GRATITUDE

The Art of Acknowledgment

Nothing builds self-esteem & self-confidence like accomplishment.
— Thomas Carlyle

Most of us massively produce all day long. We complete multiple tasks & manage to juggle our endless responsibilities. We continuously revise our schedules in an effort to make progress at attaining our goals.  

We’ve become masters on the path of human doing-ness  and cleverly strive to squeeze into each moment ~ our best performance.

It is an intensive exercise of generating more and keeping up the pace.

Yet at the end of the day, despite what we might have accomplished, do any of us really celebrate ourselves for a job well done or a great day lived?

Accomplishment is not enough! For us to experience joy & fulfillment with ourselves and in our lives, we must develop a consistent practice of something else.

We must learn the art of acknowledgment. We must practice giving attention to and deeming value for “whatever it is” that we’ve accomplished. 

Learning to slow down to assess the mini milestones of our lives is about choosing a direction for our focus. Could we recognize & praise ourselves rather than dismiss as unworthy?

Accomplishment alone does not change how we feel about ourselves & our capabilities.  It is what we think & how we feel about our accomplishment that fuels our self esteem. It is this that empowers our trust and confidence to take the next right step.
 

Ponder This:

What are three personal accomplishments you are now willing to acknowledge?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Clear the Snow

In any moment of your Life, you are choosing between Love and something else.
— Dr. Robert Holden

When we get a good snowfall my husband & I dive right in to shoveling to avoid the pain of procrastination.  We’ve honored our unspoken agreement to immediately remove the snow off our driveway & deck for almost 32 years. 

Last week the 6 inches of snow we were to receive turned out to be 14.

Though my shoveling partner was out of town, my spirits were high as I set out to do my job.

Shoveling is rather therapeutic for me. It is a way of meditation, a simple rhythmic routine. Being physically outside and breathing in fresh crisp air clears my head.

I quickly evaluated my task in the early morning quiet. I had the freedom to choose my own way of tackling this responsibility.  Appropriately dressed & centered in my Breath, I began.  

The quiet air around me echoed the smooth swoosh of my shovel on the pavement.  I consciously walked each scoop over to the side of the drive & flipped it onto the growing pile.  

Some of my first thoughts were of my Mother.  I smiled & felt warm inside as I pictured her out shoveling, her green plaid scarf wrapped tightly around her head & mouth like a muzzle. She was the snow shoveler in our family. 

She taught my sisters & I the fine art of clearing the walks, enjoying the beauty of the snow & creating a sense of accomplishment. 

While focusing on my Mother and those happy memories my shoveling was smooth, consistent, & productive.  I felt a patient pleasure in the progress I was making and in the dance of my own movements.

After a while, I looked up to evaluate what was left to be cleared & immediately felt discouraged at the wall of snow ahead of me. I even began to feel resentful of my husband enjoying himself in Mexico!

Stuck in fueling my thoughts with judgment & resentment, I began to attack the snow & fight with myself. Exhausted, I stopped to catch my breath. 

Seeing the sun peeking through the trees humbled me and the fragrant scent of pine refreshed my attitude.  Reminded of the gifts that surrounded me, I felt grateful for my health & ability to even shovel in the first place.

Physically clearing the snow acted as a metaphor, a reflection of my internal journey. Three hours later I finished my last scoop before steppingback to admire what I had accomplished.  It was a job my Mom would have been proud to see! 

And then I had that special feeling she was with me all along :-)

Ponder This:
When have you stopped to take a breath & clear the snow?

clear the snow jani mccarty

A Thankful Voice

Thankful leaves
Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
— Jean Baptiste Massieu

Since I was a kid, I have enjoyed writing as a way to express myself.  Journaling, jotting down quotes, & recording mental insights have always brought me home. Home to where my heart remembers, home to the present.

The format of an acrostic poem has been a favorite of mine. I love the structure it provides to focus my thoughts & script my message. As I turn my attention to this month of November, I “see” the word grateful.

GRATEFUL

G ~ Gratitude is a choice, an attitude, a practice. It is a “state of being,” which has its roots in the present ~ where God exists.

R ~ Running water invites me to be present. In taking my shower or washing my hands, I focus on & honor those who cannot enjoy this luxury.

A ~ Acceptance illuminates & expands my present consciousness. It unleashes my resistance & allows me to flow effortlessly in the rhythm of Life.

T ~ Trust is the venue where truth shines light. It’s a place on a dark path where I can stand in faith. It is my memory of connection & the voice of my inner wisdom.

E ~ Energy = Life. Spirit. Movement. Passion. Power!

F ~ Freedom to be authentically me. Free to show up, contribute, & receive love from my family, friends, furry companions & Mother Nature.

U ~ Unlimited. Infinite possibilities & potential. I create my Life how I want it to be from my own perspective of the present moment.

L ~ Love is all there is right here, right now. Abundant, consistent, & unconditional. And because you’re right here reading this, I hold you gratefully in my heart!

Ponder This:

When you think of gratitude, what does your heart want you to see?

If you'd like, please share in the comment section below.