Updated: Mar 17
Day 14/366 days Towards Self-Mastery: Status: intent
An attitude of gratitude is great when you are vulnerable and someone extends a helping hand.
The capacity for appreciation and compassion turned into 10s of millions of dollars.
An attitude of gratitude. It's a nice idiom. It's catchy. And for that reason it's become popular in the new age parlance.
When someone tells me how grateful they are for my help, I want to impress upon them that if they walk alongside me, learning and practising what resonates and supports their own mental and emotional well-being, they will learn to help themselves. I don't want to be anyone's saviour. I don't want them pouring their helplessness all over me.
Appreciate me, sure, but don't put me on a pedestal.
Today's inspiration is about gratitude.
Be grateful for all that you have.
Take the time to buy a beautiful journal, one that makes your heart sing, one that speaks it's beauty to you. Make a journal entry each evening of at least 5 things you are grateful for as you reflect on your day.
I've got a better idea.
Don't put anyone or anything on a pedestal. Become empowered, and appreciate the quality of life that you have created. You are a creator! You are not helpless! When we practice gratitude, we are thanking someone or something outside of ourselves and neglecting our capacity as creative beings.
Those who were most impacted by the fires in Australia were and are, very grateful for the arrival of the Rural Fire Service. That's gratitude implemented appropriately.
And the rest of us experienced the capacity for heartfelt love and appreciation laced with a good dose of compassion, and extended that to the courageous individuals who kept showing up doing their voluntary work to support those in need, compromising their own livelihood in the process.
That capacity for love and appreciation, that compassion, turned into 10s of millions of dollars as we found ways to contribute to the efforts already undertaken by these courageous men and women.
The plight of the injured animals activated so much love and caring and compassion for the animals themselves, and so much appreciation for those rescuing them that it crystallised into millions of dollars of support, as well as hundreds of people crafting joey pouches and koala coats all over the world.
Appreciation and compassion, transforms into abundance. There's more money for fire fighting efforts and more joey pouches than anyone knows what to do with. Let that be a lesson right there!
There's a place for gratitude. When you need rescuing, when you need help and support because life's circumstances are beyond you. When someone turns up to support you through the worst of it and equips you with the resources to begin to make your way forward, then gratitude is appropriate.
By when all is well, you are enjoying the fruits of your labours, you are creating a life that you choose, you are following your path, you are seeking answers and testing ideas, you are stretching and growing, then the capacity for appreciation is the wavelength you want to be on.
Look around you, look into the value of what you see. What does it offer, why is it in your sights, how did it get there, how does it contribute to the ecosystem of your life, what are it's amazing features? This is acknowledgement. This is appreciation. This is an expansive and creative force.
Have you ever experience someone say to you, "I really appreciate you. I love the way that you're there for me. I enjoy your company, your wisdom. I bought this gift for you because I know that everything about it resonates with so much of what you love?"
If you haven't experienced anything like that, try giving it away to someone else and see what happens. It's empowering to the giver. It lights them up with love and warmth. And it's recognition and acknowledgement for the receiver as a creative being.
Gratitude on the other hand comes from a place of the giver's vulnerability, and identifies a power imbalance, a dependency between the recipient and the giver.
"I am grateful that you are in my life. I am grateful that you are there for me when things get tough. I hope you like this gift I bought for you to say thanks." Feel into that for a while. Sit with it. That's a prison for both the giver and for the receiver.
Let the new idiom be, "grow the capacity for appreciation".
Grow the capacity for appreciation. Start an appreciation journal. Write in it every single day. Fill your heart and mind with love and appreciation. Then see what happens.
Let gratitude be useful in times of vulnerability, and let it be fleeting. Access your inner resilience. Be watchful for the victim in your life, and work with her until she drops all evidence of the victim mentality, and becomes empowered.
Nobody wants to feel helpless and in need of rescue. Don't bring this feeling upon yourself by buying into the idea that you have to be constantly grateful for things that you have accomplished in your life. Or the things that nature provides for you in the place that you, in your full expression, have chosen to live.
Appreciate your part in the creation of your environment, and that includes the choices you have made. And appreciate all that is good in your world and around you.
If you're a person with religion I challenge you to think this over as well. God doesn't want you to be dependent on him. He wants you to stand in the position of a creator yourself. "The kingdom of God is within you." You are created in the image of God, the creator.
Grow the capacity for appreciation. You've got this! I've got this!
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart. As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.