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Belleruth’s Gratitude List, of a Winter Evening…

07 Jan

Happy new year to everyone.

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately and the whole idea of where we place our attention.  I have friends who focus on what they love; and others who focus on where they feel injured.  

This has made me think about how easily our attention can veer toward what disappoints, worries or upsets us.  It’s almost as if the human condition weights us in that direction. And what’s worse, focusing on unhappiness has a knack for sticking, whereas moments of gratitude and transcendence are gone in a flash.

I was joking recently with a group of presenters, all of whom confessed that they can read through 200 evaluations, 195 of which can be rave reviews, and yet the ones that they remember are the 5 critical or mediocre ones.  How crazy is that? Yet, we all do it.

I suppose that’s why it’s so important to consciously and deliberately place our attention on what nourishes us and brings forth feelings of love and gratitude.  Not fake stuff.  There’s plenty of the real thing to go around.  And it doesn’t have to be big stuff.  Little things get the job done too.

We know that the research says this kind of noticing, even for just a few weeks, can make a huge dent on depression.  But for those of us who aren’t particularly depressed, it can just plain bring us back into balance, give us energy, perspective, and smooth out the rough edges.  And a little goes a long way.  That’s the thing.  It doesn’t take a whole lot of gratitude to reset your system.

So here’s my gratitude list – and this is only what got generated this evening, say, between 7:30 and 11:30, as I wrote this blog.

  • I’m grateful for the smart, capable and honest Lloyd, who came over at 8:30 pm, fixed the leaking humidifier on my furnace, and only charged me $60 – even though he saved my basement carpeting from ruin while wrecking his own evening.  Lloyd rocks.  I intend to send Lloyd a lot of business! 

  • I’m grateful for my iPod and the music playing on it as I work.  Music shifts my mood in wondrous ways.  Very mysterious, how that happens.  I’m grateful for the mystery, too.  Who needs to know how everything works, anyway?

  • I’m grateful for the interruption of my working on this blog by the emails from friends, sharing good news, goofy humor and movie reviews.  This is because I’m not in the mood to just work tonight, and here they are, diluting the diligence!  How great is that?

  • I’m grateful for my fake fireplace, warming my toes at the flick of a switch. The real thing may be better, but it’s also more work, and right now, this particular evening, the fake but instant fire is just right. 

  • And speaking of toes, I’m grateful for the festive, new coating of electric blue nail polish on mine.  Looking at them makes me happy!  I am a lucky broad to have these blue toes.

There’s more but I’m going to stop now and go to bed.  But I think I’m going to try and keep this list going in my head tomorrow morning.  It’s a very good use of my time.  

Blessings on all your heads… Oh.  And I’m also grateful for your heads.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award