Happy Gratefulness Friday everyone!!!!
It’s that time to stop and smell the roses again — and recognize the many reasons we can be grateful for our lives right here, right now, right this very second.
No matter what’s going on in your life — the good, the bad, the ugly, the downright why-the-heck-is-this-happening-to-me?! — you can be grateful for what those experiences are gifting you. If we can view our lives as one big teaching moment, then it doesn’t matter what is happening to us. It can range anywhere on the terrific to terrible barometer of life — because no matter what, whatever is happening to us is supposed to happen to us for no other reason than to teach us something about ourselves.
And education — whether it’s adding to what you know, teaching you something new or completely contradicting what you thought you knew — is the most beautiful thing about life itself.
Last week’s post on gratefulness encompassed five new tenets of my life, thanks to influence from a course I’m taking at a school in New York called Philosophy Works. I reflected on my ability to choose my own emergencies, embracing obstacles as a chance to grow, understanding how to shift priorities and direct my attention to what I want to grow and of course, seeing just how fun life really is when I choose to look at it as such.
This week’s post reflects on a few of my learning experiences this week — those moments when my teacher was standing right before me, speaking to me and directing my attention to what life was gifting me at that very moment. I’m grateful to be able to share these learning experiences with you in this post — and to inspire you to take cues from the own “teaching moments” in your life today and forever moving forward.
Have a GREAT gratefulness Friday everyone — and see you next week for more on thrift store style & vintage fashion!
I am grateful for … Learning Not to Assume
I had one of those realizations this week that upon realizing, hurt so bad and made me feel like such a bad person. But I’m going to halt that thought right there — because I never encourage anyone to feel like they are a “bad person.” But sometimes this feeling is the root of something we have begun to examine about ourselves, something that we are no longer blind to or in denial of.
I have been both willingly blind to the fact that I can “create” another person’s point of view of me. It’s specifically attributed to matters of business, versus my personal life, and I’ve recognized that its root is found in my innate desire to always be a person that pleases.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to please another person — but when that need comes from a place of insecurity, because we think that we are not “doing enough” to maintain strong relationships of trust and compassion, then there is a deeper darkness that we are responsible for acknowledging and erasing.
In other words, it continues to be through SELF LOVE first and foremost that we can love and respect others, too. If I am not loving myself for who I am, and continuing to look at my relationships as “falling apart” or “not good enough” because I don’t think that I am investing enough in them, then I am going to naturally make false assumptions about what the other person thinks of me — thereby ignoring what great things they are giving me with every moment we are together, whether on a personal or business level, and actually harming them by pushing our expectations of ourselves onto the relationship.
In trying to please another person, then, we are actually hurting the relationship because of our insecurities in where the relationship stands at that very moment.
I’ve learned that my assumptions come from a source of negative energy, and now I can remember where that place is and continue to walk farther and farther away from it.
I am grateful for … Learning to Respond & Not React
The R words: “respond” vs. “react.” I never knew their unique difference until this week, when I realized that my “response” was not a response at all — but a short-thought, impulsive reaction.
Impulses are good. They are gut instincts that can lead us in the right direction without having to over analyze or create those “false assumptions” as stated above. But, part of following our gut instinct is allowing those instincts to have time to breathe. And not just reacting based on our emotional pull — that’s what a reaction is, just an emotion of the moment — and instead allowing “space” for the emotions to meet the mind and create a response, instead.
My example: When someone asks me a question about “what I do” or “what I’ve done,” my impulses put my reactions in a defensive place. I’ve recognized this. But in hindsight of gratefulness #1, I’m now seeing that this “defensive place” is also placing assumptions on what that other person thinks of me. I think, “Oh, they’re asking me THAT so they must think THIS of me.” But I’m no psychic — and I can’t assume what someone else thinks of me based on the word choice of their question.
Someone asking me the question “Have you [insert question here]?” does not need to come from a negative place unless I internally decide that it does. But what if in true reality, that question comes from a positive place … because that person believes I am “capable” and most likely have completed said question, therefore they want to know the nitty gritty details for inspiration and motivation of their own?
We have nothing to defend unless we decide to close ourselves off to self examination. If I decide that I am “perfect,” then everytime there is a question raised, I am going to be defensive because of the negative source of my reaction.
I’m grateful to understand the difference between “react” and “respond,” and continue to calm the defensive beast within.
I am grateful for … Surrendering to *What’s Meant to Be*
Serendipity shouldn’t be a word in the English language — because there is no such thing as “luck.” Everything that happens in our lives — from our dreams as we sleep to the amount of sugar we put in our morning coffee to that horrible rush hour commute, including seeing the people we stand with on the subway to seeing the homeless man who locks eyes with us as we head down Broadway to work in midtown Manhattan — happens for a very specific, never-to-be-known-and-meant-not-to-be-explained reason.
I run almost everyday. Yesterday, I told my running partner what I thought about the powers of the universe, and why every moment we are here is truly a magical one, because some great force of energy has directed us to this very moment for a reason. That is why there is no luck — everything is meant to happen.
When running in Central Park, I see a lot of things. People, dogs, cyclists, people walking to work. I see the ice on the trees and the ice on the ground, the 2-feet tall snowbanks and the light that catches the reflection of the park’s central reservoir. When I pass someone on my run, I am passing that person for a reason because that person could have been doing anything else but running.
They could have been running anywhere else but on that very bit of pavement at that very moment. That person could have been any other person. That person could have chosen not to get up in the morning to go running, or chosen to leave two minutes earlier to go running which would have put them in a different place on the Central Park loop than where I was at that very moment.
Oh gosh — I could go and on and on about the hundreds upon thousands of circumstances that could have prevented me from passing that person at that very moment. In other words, at every moment in our lives, there are a whole lot of variables against that very thing happening to us. Yet, that very thing IS happening to us! Wow. When you look at it that way, isn’t that moment magical?
With this perspective in mind, we can always look at our glass as half full. There is always a reason behind everything. There is always meaning. There is always magic. Because why else would it be happening when the odds are 1 billion to 1 that it should be happening AT ALL?
Today, as you reflect upon the moments and the magic, remember that your energy is special. Because it’s YOUR energy, and your life has decided to provide for you and give you what’s best for a reason that you need not understand nor question — just trust.
And when you trust, everything you always needed, no matter your wants or desires, is provided for you.