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My eyes slowly blink open

My thoughts astir

I start my day by thinking.

Which direction do I go?

What I have or what I lack?

Every thought,

every self-judgment,

every idle comment

lifts or lowers my energy

Feeling hopeful

Feeling helpless

A choice every moment

My body aches—I’m getting old

My body aches—I’m grateful for my aging wisdom

I have so much to do—I have no energy

I have so much to do—I am grateful and take one step at a time

I need to eat breakfast—I never have what I want

I need to eat breakfast—I’m grateful I can eat

I have to go to the store—people are mean

I have to go to the store—I’m grateful I can buy what I need

I have to take a shower —it all takes so much time

I have to take a shower—I’m grateful for the water that resets and refreshes

No one understands. I am all alone. There is no hope.

I have support. I am present and grateful for guidance.

Every loss I’ve suffered, every struggle I’ve overcome brings more wisdom.

Higher Self, thank you for your presence. I see you. I honor you as I honor me.

My thoughts

My words

My choices

My direction

Every colorful word is woven into a web of my life. My gratitude adds color and trust and support and love.

May we look with gratitude upon this day, for the beauty of the world, for the first radiance of dawn and the last smoldering glow of sunset.

Let us be thankful for physical joys, for hills to climb and hard work to do, for music that lifts our hearts in one breath, for the hand-clasp of a friend, and for the gracious loveliness of children who remind us of the wonders of life.

May we be appreciative above all for the concern and love of those around us; for the exceeding bliss of the touch of the holy which suddenly awakens our drowsy souls to the blessed awareness of the divine within us…and within others.

For all of this, and for the countless other blessings present in our lives, let us be grateful. Amen.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you so much. I loved that reading. I used to look at a coin and think about the two sides. And I would think, what side am I looking at? The positive side or the negative side? No matter the situation, I realized I had a choice to look at the positive or the negative. I try to remind myself of that when the going gets tough. I tell myself it’s a choice. I love your focus on gratitude. I have a biofeedback device I use during the meditation, and the second I started thinking about gratitude, it shifted immediately to the heart coherence mode. To me, it was absolute proof what I’m thinking about is affecting my body. Our thinking effects our whole system, organs and all.

  • In that listing of this and that, I missed “I have so little to give” and “I have so much to give.” Which you do and what we all do.

  • That was great. I liked the Unitarian Universalist prayer. On Sunday night, I had to do a work project and I was dreading it. At the end of the session, I realized I was learning a new skill which will help me and also others because I’d be helping disabled people. It was a challenge to learn the skill. My attitude shifted as I realized the potential of what I was learning.

  • I already got a chance to practice what you read this morning. While you were reading, I got a phone call and my immediate thought was that something is wrong. My Higher Self told me all is well and it could wait. I’m grateful for that voice. Then, during the meditation, I listened to the voice mail and realized I had to take care of an issue. I got annoyed but then I stopped and got back to gratitude. It took five minutes from my meditation time and I was able to stay in gratitude.

  • We were having a family dinner and my son’s girlfriend asked to say a blessing over the food. She said a beautiful blessing thanking the Universe and anyone who helped bring it to the table. Then she went into a dissertation about how lucky we are and about all the people who don’t have food. I realized I often do the same thing, sharing my gratitude and then I shut down the gratitude to talk about the pain in the world. In the end, I was grateful to her for saying all that because it showed me how I do the same thing.

  • Thank you for this. It is a useable lesson. I had hand surgery last week and the first day I was catered to. On the second day, in the morning, I was alone, my stomach was not okay and I had a poor me moment where I was feeling alone and wanting to not be alone. I managed to bring in the Observer and realized I wasn’t alone. I took care of myself and found physical comfort. That afternoon, friends came over and put together a snack platter and we sat out on the porch. One of them took off her shoes to feel it. She had a necklace on with a spiral with the word ‘grateful.’ The contrast all in the same day. Thank you for really putting gratitude at the front of our minds.

  • When you began the reading with the contrasting statements, I didn’t know where you were going with that. As I listened to one after the other, I realized that if we get into the positive statements, it helps. Last night, I was eating a small snack and as I got up, it all spilled on the floor. I looked at it and said to myself there’s another yoga move in this. It makes such a difference when I get in the habit of being positive and not getting all bent out of shape when something little or even big goes wrong. I settle in to whatever has happened and not go into the contrasting negative place. I live alone and maybe it’s easier. When I lived with someone who practiced a string of curse words on a daily basis, I found myself going through the same string. I can’t even remember those words now. It feels so much better and I hope I’m going to live longer because of it. I think positive thinking is heart-healthy.

  • As I was writing this reading, a scene kept repeating itself in my mind. When I was at the Indiana University transplant Hospital weeks before my daughter died, it was intense and I was alone. I’m gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and am constrained by what I can eat. I went down to the gift shop to try to find something that would appease the angst in my body. I remember standing in line and seeing Kind bars on display. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free. I remember being so grateful to find something that would work for me when I was so alone and desperate. That feeling completely changed where I was. I found something that somebody had made—somebody manufactured a product and they had the wherewithal, the machines, the wrappers, the cooks, the distribution channel, it all flowed out. In that few moments, I went back with the Kind bar in hand and felt supported and I felt so different. I had more energy to deal with the situation. That moment keeps repeating in my mind and it’s so powerful what we can do to ourselves. It truly was a kind bar.

  • So timely for me today. I had a terrible night sleep last night. Our youngest son who just got a new job called in despair because he has to ride the subways. I started reading about the hell the Pacific Northwest is going through, and what happened in Florida. I was not in a great state this morning. After listening to you, I am realizing today is the day to get going on the sustainability consulting work I am pursuing. I’m grateful. We do ourselves in when we get on the negative train.

  • I have much pain and fear and sadness and hopelessness and helplessness in my family, every second of every day. I am exceedingly grateful for you. I am grateful for the many little things, especially in nature. The other day, I was making noodles for my family member and I was thinking about something that was bothering me. I wound up spilling all the noodles in the sink and splashing a bit of boiling water on myself. It was frustrating. At first, I was upset. But then I was grateful that I had more noodles I could make, and I was grateful the boiling water didn’t pour all over me. I had aloe vera for the spots. I was grateful.

  • Awareness. Awareness of even how we describe things, how we identify our stories. Thank you. Thank you for joining in this journey of gratitude. I truly believe that we can find gratitude in every situation. Maybe not immediately. But we can find it, as I described with my Kind bar. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or that the pain goes away or that the problem goes away. It means we are a little more available to ourselves to deal with what we have to deal with. I wish you all a gentle grateful day. Take care of yourself in the heat.

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