Monday, November 19, 2012

on mindfulness, abundance, and gratitude

This time between Diwali and Thanksgiving has made me reflect on abundance and gratitude. I think they go hand-in-hand; as we recognize the abundance in our lives instead of focusing on all those "things" that we wish for, gratitude comes next.

Many times, I catch myself thinking, oh, I wish we had this piece of furniture or this or that or the other thing. We're only human, right? But nothing else jarred me back to my senses than the recent disaster that was Sandy. People suffered damage to their homes -- their shelter, for crying out loud, and here I am wishing for a new couch. 

I wish it wouldn't always come to that - for a tragic event as a reminder to be grateful. Why does that happen? A health emergency reminds us to be grateful for the health that we do have. An experience of loss or grief reminds us to be grateful for the people in our lives.

So I try to express gratitude as much as I can. For the abundance I have - love, friendship, health, work. And yes, even the challenges.

And for the little things. The stranger at the checkout line that lets me go ahead. The way my nerves, bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and every little part of my body work together so that I can enjoy my walk in the sunshine or a yoga pose. The little (but big) things that my husband does for me, like fill my gas tank the night before, when he knows I have a morning appointment.

I think it's mindfulness that connects the dots between abundance and gratitude. When I am mindful of the little things, it's much easier to recognize abundance and feel gratitude. If not for mindfulness, it's also easy to forget how important these "little" things are and how they enrich my life in so many ways. The extraordinary in the everyday.

To me, nothing else says it better than this poem...

By Mary Oliver

Every day
   I see or hear
         that more or less

kills me
   with delight,
      that leaves me
         like a needle

in the haystack
   of light.
      It was what I was born for—
         to look, to listen,

to lose myself
   inside this soft world—
      to instruct myself
         over and over

in joy,
   and acclamation.
      Nor am I talking
         about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
   the very extravagant—
      but of the ordinary,
         the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
   Oh, good scholar,
      I say to myself,
         how can you help

but grow wise
   with such teachings
      as these—
         the untrimmable light

of the world,
   the ocean’s shine,
      the prayers that are made
         out of grass?

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Sheila@TheFailteHouse said...

What a beautiful poem! And yes, gratitude helps us savor life's precious moments :)

Mia (Savor Everyday) said...

Hi Sheila, thanks for visiting and commenting!

Agreed :)

cyberlaundry said...

*Hikbi* Winner poem. Winner entry. Hugs!

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