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One of the most powerful practices we can use to transform our moment to moment awareness is gratitude.
Being grateful, even for the challenging, awkward or uncomfortable experiences we encounter can truly awaken an attitude of abundance and appreciation.
Try to look at whatever life serves you through the prism and perspective of great gratitude.
- What can I learn from this?
- What is this experience teaching me?
- How can I appreciate this experience, even if on the surface, it seems to be bad?
I once had a meditation teacher who told me to be grateful for a boss (a first client in a brand new business) who wouldn’t stop insulting the work my small team did on his never ending personal pet project.
He was a friend (first) with a notorious reputation for being unreasonable, difficult and demanding, and not all that discerning when it came to using good taste and technique for building his brand.
We needed the work – so we took the job.
The constant confrontation was first surprising, and then challenging, and eventually, draining and depressing on a daily basis.
When I confessed this challenge on a short meditation retreat, my teacher said – “This is a gift. Be grateful he is giving it to you. Your blindness is that you refuse to see it”
Of course, I thought this was some sort of spiritual silliness, and some zen guru gimmick to get me to see something that wasn’t really there.
Until I realized it was. The gift was there all along. It just needed to be looked at through new eyes and a more confident connection to my own truth.
I pulled my small team out of the quixotic quicksand of a perpetually petulant project and thanked my friend.
Thank you for giving me the gift of seeing clearly my what matters to me most. For the gift of seeing how we work under pressure, and how much I can trust my team. For allowing me, so early on in a brand new business, to know what we will accept, and what we won’t. For how we will work from this day forward, and for whom. Thank you for these lessons now – for they will serve me well in the future.
Then I put him into a reverse triangle choke and pretended not to hear him tap.
Just kidding 🙂
Of course you can write your own gratitude script in just about any situation. When looked at through the enlightened eyes, a long line, a rude driver, a selfish friend or a belligerent boss are all just the way life dresses up our opportunities to go, grow, and flow into the best versions of ourselves.
For this, and countless other things, where ever you are, make gratitude your guru.