life. I am grateful  for all the good things and the challenges in my life, for surely they are the reason I am who I am.   I am grateful for you, my readers, because you read this blog because somehow, sometimes  it brings meaningfulness in your life. I don’t have to be a published author for that to occur. I wrote a long list of all the people and things I am grateful for and stopped, not because I couldn’t think of more, but because I wanted to find a good definition of gratefulness, to make sense of my decision to restrict my writing to blogs.

Melody Beattie writes,

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough…”
I like the idea that  gratitude “turns what we have into enough.” For a long time I wanted more:  a bigger home, more things, being a well regarded consultant. I presently have the smallest home I have ever lived in and I am grateful for it–it is enough. I have given away most of my things, I am grateful for what remains.  I teach at USF and am known by only the 26 students in my class, and I am grateful for the chance to impact their lives.
I am grateful for my ability to easily write a blog. It makes wanting more (like writing a book) no longer necessary, the pressure is gone. When  I am grateful I am content with what is,  I am happy. Now I review my gratitude list daily, continually adding to it.
Melody further defines gratitude,
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 
As I examine my life, I am grateful for my past. While thinking back can be painful, I recognize that those very difficult times played a huge role in the formation of my values.   I am today because of yesterday. Both my past and present allow me a peaceful look at what may lie ahead,  and I am prepared.  Many thanks to Melody Beattie for her words that caught my attention just when I needed them.
Women with High SUCCESSTROGEN are consciously grateful for various aspects of their lives and the people in them. They have made sense of their past, experience peace today and have a plan for their future. Their lives are not perfect, and yet their gratefulness overall helps them find clarity in the chaos of the world, and peace in their lives.
How about you?  Are you at peace with the present? Or are you wanting more?  Consider making/reviewing a gratitude list–it is difficult to want more when you are cognizant of all that you have. Then if there is a new goal you wish to achieve, and it will add to your life, then go for it.  There is nothing wrong with wanting more if we are clear about how achieving it will add peace and happiness to our lives.
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